What was Rod Serling‘s The Twilight Zone, boiled down to basics? During its 1959-to-1962 heyday it was a half-hour series about the fears, anxieties, neuroses and psychological maladies that flooded the anti-social undercurrents of the late Eisenhower and early Kennedy eras. That or the issues that made Serling himself feel antsy and unsettled. It was not a show about “boo!” — it was about “what is this strange feeling I have in my gut?” or “why can’t I shake this memory from my childhood?” or “why do I feel trapped?” or “what if I just ran away from my high-paying job and moved to a small bucolic town called Willoughby…wouldn’t I be happier?”
Does anyone think that the latest Twilight Zone reboot, which will be hosted by Jordan Peele because Get Out was a racially-stamped reboot of Ira Levin‘s The Stepford Wives, which of course has nothing to do with the Serling aesthetic…does anyone think that this new streaming Twilight Zone will come within 100 miles of the deep-down fears, anxieties, neuroses and psychological maladies of the Trump era?
My presumption, in fact, is that Peel’s Zone will deliver cheap horror wanks because that’s what 90% of the viewing audience likes. They don’t want to know from their deep-down fears, anxieties, neuroses and maladies, and would probably run in the opposite direction of any streaming series that delivers anything resembling this.
Variety story: CBS announced Thursday that Peele will serve as host and narrator of “The Twilight Zone,” the revival of the classic science-fiction anthology that he is producing with CBS Television Studios and Simon Kinberg for CBS All Access. Peele and Kinberg are set to serve as executive producers alongside Win Rosenfeld, Audrey Chon, Carol Serling, Rick Berg and Greg Yaitanes.