2.5/10 After taking a look at “The Twilight Zone” from the late 1950’s into the 1960’s, the second iteration of the show debuted in 1985 and ran for three seasons. I am hoping things improve since this first season was an absolute disaster. The biggest problem with this first season can be summed up in one word: inconsistency. What made the original “The Twilight Zone” from 1959-1964 so consistent was Rod Serling, the show’s creator and showrunner before showrunning was an official title like it is today. He wrote most of the episodes for the original series, meaning that episodes were consistent in length, material and tone. Episodes were roughly 25 minutes long and hard a darker, science fiction/horror feel to them while often providing underlying social commentary. While some seasons/episodes were certainly better than others, Serling’s singular voice and vision carried through all five seasons. Here, we have different writers and directors for almost every episode. Alan Brennert wrote six segments this season, which was the most out of any writer but there were 59 segments across 24 episodes (Paul Lynch directed the best episodes as well), which leads to another problem. While the original series was one story equating to one episode at 25 minutes long, this season had either two or three segments/stories per episode adding up to 45-48 minutes long (a one hour timeslot on TV). Some segments were as short as nine minutes long and others pushed half an hour, making for completely uneven running times. The tone is also completely over the map this time around. While certain episodes did maintain the original sci-fi/horror genre, other episodes go for a family friendly/feel good/happy feeling, which doesn’t feel like it fits within “The Twilight Zone” universe at all. While episodes that aired on holidays around Christmas time for example could be excused, when a good chunk of your episodes don’t contain what made the original program iconic, this becomes a problem. The vast majority of these episodes are incredibly cheesy and haven’t aged well at all. You can literally see the boom mic dropping into the frame from the top of your screen in several, separate episodes. Prosthetics, costumes and make-up were utilized in the early 1960s because CGI hadn’t been invented yet. Here in the mid 1980’s, we have some of the earliest CGI but it was still so early on that it has aged horribly and the more practical way of creating visual effects from the 1960s would have been better utilized. With cheesy plots, inconsistent tones, no singular voice behind the scenes, horrible visual effects and scores that have aged as well as the visuals, the debut season of this Serling-less reboot (he passed away in 1975 at age 50) ended up being a disaster. It is a shame too since there was some big talent involved. Stories came from the likes of Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen King. Segments were directed by the likes of Wes Craven, William Friedkin and Joe Dante. Even some big name stars like Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Terry O’Quinn, William Petersen, Frances McDormand, Helen Mirren, Martin Landau, John Carradine, Elliott Gould, etc. showed up for this season. Despite all the big name talent behind and in front of the screen, the idea to bring back this classic show ended up being scarier than actual episodes of the show. Let’s hope the next two seasons find a more consistent tone and voice to tell darker stories because the all over the map nature of this season ended horribly.

#WesCravenSomeBetterContent / #IndianBurialGrounded / #KentuckyRyeGodRye / #LuckyNumberSe7en / #YesMadLand / #FlawedWithoutRod

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