5.5/10 After a horrible debut season (2.5/10) followed by an incredible sophomore effort (8/10), the third and final season of the rebooted 1980s series wound up in the middle and as I predicted in my season two review, succumbed to having too many episodes. While season two went with the “less is more” approach of having 11 episodes (season one had 24), this season having a massive 30 was always a troubling notion, which proved to be correct. The biggest problem with this season is that they pulled a Netflix AKA putting quantity over quality. By having so many episodes, by the end of the season you have already forgotten the first third of the episodes. Similar problems from the first two seasons including extremely dated scores and special effects that have aged horribly remain a problem and in one episode near the end of the season I saw a boom mic drop down into the frame, which simple editing could have fixed. In defense of the special effects though, this season had the least amount of special effects out of the three seasons. While it could have been that they realized that their special effects looked horrible and focusing on practical effects looked better, I believe the real reason is that due to having more episodes (likely only done to hit syndication) means that the budget had to be stretched over more content, meaning each individual episode had smaller budgets to work with, resulting in less visual effects heavy episodes, thankfully. The third to last episode and maybe the worst episode of the entire season, “Crazy as a Soup Sandwich” did have special effects but they were incredibly basic and overshadowed by how bad that episode was. Speaking of episodes, there were two fascinating episodes this season that paralleled some recent films and made me wonder if their respective writers/directors were inspired by some of these episodes. The Alex Garland 2018 film “Annihilation” is based off of a 2014 Jeff VanderMeer of the same name and while I compared “Annihilation” to Tarkovsky’s “Stalker”, the episode “The Wall”, directed by Atom Egoyan has a set up that is almost exactly the same, making me wonder if VanderMeer was inspired by the episode in any way. Similarly, the penultimate episode, “Special Service”, a man realizes he has been on TV for the past five years with hidden cameras filming his every waking (and sleeping) moment and even his wife and co-workers all being in on it. If that sounds familiar it is because “The Truman Show”, which came out roughly a decade after this episode took that same premise. This episode and “The Truman Show” could be compared to Thomas More’s 1516 book “Utopia” but it was still interesting to think that maybe “The Truman Show” sprouted from this episode. There are several solid episodes (the season finale was extremely far ahead of its time in its idea of man combining with machines), some recognizable talent (Ed Marinaro, Janet Leigh, William Sanderson, Louise Fletcher, etc.) and some consistently strong writing from J. Michael Straczynski, who went on to maintain a solid career in science fiction and wrote the most episodes this season (11 episodes following only one from the second season). In the end, season three falls in the middle of the pack and this three season 1980s reboot may not be as iconic as the 1960s original, but has roughly the same inconsistency with fewer episodes. Every election year I find myself drawn to watching/reviewing “The Twilight Zone” since we live in a clown world that makes us dumber by the day as technology simultaneously gets better. With only the 2002 single season reboot and the 2019 two season reboot to go, I will be stepping back into “The Twilight Zone” in 2024.

#OverdrawnAtTheMemoryBank / #TheTrumanEpisode / #CaveOfBlunders / #NoJunkInThisTrunk / #HeartToTrackDown / #NumberTwoInThePool

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s