Meet in the Middle – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Downtime – | Review Score – 2.5/5
The Who of You – | Review Score – 3/5
Ovation – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Among the Untrodden – | Review Score – 3.5/5
8 – | Review Score – 2.5/5
A Human Face – | Review Score – 3/5
A Small Town – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Try, Try – | Review Score – 3/5
You Might Also Like – | Review Score – 3/5
One of the biggest disappointments of 2019 came from the reboot of The Twilight Zone. With shoe-horned political and societal messaging, lackluster writing and uninspired episodes, The Twilight Zone rode out into the twilight with its tail tucked between its legs after its 10 episode run.
Back for a second season and a new look (partly thanks to all 10 episodes being released at once), The Twilight Zone delivers a marginally better second season but one that relies far too heavily on tried and tested tropes performed better in other anthological shows of its kind.
From a super-intelligent octopus stalking the crew of an icy base to a computer simulation, the ideas are hardly original and the execution ranges from pretty good through to disappointingly average. There’s a couple of good twists at the end of some episodes – including one regarding the superhero origins of a school girl – but the series on the whole just doesn’t quite do enough to stand out.
Stylistically, The Twilight Zone stays pretty closely to the same formula from last year with Jordan Peele returning as the narrator. There’s a slew of different actors this time, both familiar faces and not so familiar, and this does help keep the series feeling like a continuation of what we saw last time.
One of the bigger changes though comes from the societal messaging that ran rampant through last season. It’s still here in fragmented scenes but it’s far more subtle and manageable than before. Unfortunately the series still suffers from the same pacing issues the first had and a lot of the episodes feel a lot longer than they need to be.
The aforementioned episode involving the school girls goes on for a solid 10 minutes longer than it needs to while other 45 minute segments could easily have been edited down to around 30 minutes or so. It’s a shame but the series never hits the heights the original managed to achieve so elegantly.
Overall, The Twilight Zone’s second season serves up a much better set of episodes and it’s certainly an improvement over the first. The low bar set last year has almost certainly caused this to feel a lot better than it actually is and compared to other anthology series this year – including the excellent Inside No. 9 – The Twilight Zone still has a long way to go to reach the pinnacle of excellence.
Whether this show will be renewed for a third season remains to be seen but this is one trip to the Twilight Zone that may not outstay its welcome before the 10th episode.