The Twilight Zone (2019): The Twilight Zone: Point of Origin
May 17, 2019 7:12 AM - Season 1, Episode 8 - Subscribe

A suburban housewife wants to go home. But where - and what - is home, really?

The Twilight Zone clumsily tackles immigration in another frustrating episode (Noel Murray for TV/AV Club, rating this C+)
The two best episodes of this new Twilight Zone so far have been “Replay” and “A Traveler,” neither of which have shied away from the social commentary that’s been central to this series, but both of which have been effectively spooky regardless, even divorced from the points they’re making. Even if “Replay” weren’t about a racist police shooting, the idea of a time-travel device that can’t change a person’s fate would still be nerve-wracking. Even if “A Traveler” weren’t commenting on Russian “fake news” farms, the isolated Alaskan setting and Steven Yeun’s performance as a suspiciously friendly alien would still be wonderfully weird.

With this week’s “Point Of Origin” though, it’s harder to separate the more finely crafted, genuinely creepy scenes from the parts that are just the episode repeating the same message, over and over, to diminishing returns.

The usual caveats apply: Yes, Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone could be heavy-handed; and yes, the points this show’s trying to make may actually need to be delivered as clearly and sharply as possible. But even the ‘60s Twilight Zones that “Point Of Origin” most resembles—I’m thinking here in particular of the “walk a mile in your enemies’ shoes” episode “A Quality Of Mercy”(AV Club review) —often had a certain slyness this installment could use.
posted by filthy light thief (3 comments total)
My two word review: "intensely dull."

I agree with Noel Murray's review, there wasn't much of a twist here. Perhaps if there was elaboration on the parallel dimension, instead of just using it as a way to present a multicultural cast as "outsiders," with some flashes to a desolate land of black and white ruins to indicate why the "pilgrims" would leave it.

Final note: I appreciated the nod to Richard Matheson, who wrote many of the original Twilight Zone episodes, with "Matheson Charter."
posted by filthy light thief at 7:22 AM on May 17, 2019

I guess I won't even watch this one. I'm going to make the general comment that I don't find Peale particularly convincing as the "host". I tried to think of who would work for me, and came up with Demore Barnes, whose persona in American Gods (Ibis) has the deep-voiced take-me-fucking-seriously vibe down to a tee. (I would link to Youtube but can't find anything (available outside US) that seems useful.)
posted by sylvanshine at 7:53 PM on May 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Here's an official clip from Season 2 Episode 4 of Mr. Ibis (Demore Barnes). He would be interesting as the host. I don't have a problem with Peale, but it would be interesting to see other hosts.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:09 PM on May 17, 2019

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