We have officially entered The Twilight Zone.
The first two episodes of Jordan Peele's reimagining of the classic anthology series are now available on CBS All Access, and it's not just a remake filled with major stars. The series is a very 2019 Twilight Zone update, to go right along with the fact that we all basically live in the Twilight Zone IRL.
"We just live in surreal times, politically, socially, culturally," EP Simon Kinberg told E! News at the show's premiere. "Technology is transforming. We have a leader of the free world who is a reality star with no political experience and now has his finger on the nuclear button. All these things feel like episodes of The Twilight Zone, so it felt like it was a good moment to fit into that cultural commentary."
Peele, who also serves as the narrator, says it's specifically the 2019 stories that wouldn't have been addressed on the show 50 years ago that he wanted to tackle with the new series, which he hopes will help audiences embrace this new version of the series.
"The key to that for us was focusing on the stories that couldn't have been told 50 years ago, the details about 2019 and quintessentially now stories that we like to think if Rod [Serling] were here, he would approve of us focusing on," Peele says. "So the world has moved on, and we can just kind of try and bring the actual Twilight Zone DNA to now."
On the other hand, much of the original show is still relevant today in a lot of ways.
"Sadly, it also feels as though the issues that Rod was dealing with in his moment are still very much alive today, and the good news is, they're being talked about today," Kinberg added. "We live in a different culture, accountability culture, so we can enter into that dialogue about those issues."
If you're not yet signed up for CBS All Access, you can watch the first episode totally for free on Youtube thanks to a partnership with Geico. "The Comedian" stars Kumail Nanjiani as a struggling stand up comic who gets some advice from a mysterious fellow comic, played by Tracy Morgan, and finds that as his comedy succeeds, he starts to lose the things he loves.
The second episode, which is also out today, is actually a remake of an original and famous Twilight Zone episode, "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet." which starred William Shatner as a man on a plane who sees a terrifying creature outside the plane.
Adam Scott stars in the new version, which no longer features a terrifying creature on the wing of a plane, but still features a man panicking about a danger only he apparently knows about...thanks to a mysterious podcast. Could it get more 2019?
New episodes arrive Mondays on CBS All Access.