Quickie Review of THE TWILIGHT ZONE (2019) S01 E03: “Replay”

Even a magical camcorder might not be enough for a Black mother to protect her son from racism in America… even in The Twilight Zone.

There’s some true alchemy in this episode! Like the first two, there were lots of tiny references sprinkled in for the eagle-eyed fans of the old series. But whereas the last attempt to update the old series was a little too on the nose (for me at least), “Replay” took the original TWILIGHT ZONE’s approach to the themes of the ’50s and ’60s and fashioned something completely relevant for 21st century viewers. Especially 21st century viewers of color! So far, “Replay” is the quintessential TWILIGHT ZONE update to me! Here are some other takeaways…

  • I love the sheriff uniform. Reminds me of something…
  • C’mon Jordan, is the Mystic Seer really necessary? I mean, I get it but still.
  • Emmett Avenue, huh? Of course.
  • Kaepernick super-bowl!
  • This is definitely reminiscent of those hitchhiker stories where the ghost keeps reappearing.
  • That’s it — instead of running from the apparition, go straight for it!
  • It’s not often you see subtle racism played out on TV. Sure we all knew the White trooper was racist and going to say “boy” at some point. But up until that point, he’ll sit and chat amicably with people of color. There comes a point in the episode where one might be tempted to think, “Oh, this is when she turns the cop around.” But people of color knew better.
  • Car 1015, eh?
  • You’d think anyone in a TZ with a grasp of the weird shit going on around them would’ve been like “ain’t no thing” when something bad happens.
  • “You’ve never asked for help” — that’s the key right there!
  • I called the ending — but not until it was almost on me. Good one, Jordan!
  • I don’t think I’ve seen a teleplay sum up about 90+% of the struggles of a community in a well-rounded way since, well, BLACK PANTHER.
  • We don’t just get a fleeting visual reference to the spirit of Rod Serling. Thematically, we also get, “It was love, not magic, that kept evil at bay.”

The Jack Elam Score for “Replay” (out of 5):

1: “And this lemon-sucker here…”
2: “Ain’t nobody been exonerated yet, that’s for sure!”
3: “Sharp boys, real sharp boys!”
4: “A regular Ray Bradbury!”
5: “CHECK ‘EM FOR WINGS!!!”

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