The Twilight Zone
Season One, Episode One
The cost of fame proves to be too high for a struggling comedian looking for a way to connect to the audience.
Samir Wassan (Kumail Nanjiani) is the definition of struggling comedian. Using the same pseudo-political material over and over again, he can’t catch a break with the audience and all of his fellow comedians know it. A chance encounter with one of his idols JC Wheeler (Tracy Morgan) puts him on a different path. He asks the famous comedian for advice and is told that the audience is hungry for material. Especially material that includes people in his life.
When he finally starts to utilize the people in his life, something strange happens. The people disappear and no one remembers them. When his girlfriends nephew comes to a show and shows him up, his material includes some light jabs at the kid who vanishes before his eyes while the audience howls with laughter. Same thing happens when a couple of hecklers go after him. Suddenly Samir thinks that he can use this new gift to right some social wrongs, especially with people he knows. Unfortunately, he doesn’t calculate what the collateral damage will be for both himself and his girlfriend.
For the first episode of a new iteration of The Twilight Zone, this was good. The premise worked and the actors did a great job. Everyone was believable in their roles and the pace of the episode was spot on. The jokes did not land though. For an episode about a comedian, I didn’t laugh at any of the material that was supposed to be funny. I would have liked to have experienced more of the “hunger” of the audience as well, but the episode itself was good including the ending.