The Twilight Zone
CBS All Access
Season 2 Episode 4
The tragic death of a music superstar bring unexpected fame to an aspiring singer, along with something else.
When superstar singer Fiji completes her latest photo shoot, she decides to take a break from fame and disguise herself to take a walk. When she comes upon street musician Jasmine, she is recognized and throws the singer a coin before the gathering crowd drives her into the street and to her death.
After taking the coin, Jasmine starts to get the attention of the crowd while singing a song written in tribute to the fallen Fiji. The applause and attention catapult Jasmine to stardom and fame with appearances on talk shows, winning music competitions and amassing a legion of loyal fans all waiting to applaud her performance. What slowly starts to dawn on Jasmine is that people seem to be applauding her no matter what she does. The fame and applause follow her everywhere she goes and only builds no matter what she does. Even hearing her song causes spontaneous applause. An applause that proves to be dangerous for Jasmine and everyone around her.
The episode has a great premise in how it goes after the toxic culture of fame. Unfortunately, it never really has much to say. Jasmine’s character arc is interesting and her realization of the power of the coin is acted well by Jurnee Smollett, but the rest of the episode never seems to get out of first gear story-wise. Jasmine’s descent into madness at her desire for fame comes way too late in the episode and the twist was so predictable that when it happened, there was no emotional impact to it.
There were moments throughout the episode that teased something bigger at work like the incident in the car with the music playing as well as the operating theater, but it was never explored. For a one hour episode, this felt rushed.