There’s a reason Twilight Zone episodes are only a half-hour long. They’re all bite-sized premises and twists, less interested in exploring than titillating. Like a lot of science fiction, they’re happy to ask “what if?” and then leave the question hanging for you to ponder. But it takes longer to really explore a premise, to examine the implications of a twist, to pick up the thread and see where it leads. It’s a whole other level of commitment when the premise is a starting point, when the twist is the set-up, when the “what if?” is followed up with an answer resolved by relatable well-written characters making meaningful points about the human condition.
By the way, I heartily recommend The One I Love, starring the irresistible Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss, deflty directed by first-timer Charlie McDowell from a fiendishly clever script by Justin Lader. It’s also worth calling out the score by Saunder Jurriaans and Danny Bensi, who did the music for Enemy. The One I Love is available now on DVD, video on demand, and Netflix’s instant watch.