Jordan Peele is the natural heir to Rod Serling's legacy, as is apparent from his first appearance on screen as host of the CBS All Access revival series, says Matt Zoller Seitz. "He’s as skilled a comic actor as he is a suspense filmmaker — a baroque chameleon in Peter Sellers mode — and he understands how to channel Serling while inscribing the host-guide role with his own artistic and political signatures," says Seitz. "Impeccably tailored in dark suits, Peele speaks in an alert but inflected voice, as if possessed by someone else (with the initials R.S., most likely). It’s the voice of a master storyteller who’s so in control of both his physical and aesthetic aspects that he can make you laugh by playing things straight — and who appreciates the source material he’s reinterpreting yet isn’t shy about adding his own preoccupations." Seitz adds that the new Twilight Zone "never entombs itself in nostalgia or fan service and makes a point of pulling Serling into 2019. This incarnation is as of-the-moment as Serling’s original, from the more varied filmmaking styles on display to the use of profanity and frank sexual language. Most striking of all, however, is the show’s political vantage point: The new Zone looks at paranoia, class disparity, artistic anxiety, xenophobia, racism, and other hot-button topics from the perspective of an outsider who had to fight for his piece of American pie, in contrast to the more abstract, theoretical diagnoses and warnings of Serling, who was as woke as a rich white guy could be in the middle of the 20th century but was nevertheless incapable of taking a ground-level view of the problems his series identified, even in the imaginative safe space of The Twilight Zone."
Jordan Peele would make Rod Serling proud: "By embracing the true spirit of Zone then applying his own worldview to that, he's made this version ineradicably his own, just as the original classic was ineradicably Serling's."