Five binge-worthy shows to set the mood for Jordan Peele's sci-fi anthology 'Weird City'
These shows from the past pushed the boundaries when it comes to science fiction and comedy, and are the best primers ahead of 'Weird City' premiere on February 13
'Weird City' is a dark comedy sci-fi anthology written by Jordan Peele and Charlie Sanders, and premieres on February 13. The show is set in the future where there is no middle class and people are divided into two classes: the Haves and the Have Nots. The show relates the adventures oone Dr Negari, played by LeVar Burton, who regularly invents absurd and strange technology to help fellow human beings — a pill for men which will help them develop six-pack abs, or a dating app that compares DNA to find 'the one'. These inventions, however, end up wreaking havoc in people's lives in the most comical manner. Each episode features Dr Negari and the people he helped trying to find a way out of these situations.
It is this aspect of 'Weird City' that got us thinking about TV shows from the past that pushed the boundaries when it came to science fiction and comedy. So here are five binge-worthy shows that will help you set the mood for 'Weird City'.
'The Twilight Zone'
Let's start with one of the most popular shows of the sci-fi anthology genre which aired from 1959 to 1964: 'The Twilight Zone'. Written and presented by Rod Serling, the show ran for five seasons and each episode portrayed the plight of an ordinary person faced with an inexplicable situation. The show became famous for the twists at the end of each episode. 'The Twilight Zone' was instantly lauded by the critics but it took a few episodes for the general audience to warm up to it.
In fact, Jordan Peele, one of the writers on 'Weird City', is hosting a new television show that was inspired by the original series. The trailer for the upcoming show was released during Superbowl LIII.
'The Outer Limits'
'The Outer Limits' started airing in 1963 just as 'The Twilight Zone' was wrapping up and there were a lot of similarities between the two shows. One of the biggest being the plot twists that come at the end of each episode. The show's introduction, "There is nothing wrong with your television set," became popular during the first season because the show had audiences thinking that their television sets were being controlled. The anthology, especially the first season is connected by "the bear", a monster that appears in each episode as a monster that needs to be taken care of.
'League of Gentlemen'
'League of Gentlemen' is a surreal comedy show which has some great characters who are treated like caricatures. A xenophobic couple, a transgender taxi driver, a local officer who hates the people she is assigned to train and other eccentric characters — all played by the show's three writers in guises. Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith's show is a cult favourite mostly for its dark humour. The show aired from 1999 to 2000 and the movie 'League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse' was released in 2005.
This is yet another show that was heavily inspired by 'The Twilight Zone' and 'The Outer Limits'. 'Dimension 404' aired in 2017 and was narrated by Mark Hamill. The first season had six episodes. Each episode has different characters playing the lead roles in a different setup and the connection here is the technology, which is also the source of conflict. From video games, different movie formats to an app, technology, in the show, becomes the demon that must be conquered.
'Electric Dreams' is a sci-fi anthology show and each of the 10 episodes is based on a short story by Philip K Dick. The shows dives deep into the human psyche and poses philosophical, political and moral questions. If you are a science fiction fan, you can not miss this one.
YouTube Originals 'Weird City' stars Awkwafina, Michael Cera and Laverne Cox among others, and is all set to premiere on February 13.