Jordan Peele Gets Weird for YouTube

Not content with one 'Twilight Zone,' Jordan Peele continues the need for social science-fiction with 'Weird City.'

PBS Newshour - Jordan Peele

Not content with one ‘Twilight Zone,’ Jordan Peele continues his passion for social science-fiction with ‘Weird City.’

Hollywood loves a winner. Get Out proved that there was an audience hungry for diverse voices and serious thought backing the entertainment they consumed. As a result of witnessing executives weighed down with full pockets, other studios have thrown open their doors to Jordan Peele. Step right up, give us what you got.

The above paragraph has basically been written and rewritten (and rewritten) for the last year. Since his directorial debut, Peele has stoked many fires, and we’re just waiting to see which one will explode first.

He has the Nazi-hunting period drama and the Lorena Bobbit series over at Amazon, the stop-motion Key & Peele reunionLovecraft Country for HBO, and the Twilight Zone reboot. Oh, and let’s not forget about his follow-up feature, Us.

If he’s not careful, Peele could become the next Guillermo del Toro with more projects in development than actually shooting. Not a bad thing, but a condition that certainly frustrates fans who want to see it all get done.

The time has come to add another concept in the maybe and hope-so pile. According to The Hollywood Reporter, YouTube has ordered a new sci-fi anthology series from Peele. Sci-fi anthology series? You mean The Twilight Zone? No. This is another sci-fi anthology series. Titled Weird City.

This one takes place in the not-too-distant future, each episode relating to a contemporary issue through the lens of science fiction and/or comedy. Partnering with Key & Peele staff writer Charlie Sanders, Peele is excited to push the boundaries of acceptable prime-time entertainment under the comfort of YouTube.

In a statement, Peele gave a little bit of a taste as to what we can expect from Weird City:

“Writer/creator Charlie Sanders and I collaborated on some ‘Key & Peele’ sketches that took on everything from the ‘Black Republicans’ to ‘Continental Breakfasts’ to ‘Family Matters.’ Now, with YouTube, we present a series of comedy-driven twisted-ass science fiction stories that take place in a world close to ours but just a little bit off.”

So where Twilight Zone might adhere to the traditional sci-fi twist that sends us away contemplating the state of the world, Weird City looks to take a bite out of us with brutal humor that often devastates under the guise of laughter. No punches will be pulled. Every smile hides a shameful frown.

Looking at all the projects Peele is juggling, one thing is clear. He is a creator who uses his art as a mirror. This guy has no interest in soothing the masses. He won’t deny us a good time, but Peele is happy to slap his audience with the dark reality around them.

Here’s hoping that we never get a simple blockbuster from Peele. Even if he had succumbed to the temptation of Akira, there is no doubt that he would have infused the remake with societal purpose. Don’t just give him two sci-fi anthology shows. Give him one for each network and streaming platform. There is plenty to be said. There is plenty to be heard.

Trekkie, Not Trekker. Weekly Columnist for Film School Rejects, co-host of the In The Mouth of Dorkness Podcast.