We’re used to episodes of The Twilight Zone containing ironic twists, but “Ovation” does not contain one. It tries, but the twist is so telegraphed and so predictable that it makes the previous hour seem competent by comparison… which it isn’t, but compared to the twist, it’s Shakespeare… badly written Shakespeare.
The episode revolves around Jasmine, a street singer who is given a magical coin by a famous singer named Fiji who then promptly yeets herself into traffic as Jasmine and the horrified crowd look on.
Not long after that, Jasmine starts attracting fans who applaud her at every turn, even when her performances aren’t that good. They’re like Dane Cook fans, really. This soon becomes an allegory for fame, I guess, as Jasmine and her sister’s lives are torn apart by the blind adoration and applause of her fans.
If this episode was trying to say something about fame, well.. it doesn’t do it very well. I mean, to me at least, a non-famous person, I have no common frame of reference, I see nothing relevant in the story, and the episode does very little to put me in Jasmine’s shoes. I am not often one to complain about the Hollywood elite, but this story smacks of a certain elitism: “Oh, poor me! I’m so famous that my fans won’t leave me alone!”
Already, that’s an eye-rolling concept and a complaint that only someone completely out of touch would make. As a fan of many things, I actually feel a little insulted by the idea that fans are mindless idiots who will clap at anything.
All of that aside, the episode could have worked if it had done anything novel with the idea of fame destroying someone’s life, but absolutely nothing new is introduced in the concept. Even the idea of a cursed coin was done by Pirates of the Caribbean, the coin itself even looked like it was lifted from the pirates’ set.
The twist at the ending is something that I won’t spoil, but it is a twist so obvious that it is telegraphed long, long before it is revealed and its obliviousness about itself is almost staggering.
I’ve made this complaint before, but I would rather watch something terrible than watch something boring and “Ovation” was boring. It was out of touch, it said nothing new, nothing interesting, and the ending was no where near as clever as it thought it was. “Ovation” was a dull non-event, something that isn’t worthy of hatred or malice… it is literally a thing that barely existed and, now that it’s over, my brain is already deleting it as a superfluous, useless file that I will never need again.
The peaks and valleys of this season continue, unfortunately. I hope the next episode continues the pattern and is a peak.