Slight spoilers for Weird City below.
Weird City is the latest masterstroke by Jordan Peele. As co-executive producer and co-writer along with creator Charlie Sanders, Weird City sets YouTube Premium as a prime destination for new, exciting, streaming content.
The plot of Weird City, an anthology-type show similar to Black Mirror with more comedy, is simple: in this futuristic city, where the Haves and Have Nots are literally divided by a police-sanctioned line, the denizens of the city live through the normal emotions of love, loss, confusion and desiring belonging. Except when Peele is involved, you know there is going to be a lot of mania involved.
Aside from Peele’s name recognition, the biggest draws of this show are stars cast to portray a rang of characters. Laverne Cox, Steven Yeun, Rosario Dawson, Sara Gilbert, Eugene Cordero, Akwafina, Matt Walsh, Michael Cera, Malcolm Barrett, Yvette Nicole Brown, Auli’i Cravalho, Tervor Jackson, Gillian Jacobs, Dylan O’Brien and Ed O’Neill are just some of the big names tied to this show. But while you might be coming for your favorite actor or actress, you will definitely stay for the interesting, thought-provoking, funny, and yes, weird, storylines.
I watched two of the two free episodes on YouTube, and I can say that I wish this wasn’t behind a paywall, because I feel like so many people would love to watch this show. The first episode is especially charming. It’s an unconventional love story because O’Brien and O’Neill are playing characters who are mistakenly paired together via an algorithm created by a peculiar doctor (Burton). Apart from being mistakenly paired, the catches are that 1) there’s a huge age difference and 2) neither of the characters are gay. However, the relationship that develops tells a universal truth–that love is the most powerful force in the universe, so much so that nothing can contain it or explain it, even science.
For some out there, this episode could be considered a quiet revolution as to how LGBTQ couples are portrayed on screen. There’s no tedious discussion about why these two guys are together or why they love each other. There’s no annoying focus on anyone not understanding two men being in love. Instead, the only problem that comes up is when they are mandated to be apart from each other, something they thankfully circumvent.
The second episode is arguably the most Peele-ish of the two free episodes. Somehow, what started out as a standard, comedic tale about belonging ends as a horrifying morality lesson about being consumed by society when you have no self-worth. Cera’s character, a weird loser who eats catepillar-looking worms he raises in a terrarium, first tries to fit in with a 12-step group, but after being kicked out and talked about by his father (Walsh), he finds a home at a fitness club and instantly wants to become like his trainer (Dawson). However, he quickly gets too caught up in wanting to “max out” and things take a very creepy turn. Without spoiling it, I just have to let you know the worms mean more than you think they would.
These two episodes are enough to make you want to get a subscription long enough to mainline the first season. If you’ve got the extra cash to spare, I’d recommend watching Weird City.