Main cast: Lou Diamond Phillips (Tom Fallor), Meghan Black (Laura), Marlowe Kaufmann (Nadine), Michael Rogers (Pete), Malcolm Scott (Pizza Delivery Boy), Gil Bellows (Keith Miller), Kirsten Robek (Arriane), and Henry Rollins (The Host)
Directors: Jefery Levy and Brian Dennehy
In Dead Air, the rude and insufferable DJ Tom Fallor is not a pleasant person to work with, and he even mocks his callers just because he can. Well, one stormy evening, his night shift turns into a nightmare when a caller starts describing a developing scenario in which she is stalked by some deranged fiend – and he realizes that what she is describing is happening to him real time. It begins with her talking about a dead rat in her pizza, and he finds one in his… and things escalate to serial killers and more as he tries desperately to get the caller to shut up.
This one is actually a solid, creepy segment, and Lou Diamond Phillips really sells it as a cocky jerk who quickly becomes a quivering jelly. Unfortunately, there is a very, very stupid twist at the end that almost nullifies everything good about the episode. To use the example in this one, this one is indeed like enjoying a delicious slice of pizza only to realize that there is a dead rat in the box. Why do this to me, people?
Renovation, which is directed by Brian Dennehy, is another man-goes-mad-in-a-new-house story, which has been done many times before. A seemingly happy married couple, Keith and Arriane, move into this lovely new home with their baby, only to have Keith seeing what seems like ghosts of an abusive man terrorizing his wife and baby in that house. As you can guess, he soon becomes more and more like that abusive man. Will the poor baby survive this episode?
This one is a 180 from the previous segment: this one actually has a solid script that focuses on building up tension and delivering the scares without relying on too many jump scares. However, Gil Bellows and Kirsten Robek are overreacting to almost manically camp degrees. I soon find myself cringing at Ms Robek’s hilariously exaggerated facial expressions and Mr Bellows’s frantic yelling. What’s the story about again? Crazy faces and yelling? The baby is really cute, though.
This time around, the two segments are definitely more interesting than those in the previous episode, but there are still enough glaring flaws to hold them back from being great. Let’s hope something happening will come around in this series soon.