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“I saw the TV Glow” Review

“Time wasn’t right. It was moving too fast. And then I was 19. And then I was 20. I felt like one of those dolls asleep in the supermarket. Stuffed. And then I was 21. Like chapters skipped over on a DVD. I told myself, “This isn’t normal. This isn’t normal. This isn’t how life is supposed to feel.” -Maddy (Brigette Lundy-Paine)
Promotional poster for “I Saw the TV Glow.”

In 1996, Owen was introduced to the mysterious supernatural TV show by a ninth-grade classmate, Maddie “The Pink Opaque,” which follows Tara and Isabel, two psychic teenage best friends, and their struggle against Mr. Melancholy, the villain of the story who constantly tries to defeat the best friends by sending them monsters each episode. They begin to bond over this show, but when “The Pink Opaque” is canceled and ends on a cliffhanger, both Owen’s and Maddie’s reality begins to spiral and crack as they discover something more sinister and twisted in the quiet suburbs they live in.

Left to right. Owen (Justice Smith) and Maddie (Brigette Lundy-Paine). (A24)

“I Saw The TV Glow” is a movie that, for sure, will make you think about it long after you leave the cinema and are going home or somewhere else. It highlighted how pop culture could unearth something in us that is so deep, and how anything that gives us comfort in an environment that is horrible for us, we cling to so strongly that we don’t know what’s real or not. As well as how both Owen and Maddie represent two different people, where the latter prefers comfort to a dramatic change, and Maddie wants a different change of pace and a way to get out of the boring suburbs she lives in with Owen. Another thing that makes the film so uniquely its own is when there is a song made for it, specifically a song by Sloppy Jane called “Claw Machine” feat. Phoebe Bridgers, and let me tell you, it is a sad girl lesbian song for sure.

I highly praise the performances of both of the main actors, Justice Smith who plays Owen and Brigette Lundy-Paine who plays Maddie. They truly did their characters justice in ways that would be called astonishing and jaw-dropping.

When I saw this in the cinema, I will admit it was a bit slow at first, but when it draws you in with the addiction to the show both Maddie and Owen show, you can not tear your eyes away from the screen, and when the plot holes and twists are revealed, it begins to draw you in more in a way that makes you reflect on your own life and the film’s timeline. And when it ended, I had two things to say: Why on earth would they leave us on a cliffhanger of an ending? And will Jane Schoenbrum (the director) please, please, make “The Pink Opaque” an actual show for us to watch?

So if you have time on any day, go watch “I Saw the TV Glow” and let it never leave your mind, as it has never left my mind either.

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