I Saw The TV Glow Image

I Saw The TV Glow

By Michael Talbot-Haynes | May 22, 2024

NOW IN THEATERS! Your multiplex may now be hosting the multi-perplexer of the year with the beautiful baffler I Saw The TV Glow, written and directed by intriguing auteur Jane Schoenbrun. It starts in 1996 on election night at Void High School, where 7th grader Owen (Ian Foreman) is there with his mom, Brenda (Danielle Deadwyler), while she votes.

Wandering the halls, he spots 9th grader Mattie (Brigette Lundy-Paine) off by herself, bent over a book. It’s an episode guide to her favorite TV show, a young adult supernatural series called The Pink Opaque. In it, Isabel (Helena Howard) and Tara (Lindsey Jordan), two psychically connected girls who met at camp but live on different sides of the county, use their powers to battle the evil man on the moon, Mr. Melancholy (Emma Portner). On the show, they have to fight a different monster every week, with one psychically helping the other all the way across the county.

“She tells him that The Pink Opaque wasn’t just a show. It was real.”

As the show airs on Saturday after Owen’s bedtime, he pretends to be at a sleepover so that he can watch it with Mattie. Mattie lets Owen know she’s gay, while Owen doesn’t know what he is except for a fan of The Pink Opaque, even if it is a show for girls. Two years later, as Mattie has been providing Owen (Justice Smith) with VHS tapes of the show, she disappears right when the show is canceled. In the year 2004, Owen is working at a movie theater when Mattie appears out of nowhere. She tells him that The Pink Opaque wasn’t just a show. It was real. For years, she has been in the realm of Midnight, and she has come back for Owen’s help to fight Mr. Melancholy…

It is difficult to determine if something tastes good if you don’t quite know what you are eating. Think about that white mystery flavor the laughing taffy waved years ago. This is the feeling throughout the first viewing of I Saw The TV Glow: I think I would like this more if I just knew what the hell it is I am liking. It still is really, really good. Switching to another metaphor, the temperature of the pool is fine, but you don’t know what you are swimming in, and it isn’t water.

I Saw The TV Glow (2024)

Directed and Written: Jane Schoenbrun

Starring: Brigette Lundy-Paine, Justice Smith, Ian Foreman, Helena Howard, Lindsey Jordan, Danielle Deadwyler, Emma Portner, etc.

Movie score: 8.5/10

I Saw The TV Glow Image

"…the Pink Floyd The Wall for Millennials."

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  1. John Holland says:

    I am convinced every favorable review, both professional and otherwise, was personally bought and paid for by Jane Schoenbrun.
    Naval-gazing, nonsensical horse crap of the worst kind. The only, ONLY, two things going for this slog were the colorful cinematography and shot composition that nicely reproduced an early ’90s anesthetic.
    But I would rather have my fingernails pulled out than watch this thing again.

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