top of page



Release Date: 05/03/24 [Cinemas]
Genre: Drama. Horror.

Studio: A24. 

[Seen at SXSW Film Festival 2023]

"Two teenagers bond over their love of a supernatural TV show, but it is mysteriously cancelled." 


Disassociating from reality through the identity of a niche tv show. I Saw the TV Glow harnesses its remarkable visual storytelling, allowing for the scenes to speak for themselves, while also offering extensive exposition heavy monologues. Without these long-winded fixed shot character moments, the film would be fully relying on the visuals alone to explain the idea of identity. 


The visuals encapsulate the quality behind the picture, but in its lack of a firm definition, the film leaves a bit too many concepts open for interpretation. This fact makes the film almost difficult to watch, as the film takes a singular notion and amplifies it to the extreme. Stylistically the film is glowing with reminiscence of neon lights throughout and The Twilight Zone / Erie Indiana vibes. Some may even see it as such… a modern extension of The Twilight Zone


Showcasing a man struggling with finding a silver lining in his abusive childhood, he finds some solitude through a peculiar relationship with a woman from his school. They find through an awkward connection an unstable friendship built around surreal ideas. 


Justice Smith (Owen) and Brigette Lundy-Paine (Maddy) are the embodiment of this unlikely and awkward relationship. They are brilliant in their roles and the dynamic between the two compresses the trauma of their own lives and transfers it all into a passion for a television program (comparable to Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Owen’s reluctance to fully open himself up is visually seen throughout, as he struggles to breath and speak his mind. Maddy’s toxic upbringing is expressed and explored bit by bit with pieces clearly missing from their history as they make the premise of their favorite television show a reality. 


While enormously puzzling and perplexing throughout, the complex theme of gender identity is there, but ultimately in its execution it comes across as a bizarre exploration. A picture within a picture within a picture can become an absurd thing. When reflecting on Jane Schoenbrun’s I Saw the TV Glow, its concept is laid out transparently, but it embellishes too much on its style to relay the same message over and over through its stretched narrative.

image0 (4)_edited.jpg


bottom of page