College student Devon Taylor is listening to space. He thinks he can detect a pattern coming from Sirius.  His professor finally tells him to go home, but he grabs the tape to listen to later. When his younger sister Joyce overhears the tape, she is able to clearly hear the pattern. In fact, she puts on a set of head-phones and snoozes all night with it playing.
Her father finds her in the morning. He immediately assumes she is on the drugs. To be fair, her pulse is racing and she is acting weird. And he should know the symptoms because is has two doctorates — the one of his character, and being played by Dr. Johnny Fever. Before he can tell her to just say no, she grabs the tape and runs out the door to school.
Joyce gets everyone at school listening to the groovy space music. Devon insists that there is a message embedded in it, which is likely since it sounds suspiciously like the transmission sent in Contact. He goes looking for Joyce at a rave where the music makes everyone look like they’re playing that game Riker brought onto the Enterprise; you remember, the one that induced orgasms . . . c’mon, you know you want to click it.
Devon sees that the euphoric teens are addicted to the music like crack. He is a little over the demographic so is able to resist its charms. It also has the side-effect of causing metallic scales on the kids’ skin. He goes to the booth where the DJ has the easiest job in the world — one tape, on a loop. When Devon grabs the tape, the people stop their orgasmic, slack-jawed moaning and scream in pain like when I accidentally hit the Firefox back-button to my sister’s Facebook page at an inopportune time.
Joyce and the other teenagers are taken to the hospital. All of them are getting the same metallic plating on their skin even though soap and water would take care of most of it. Devon looks in Joyce’s eye with one of those lighted doctor doohickeys and says, “Her iris is changing.” No, Mr. Know-It-All, her pupil is changing, not her iris. Seriously, does anyone in TV finish the sixth grade?
After Devon sends the tape to a friend in Japan, he is responsible for a global outbreak. The Feds show up and confiscate his stereo, oscilloscope and nudie magazines. The enigmatically-named Dr. Riddle is called from the CDC, but she is no match for the 20 year old Devon. She confirms that the disease is spread by a signal that is like music to teenagers and random noise to adults . . . just like _____________ .  It also instills an intense desire to share with others, thus explaining Bernie Sanders’ success. Oh, and it comes from space.
The CDC decides the best course of action is to play the signal in reverse. In addition to confirming Paul is dead, this also kills Joyce. Thank God Devon is there to turn the original tape up to eleven and revive her.
Devon further concludes that the changes are a gift from aliens. Our sun is about to shift to a blue dwarf. Only those who have evolved the metallic skin will survive. The CDC agrees and the government starts broadcasting the signal, finally using that goofy Emergency Broadcast System, and on PBS, although they wisely schedule it during Downton Abbey so someone will actually be watching.
All the kids on Earth are soon covered with a gold shell making them look like small Oscar statues, which will drive Roman Polanski crazy. Adults are able to get a treatment which will give them the same metallic shell. For reasons not well explained, Joyce & Devon’s father opts out.
I always like a mystery that has to be solved. And the magnitude of the story — human evolution & sun shift — certainly lend gravitas to the story. Add in a little star-power (no pun intended), and a few minutes of padding don’t seem too big a price to pay.
-  The pattern is to cancel every 3 months before the welcome-back offer expires. I ain’t paying full price for radio, man! Actually, I saw later that they were saying Certus, not Sirius. That isn’t a thing, so I have no idea what they were going for.
-  Mad-Libs time. [Name some dreadful young people’s music].
- Devon is played by Joshua Jackson who would go on to play a similar brainiac on Fringe. Surprisingly, he is great here as a 20-year old know-it-all and less annoying than the know-it-all he played as an adult.
- Joyce is played by Kirsten Dunst, three years after Interview with the Vampire and three years before the greatest movie in the history of cinema.
- Title Analysis: About as perfect as you can get.
- Music of the Spears.
- Music of the Sneers.
- Music of the Shears.