Amazon brings us a story of a comic book conspiracy and a high body count.
A couple find a copy of a comic book inside of an inherited house and discover that the comic, Utopia, is a sequel to a comic called Dystopia. They set it up for auction, sparking the interest of a group of online enthusiasts including Becky (Ashleigh LaThrop), Ian (David Byrd), Wilson (Desmin Borges), Samantha (Jessica Rothe), and Grant (Javon Walton). These five believe that Dystopia was not just a comic book, but a series of coded messages describing future calamities, most of which have come to pass. They view Utopia as a warning of a near-apocalyptic problem which is coming soon and manage to get part of it. They find out that the main character of the comic, Jessica Hyde (Sasha Lane), is very real and is on their tail. It turns out that there is a killer named Arby (Christopher Denham) who is trying to eliminate anyone who had contact with Utopia. What this has to do with a famous scientist named Dr. Kevin Christie (John Cusack) and an epidemiologist named Michael Stearns (Rainn Wilson) is anyone’s guess.
This show should have been great. It’s a remake of a good British series, it’s about a national plague and debuted during a national plague, and it has a pretty solid cast. Unfortunately, it seemed to me to be just kind of generic and forgettable. The only thing that stands out to me is exactly how much this show is willing to kill off people. Buckets of blood are spilled by the various characters, and the show has a complete detachment to it. In a comedy or certain kind of satire this would make sense, but the dearth of emotions felt by the cast, and therefore the audience, about the deaths actually brings the viewer more in line with the perspective of the bad guys than what you would want from heroes.
It doesn’t help that most of the main characters don’t have a ton of characterization. They’re just nerds who are in over their heads and each of them ostensibly has a single trait that sets them apart, i.e. Wilson is the most paranoid, Becky has a disease, etc. The only character which seems to get any development really is Arby, but that’s only towards the end and it’s still not as much as the show needs. Jessica Hyde, who is revealed to be a girl who has literally lived her entirely life being chased by a massive covert organization, is interesting, but some of her actions are completely unbelievable and the way people react to her is even moreso.
The final reveal of what exactly the villains’ plot entails is pretty good, because it’s at least a little more ambitious than anyone would think. It has shades of “Thanos was right,” but not quite as well-defended. The show does a decent job of building up to it, but it also still involves a potential worldwide plague and that just doesn’t sit well in 2020.
Overall, I just didn’t care for this show as much as the original British show. Maybe just skip this one.
If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All Time, Collection of TV Episodes, Collection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.
If you enjoy these, please, like, share, tell your friends, like the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JokerOnTheSofa/), follow on Twitter @JokerOnTheSofa, and just generally give me a little bump. I’m not getting paid, but I like to get feedback.