Brave New World: Full Season 1
August 29, 2020 3:55 AM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Based on Aldous Huxley’s groundbreaking 1932 novel, Brave New World imagines a utopian society that has achieved peace and stability through the prohibition of monogamy, privacy, money, family, and history itself.
posted by ellieBOA (15 comments total)
Aw, man, I watched this long enough ago that I don't really have good commentary, but it was enjoyable. I don't think they did enough to explain the differences between the classes - sure the betas are just little fuckbunnies for the alphas and that's gotta get weird, and the gammas are just gray-faced worker drones hopped up on happy drugs, but without anything else (soylent-green-ly, say) going on - woo hoo, a job from birth! Happy drugs! Food cubes! Where do I sign up, man?

But otherwise there wasn't a lot of elder representation, and I'm not sure if that was because they were fed into the food cube processing machines, or if it was just the computer killed everybody off as the system became too unstable. I felt like the backstory was maybe a bit underserved, I guess?
posted by Kyol at 4:40 PM on August 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

There was definitely a bit (one line?) where somebody mentioned their upcoming birthday and then they get the... red? pill. Black? I read that as being a mandatory suicide. I think that's also the colour that the artist asked for and then played off as a joke.

My memory is fuzzy, too.

I was quite confused by the ending. I remember looking it up afterwards and still being dissatisfied. I think as an exercise in style I'd call it a success.
posted by Acari at 4:55 PM on August 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

Yeah, looking back I'm confused whether the computer was killing off societies as they became unstable, or if that was just her modeling. If it was the former, just how old was Mustafa that she'd lived through multiple attempts at rebuilding societies? Or did she keep getting plugged back into the diagnostic beds that uh.. the progenitor CJack60 was also plugged in to?

Honestly, I'd have enjoyed about twice as much of that part of the story? Steal time from the Savage Backstory for it - we get it.
posted by Kyol at 11:57 PM on August 29, 2020

Based on these comments, it sounds like "based on" is doing a *lot* of heavy lifting in the description up there.

Not that the novel isn't pretty awful, looking back. Regressive and reactionary from start to finish, with a literal Noble Savage as a main plot motivator. About the only thing positive I can recall is that it does take an implicit stand against genetically engineering servitor races from human embryos, so good for old Aldous there, I guess.
posted by Scattercat at 11:37 AM on August 30, 2020

I felt like this started well, drifted a bit, regained some steam, drifted again, and then limped along to the ending, with only scattered bright spots to show for itself in the back end.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:11 PM on August 30, 2020

I haven't seen this yet but in the book the citizens' appearances stick at about 30 until you keel over in your 50s. I can't remember if it's a side effect of the soma or something else. There's a particular plot point when they meet an old man.
posted by biffa at 12:46 AM on September 1, 2020

Yeah, I think they kindasorta danced around it in the show when John's mother died, all "huh, death customs? how bizarre" and "a mother, how freakish" and maybe just a bit of "she was old, wasn't she".

Honestly I got the impression it was mostly produced because the modern streaming landscape means they could show alphabeta sexytimes in a way that wouldn't have been as acceptable in years past, but it turned out to not be the flagpole that NBC had expected it to be?
posted by Kyol at 7:36 AM on September 1, 2020

We just finished this. It's enjoyable. I think the last episode is a bit messy with some kinda messy threads plot wise. I have no idea what was in the gold box for instance. Or why exactly CJack60 killed the person he was modeled after.
posted by Catblack at 6:53 PM on September 2, 2020

If memory serves, it was because the progenitors (Mond, wossisname-pre-CJack60, the others) were all part of the neural network that was keeping Indra going? At least that's how I read it, and Mond couldn't bring herself to kill the only remaining survivors of the pre-times (and Indra herself, who was either based on or derived from Mond's own daughter? Or was it just that the highly advanced computer system _felt_ like a child to Mond? anyway I digress), but CJack60 could, which would put an end to Indra's plan to restart New London?

I mean, "restart new london, figuring out the new instability" or "violent uprising from the worker class", wellll.
posted by Kyol at 9:08 AM on September 3, 2020

About the only thing positive I can recall is that it does take an implicit stand against genetically engineering servitor races from human embryos

The thing about Huxley's book is that there's no genetic engineering in it. There isn't even much of any talk about heritability or, ugh, breeding. Alphas aren't genetic supermen or bred to be leaders, they're just... not messed with in vitro and given a better education than Betas. The Gammas aren't bred to be servitors; their differences are his fictional-universe version of fetal alcohol syndrome. To me, this makes it creepier.

There wouldn't be much room for genetic engineering anyway; everyone born near a given time and place shares the same genetic mother.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 4:11 PM on September 3, 2020

Hence the "implicit". I just didn't want to type all that out. XD But yes, technically no genetic tinkering per se, although I think deliberately poisoning fetuses to adjust their mental abilities is pretty close.
posted by Scattercat at 5:24 PM on September 3, 2020

Just finished ep3. I'm hooked, but DoT's comments has me worried. I haven't read 'Brave New World' since I was probably 13 or so.

Absolutely gorgeous sets. Visual feast. The future costumes/ fashion aren't terrible (although high heels are still definitely a major thing). The setup/ worldbuilding is clever.

Harry Lloyd plays twit roles very well, doesn't he? The character has a really weird duck-walk. The scene were he bullies the young Alpha on the train was pretty damned redeeming. "Earn it."

Alden Ehrenreich isn't bad. I can see how he was cast as Han in 'Solo.'

Jessica Brown Findlay is very pretty without being a cardboard cut-out. I liked her in 'Harlots.'

Demi Moore. Wow. I really liked her in the role.
posted by porpoise at 3:48 PM on September 17, 2020

It must be on purpose, but it squicks me out that it appears that the majority of Alphas are male, as are the majority of Epsilons, with Betas being female heavy.
posted by porpoise at 4:05 PM on September 17, 2020

I ended up liking this quite a bit.

For me, this is a three part play with a different focus and style for each act. The Henry part is to establish setting, the John part as conflict, tearing down the social order, then the Epsilon uprising and the fall of social order.

No huge objection over the insertion of the cryo-sleep "overseers" thing, rebooting "cultures" of people without history trying for something "good."

Problem is that "good" isn't a very useful metric, and utopia by definition implies some some kind of (esasily disrupted) equilibria instead of a series of adaptations. Stagnant societies recursively regress.

I liked it's audacity, though, to extend the what-if of this bit of scifi. What if you came to grips with having been bred/ used as a lab rat in an experiment?

A detail that I really loved was when John threw his dad off the cliff; the entire Alpha habitat is built on artificial structures - the ruins of (a? more than one?) previous civilization shielded from the inhabitants' view.
posted by porpoise at 10:09 PM on September 17, 2020

See also: Peacock discussion thread on FF Talk.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:40 AM on January 4, 2021

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