Monday, August 3, 2020

What I’m Watching: Brave New World

Brave New World: Season 1, Episode 4 “Swallow” (B)

This episode, like the one before it, felt very expository, and I’d prefer there to be more action and substantial development. There are enough people in New London who have some concept, however vague, of what life before, or currently in the savage lands, was like, and so the way that John is acting should make sense to a degree. Instead, he’s roaming around outwardly expressing a resistance to the way of life he’s being told is normal while everyone acts surprised that he’s not conforming when he couldn’t possibly understand what a world that devalues his connection to a parent is. Bernard seems simultaneously obtuse and curious, insistent that he has a relationship with John that makes him uniquely qualified to help him but also clueless about why his perception would be the exact inverse of how he reacted to being a tourist in the savage lands. Lenina is expressing more understandable difficulty reacclimating, which has to do in part with the trauma that she endured. It’s interesting to see that this dystopia has thus far cast as its most dangerous villains the people closest to humanity today, not the ones who want to control thought and free action. I think this show will become more enthralling and compelling when it moves to a focus on how those in power, like Mustafa and Henry, exert their influence over others to try to brainwash them and quell them with those drugs everyone so freely pops at the first sign of a stressful or disquieting thought.

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