Amazon Prime releases their new show “Utopia” with mixed reviews

Be advised! This article is not related to any actual, related or current events. This is a work of fiction. 

Or is it?

After a long day of Zoom-held classes, don’t we want to curl up on the couch, turn on a show, and distract ourselves from all of the chaos outside? But what if the thing we’re watching mirrors our reality a little too closely? Such is the case with Amazon’s new series Utopia, an American adaptation of the 2013 UK version. Utopia, created by Gillian Flynn,  depicts a conspiracy theory unraveling amidst a viral pandemic. Sound a little familiar? No doubt the number one thing on everyone’s mind right now is how COVID-19 is running rampant across the world, and particularly in our own backyard. The release of this show seems to have had the worst timing ever, he show began filming in 2018, finished in 2019, and premiered in fall 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Described as a “conspiracy thriller,” the series follows several individuals chasing after a fringe comic book that could give answers to ending an extinction-level pandemic. This comic book is sought after by both good guys and bad guys.  We have the pharma-doctor playing the evil nemesis and a love interest between two endearing characters. .The 50 minute episodes are fast-paced and sadly feel rushed, sometimes relying too heavily on violence rather than character development to drive the narrative. In fact,the hyper-violence often overshadows the storyline.It does have a cool Alice in Wonderland-esque twist involving the comic book the characters are seeking, with the White Rabbit being the evil character who will release the extinction-level disease and Alice as a gun-toting super-hero. I won’t get too heavy into the UK version description other than saying this cult classic is less violent and more analytical with character development a key factor and the storyline less trite.

So if you’re feeling the Zoom blues, give Utopia a binge, but be careful and prepared. The disclaimer is there for a reason.  More than the parallels that could be drawn between the show storyline and today’s life, the level of violence is intense. The show does hold up to other Amazon Prime shows like The Boys and is an interesting watch besides. Enjoy at your own risk, and always remember to wear your mask!

Authors: Janelle Fontaine & Shawn McCurry | Opinions Editor & Staff Writer

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