As a lover of comic books, I’m surprised it took so long for Utopia to end up on my radar. Now that it’s there, it’s easily one of the coolest shows I’ve watched all year. And given how much tv I’ve been watching recently, that’s a high bar.
Utopia was a dark, horrifying, fun ride that honestly hasn’t had a bad episode yet. I’m waiting for the next season. While we wait, let’s break down the first season of Utopia and talk about why it works.
Utopia is the story of a group of comic fans obsessed with a comic called Dystopia. They’ve all been waiting for a follow-up series, called Utopia.
But they’re not just waiting for the story. They’re waiting to see what horrific tragedy Utopia might predict. Because this group of online buddies doesn’t just love Dystopia for the story. They’ve spent years looking deep into the storyline and artwork for clues as to what’s going on in the real world.
This is something I think a lot of us think we want to happen. I’ve had fantasies of opening wardrobes to find new worlds since I was a child. Like everyone else, I find nothing but mothballs and old coats.
But what if I did find something? What if it turned out that your favorite fantasy world was real? I think most of us would find out pretty damn fast that we don’t really want that and we’d like to go back to our regular lives right now, talking animals or not.
That being said, it’s really fun to think about. And that’s where a lot of the enjoyment of this show comes from. It’s a very realistic view of what might happen if our conspiracy theories turned out to be true.
Another choice the creators made that worked well for them is to make the main character, Jessica Hyde, totally selfish and crazy. She is willing to do literally anything to survive, including straight up killing innocent people.
This was a brave choice. And it could have gone bad. I mean, we all love an anti-hero, but your MC has to be at least a little bit likable. That’s hard when your MC starts the series by shooting an innocent woman in the head.
And yet, in the way the story progresses, you don’t hate her. You understand where she’s coming from. Maybe you still don’t agree with everything she does. But you at least sort of understand why she did it.
Finally, Utopia managed to find the most perfect item that makes things go viral. It has an incredibly catchy catchphrase.
Stay alive, Jessica Hyde.
It’s a great line that gives a lot of information. Who’s our main character? Jessica Hyde. There’s some reason why she might not stay alive, but people sure want her to. It also sums up the biggest storyline for the first season. What does Jessica Hyde want to do? Stay alive. What does the bad guy want to do? Kill her. It’s a simple conflict that has a complex resolution. The best kind.
Altogether, this show was designed to draw you in, make you scream out loud, and wait with bated breath to see what happens next. Things we could all do well to remember in our own writing.
Stay alive, Jessica Hyde.
After a year of nightmares, Sennett and her family need a vacation. Together with Godfrey, they’ve faced assassins, killer AI dogs, mind-altering viruses and politicians. So they’re setting off for Station Central, the ultimate vacation destination with water parks, roller coasters, fine dining and the best hotels in the stations.
But they’re barely off the ship when Godfrey finds himself embroiled in Station politics that he can’t seem to avoid. Sennett discovers not one, but two people stalking her on the station. One of whom might have the secret to her birth family.
Through it all, Sennett and Godfrey are haunted by a darker set of questions. Where are the Hollow Suits, and what are they planning?