Dystopias to Dive Into to Escape This Dystopia
I awoke hangry, hungover, and disturbed by the intense nightmares and dreams I was having—the dreams and nightmares we've all seen a rise in due to the pandemic. In the dream, I accidentally used hand sanitizer as face moisturizer and then squinted my way into Trader Joe's, sporting my Rick Grimes overgrown beard. My fellow humans, like Vitamin D deficient zombies, reached apathetically for their sustenance. I ran back, locked my front door, and hibernated, snuggling deeper into the safety of AMC’s dystopian dramas. These shows have helped me escape reality so much, that I've ironically felt like I was on a Buddhist retreat (obviously balanced with a healthy mix of trashy reality TV).
Everyone everywhere is questioning the future of dystopian fiction within our newly minted dystopia. I see a huge future for it, and here's why:
You’ll often find me running through the streets like Forrest Gump screaming about how much I love an anthology series, and Soulmates (already renewed for a second season) has me hooked.
According to Greek mythology, humans were originally created with four arms, four legs, and two faces, before Zeus came along and cut us into separate parts so we would have to spend our entire lives finding our other half, our soulmate. Soulmates, set in the near future, puts an end to the tireless searching with ‘Soul Connex,’ a company that claims it can scientifically match you to your soulmate.
Sound like a red flag? Another false promise from a dating app? Like a recipe for hacking disasters? Also, a recipe for crazy stalkers? A bummer for polyamory, spontaneity, and the mystery of the chase? If you’re answering my questions with a nod, then your eyes will widen and your ears will prick up from the addictive drama of Soulmates.
I awaited Season 2 of this show like I waited with bated breath for every episode of Buffy, which is a very good sign. People are eating up this British, Oxford-based witch show like a buffet of fish and chips. Personally, I'm feeling beautifully full by its magical charm. I was a massive fan of the ‘All Souls Trilogy’ books, which the series originates from. I read them in one week following the journey of its unravelling protagonist Diana Bishop. From Diana's captivating and complex denial of her superpowers, to her journey of acceptance, I was transfixed—meanwhile battles of vampires, witches, and demons serve as its rich backdrop.
With enough interweaving plots to make Shonda Rhimes jealous, its twists and turns kept me on my toes, so much so that my jaw nearly dislocated with how many times I was wide-mouthed in shock. It has everything from a handsome British vampire (if that's your thing), an insane amount of red wine (or is it blood?), and a musical score that I now play loudly as I wander the empty streets of Manhattan trying to make everything seem magical.
The Walking Dead was the show that got me and my last boyfriend through the first lockdown. When the 10 seasons we ‘AMC and Chilled’ ended, so did we. Now I’m rewatching from Season 1 and doing a post-mortem of each episode with my grandmother over Skype. Let me tell you why I think a 90-year-old woman is loving a post-apocalyptic show about zombies and using it as a tool to escape her 'awaiting-vaccine boredom'—as she says, "It’s just a show about people trying to find a safe home."
We've all seen post-apocalyptic shows before, but TWD's tenacious survivalists, lingering air of hope, detailed special effects, and dedication to its comic book roots, are all a part of what keeps this show, no pun intended, alive.
Although not a totally invented dystopia, this beautifully brutal show kept even me (an easily distracted viewer), literally on the edge of my seat. I then fell off said seat at the end of its whirlwind 90-minute pilot.
I’m originally a ‘Cockney,’ born on the same streets as famous Kray Brothers gangs, so I sound like the cast of this show and Adele mixed together. When I moved to New York, people often asked me for subtitles for my accent, and people are genuinely asking for them with Gangs Of London so they're not lost in translation. Even if you can’t understand a word the actors are saying, the fantastical fight scenes, and the beautiful cinematography will make your heart beat so fast that you won’t even need to do that boxing home workout to combat those extra pandemic pounds.
As we follow rival gangs trying to figure out who's an ally and who's a snake, the hot-headed gangs make you feel like you're watching The Sopranos hopped up on energy drinks—and that's a compliment.