Brave New World: Season One Reeks of Originality

“Do you want to be happy, or do you want to be free?”

Photo+courtesy+of+IMDb

Photo courtesy of IMDb

Solomon Kenworthy, Web Editor

     Every great show, film, or real-life physical building, needs a good foundation, and this one is solid. 

     Brave New World: Season One was released on Peacock in 2020 and stars Alden Ehrenreich as John, Jessica Brown Findlay as Lenina, and Harry Lloyd as Bernard. Based on the book by Aldous Huxley, the show is set in a dystopian future where those in New London are all connected by the A.I. system, Indra. Life seems well until John, an outsider, disrupts the seemingly ‘perfect’ society. 

     Alden Ehrenreich, best known for his role as a younger Han Solo in Solo: A Star Wars Story, is fantastic; he adds much to the world around him and plays off the other actors very well. Ehrenreich’s performance didn’t feel like “watching young Han Solo,” but was fresh, original, and entertaining. He is the best part of the show, although it is noteworthy to add that all of the cast is great, including Ehrenreich’s co-stars Findlay, and Lloyd. 

     The show uses its rating of TV-MA to an extreme in every episode, although for the most part it legitimately matters and contributes to the story, as well as to help build the world. For example, when a character from New London gets shot and doesn’t react at first because they’ve never been taught what pain is. 

     Major parts of the story, and the show as a whole, deal with many real-world issues, which are dealt with very well. For example, there is a part in which they discuss how people from the past were glued to their phones and the impact that has on one’s social health. 

     A subplot throughout the show deals with the World Leader, Mustafa Mond, trying to learn more about Indra, and is easily the low point of the show. It does hold a purpose to the overall narrative, but until the season finale, not much is well-explained so it is simply confusing. 

     Something clever with the camera-work was when John is exploring New London for the first time, in the episode “Swallow,” many of the shots with him are mainly handheld, to give the impression that he’s more rugged, making him stand out more than everyone else. In contrast, the cinematography with Bernard and other characters from New London, are mainly shot with dollys, or tripods, to give a more clean and clear view. 

     The great costume designs also add to separating John from those in New London. For example, every time the characters go to a party, New London residents wear all similar clothing, but John wears mainly black attire to help him stand out. 

     There’s a lot Brave New World’s first season could build on, but what’s here is a great starting point. It is important to note, that you can still enjoy the show without having read the book beforehand. Hopefully, this show will get as much attention as John did when he first walked into New London.

 

[My Grade for Brave New World: Season One is a B]