Review of "Utopia" on FOX From The TV MegaSite
 

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"Utopia" review by Sundi 9/9/14
Airs Tuesdays and Fridays on FOX

In all honesty, I thought Fox’s experimental new show Utopia was going to be gimmicky and hokey and bore me to death, and it kind of did. But I’m intrigued by the unique premise, and I applaud anything that looks different than everything else on TV right now, and this show does.

 

Fifteen “regular” folks are picked to live on four acres of land for a year, without any existing rules or systems of government. The ideas is that these fifteen folks will establish their own version of a utopian society, making way for a new and innovative version of society. The problem is, everyone’s ideas of what utopia is are very different.

 

For instance, Preacher John came to Utopia to spread the gospel and baptize as many of his fellow castmates, but he immediately runs into problems with ex-con Dave who’s Utopia is not a Christian society. Preacher John spends a good deal of his time averting his eyes, covering his eyes, and asking God to protect him from the crazies around him.

 

Then there’s Josh, a ham-fisted, meat-headed general contractor who might be a sexual predator, but picks the wrong girl to cross when he tries to kiss Hex, uninvited. She’s a six-foot tall Amazon wannabe who’s handy with a bow and doesn’t mind getting drunk-sick on national television the first night the show airs. Amanda, on the otherhand, is a sassy behavioral specialist from Seattle, who is trying to hide her pregnancy (inexplicably) from the rest of the residents, and refuses to abide by the two-meal-a-day rule.

 

There are weirdo hippies, dorky young professionals, toothless rednecks, angry black men, and a bunch of naked women, so there’s no surprises in casting. THe characters are pretty one-dimensional, performing the shallow stereotypes we’ve come to expect from shows that feature the “strangers in a strange place” premise. The individual characters are the least interesting part of this show.

 

However, what I do find most intriguing about this show, is the lack of real purpose in its trajectory. There are no competitions, no exhibitions of talent, and no one getting voted off by the viewers. Its just a bunch of folks living together, trying to get along while they do some really hard and uncomfortable stuff. And I am fascinated by this.

 

The premiere was two hours long, which was about 45 minutes too long for something like this, and the editing could use a little smoothing out, but if you are like me and have a little bit of a voyeur inside you, then this show is for you.

 

If you don’t like constant bickering people losing their marbles regularly, then you shouldn’t watch this show. Also, beware, there is quite a bit of bleeped out cursing and blurred out nudity.

 

For more of my thoughts and opinions about the shows I watch, visit my blog at Entertainment Weekly’s The Community

 


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Page updated 9/11/14

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