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
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