Peacock’s ‘Brave New World’ proves adage ‘Don’t mess with success’


Screen capture from Peacock's 'Brave New World'

Alden Ehrenreich stars as John the Savage in ‘Brave New World,’ a nine-episode series on Peacock. His introduction to the futuristic city of New London threatens the stability of life in the dystopian society. The series is an adaptation of the Aldous Huxley book of the same name.

Alyson Swenson

Nearly 90 years after Aldous Huxley published his dystopian novel Brave New World, Peacock, NBC’s newborn streaming service, has decided to put its own twist on the story by transforming the novel into a drama series. However, these modern changes have caused the plot to go astray from the original 1930s story, leaving fans to comment on this new take – both in a negative and positive light. 

The series opens in the peculiarly happy town of New London, a city of the future where – thanks to technology – people have a letter that floats above their head noting their position in the social hierarchy. Bernard (Harry Lloyd, Game of Thrones) has had no problem living the easy life as his prestigious A+ puts him on the top of this pyramid. His status grants him several privileges that others will never get the chance to experience, and it is through these many experiences he meets Lenina Crowne (Jessica Brown Findlay, Downton Abbey), known best for her looks. Inevitably Bernard finds himself attracted to the B+ technician, but he is faced with losing her to the looming threat of an outsider to this utopian society, John (Alden Ehrenreich, Solo). Through their several interactions, the three characters explore their identities, history, and romance only to find that maybe life in futuristic New London isn’t so great after all.

The dystopian town of New London has, without a doubt, been reimagined into something much more modern than the source material. This refreshing take has allowed viewers to see what once was words come to life, thanks to the help of show creators Grant Morrison and Brian Taylor. The colors and vibrancy of each episode, along with the meticulous attention to particular scenes is impressive. To execute such a job is done with several tactical choreography choices, or just by simply zooming in the camera lens. It all adds to the thrill of the show.

Yet, the “thrill”  of this show for many is, undoubtedly, the heavy, heavy focus on the sexual relations of the characters. With so many distractions in, unfortunately, almost every episode, it’s hard to grasp some sort of meaning from the show, which inevitably leaves the viewer to wonder what the whole point is in the first place. Surely, the budget of $100 million was not used just to create a bawdy show with a dystopian twist.

If you dig the whole “Real Housewives” vibe where a nebbish guy goes around trying to find his desirable sexpot, then go ahead and try this out. I can’t help but think, though, that Aldous Huxley, as we speak, is rolling in his grave. I think he’d be the first to agree with the Catcher in the Rye’s quote, “Certain things should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone.”