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It’s now become an outdated cliché that technology is getting more encompassing in our lives. The videogame franchise Watch_Dogs took that concept to its frightening yet sometimes funny limit. While acclaimed TV series Black Mirror has been highlighting the terror behind upcoming tech for years now. It seems that not much can be said on the subject, yet in 2018 YouTube Premium took a more light-hearted take on the technocratic future by creating a hypothetical city of the future, where some modern problems still bother the supposedly enlightened populous… A place called Weird City.
In the early and eerily close future is the city of Weird. The city has a big Berlin Wall inspired divide between the two sections, one side populated with the Haves; Rich, privileged, typically civil-minded And the Have-nots; poor menial workers for the Haves. The first season pits six stories of life in the city of Weird. Season one shows off six stories following these people. As anthologies come, and anthologies go, there have certainly been stranger concepts.
The show isn’t as doom and gloom as the plot description presents, with Weird City more of a jokey take on these dystopian tropes and everyday anxieties of living in a digital World. The Haves aren’t presented as cruel and wicked monsters, more misguided with more money than sense. The problems presented in Weird City feel all too current. Social responsibility comes up, the concepts of belonging and health and fitness are a central issue in the second episode and the show even goes fully meta with its last episode’s show within a show within a VR headset.
The show’s modern humour speaks to a hipper young crowd, a crowd that likes its humour quirky, that said the show’s vibe may not appeal to everybody, but as with many anthologies, it is hard to write-off every episode as each one handles a little differently. A lot of big names from endearing Sci-Fi shows and Millennial pop-culture are prominent in each episode. Levar Burton plays a prominent role and Michael Cera shows up for major parts. Mark Hamill even puts his talented voice in action when he dons the personality of a possessive H.A.L inspired homestead.
As creative anthologies go, Jordan Peele has been hitting them out of the park with his reboot of the Twilight Zone and now Weird City. Though it isn’t a sobering wake-up call nor is it an entirely light-hearted celebration… it’s just weird. For a futuristic vision of life to come, it certainly feels relatable. A nice place to visit nonetheless, though we soon may be living there.
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