Series Review | Utopia: Perfectly Timed & Relevantly Infectious

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American drama web series Utopia review is here. The upcoming series adapted by ‘Gone Girl’ fame Gillian Flynn from the 2013 British original is scheduled to premiere on September 25, 2020 on Prime Video. The adaptation stars Sasha Lane, Rainn Wilson, Desmin Borges, Javon Walton, Dan Byrd, Christopher Denham, Cory Michael Smith and John Cusack in pivotal roles.

Watch the official trailer of Utopia: When the conspiracy in the elusive comic Utopia is real

Utopia Review

So, it’s been more than six months to the deadly Corona Covid-19 pandemic and still we are locking/unlocking our hopes. Remember, during the early days of lockdown we all searched for Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion and said Hey… how can this be true… on celluloid nine years ago.

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Now, The Gone Girl fame Gillian Flynn in Amazon Prime’s Utopia Season 1 – the Gillian Flynn’s adaptation of the cult British revolution in Channel 4 history made in 2013 reforms it into an American version and adds his grittiness to the original dark black and brutal disaster thriller series.

The creator of Utopia Dennis Kelly’s idea of a group of comic book nerds – a group of misfits who come together to expose a grand world disaster as they are chased by deadly forces is a perfect template for superhero, sci-fi, and/or a disaster movie.

Gillian Flynn Utopia Amazon Prime Video Still
Gillian Flynn Utopia Amazon Prime Video Still

The original 2013 version remains a stunner and unfortunately it didn’t get much wind in its wings to fly more seasons. The Gillian Flynn version stays true to the original and adds some elements of Gillian Flynn.

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The huge challenge for Gillian Flynn was to make the American version of Utopia better or different from the original. The result is different in some portions but not better.

But how many of us have watched the 2013 cult? The majority of the audience may not be even aware of the Channel 4 revolution in 2013 which was more deadly and violent with serious complaints about some objectionable contents regarding children.

Thankfully, the latest version by Gillian Flynn helmed by Toby Haynes (4 episodes), Susanna Fogel (3 episodes), J.D. Dillard (1 episode, 2020) stays away from getting into that ugly debate again and restructures itself into a black, gritty, disaster thriller, comedy drama.

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The series opens with these comic book nerds aka “fanboys” who believe the prequel to Utopia, Dystopia, predicted real-life epidemics. The comic book nerds are led by Samantha (Jessica Rothe). Ian (Dan Byrd), a mysteriously infected Becky (Ashleigh LaThrop), and a complete comic book freak Wilson Wilson (Desmin Borges) meet up as they sense a chance to get their hands on the much-awaited sequel. Their seven-year-old obsession to grab the future edition of the cult graphic comic might be in their possession. A preteen Grant (Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton) comes into the picture unaware that a mysterious organization who will eliminate whoever comes in the way of getting a hand on Utopia comic makes this brutal, dark and deadly.

As the hunt for the original manuscripts of Utopia begins, the real-life version of the comic’s protagonist, Jessica Hyde (Sasha Lane) comes in and the series then takes a serious turn.

Slowly it holds you as new twists emerge in the conspiracy as Dr. Kevin Christie (John Cusack) and Michael Stearns (Rainn Wilson) emerge while Chicago is under threat from a deadly ‘flu’ virus from bat.

Things get excitingly taut in this reboot now with the soft-spoken psychopath Arby (Christopher Denham) gets busy in his spine-chilling killing spree to increase your pulse meter while on the other hand Jessica Hyde (Sasha Lane) along with the comic book nerds is on the hunt for her father.

The performances are extraordinary in tune with the atmospheric background score by Jeff Russo and bright cinematography by Shawn Kim (8 episodes), Stephan Pehrsson (5 episodes, 2020) make things pleasantly glossy.

Utopia Final words

Gillian Flynn’s American version of the cult 2013 British original may not be a revolution but it’s certainly a perfectly timed & relevantly infectious on-screen realization of the world pandemic disasters like the current Covid-19. Though the author got seven episodes out of eight to review, still establishes a gut feeling and reincarnates hope. It’s so ironic that the importance of good or say the concept of Utopia depends on the existence of evil. As said earlier, many of us have not seen the 2013 original that makes this Amazon Prime Video version created by Gillian Flynn a perfectly timed dark, gritty, black & brutal disaster comedy drama. It talks about pandemic, viruses, bats, rabbits, flu, quarantine, vaccine, fear and hope. Going with an extra for the perfect timing and subject matter.

pic/poster courtesy : Amazon Prime Video

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