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Dystopia – ‘As seen on TV’

Setting the scene for TEDxBrighton 2017 and ‘Society’s search for Utopia, TEDxBrighton volunteer and long standing team member Hillary Rock-Archer, explores the darker side of our neo-politcal/digital/intergalactic futures through the medium of popular TV shows!

Dystopian fiction is having a moment on screen. So if you’ve been asking yourself ‘what if’, ‘what next’ or ‘what the f*%k’, one place that might have the answers is Netflix. Or whatever your stream or screen of choice. So help you along with your ‘dystopian binge-fest’, here are my four faves on the box right now. 

 1. Black Mirror creator, Charlie Brooker, sums up this year’s TEDxBrighton theme with his most recent season of the show. His satirical take on the possibilities of a science-fiction dystopia shine a bright light on the dark side of our technologically-driven lives. Each stand-alone episode twists reality in a knowing way, Brooker warning “they’re all about the way we live now – and the way we might be living in 10 minutes time if we’re clumsy.”

2. House of Cards blurs the lines between fictional political drama and real-life white house WTF. Season 5 of the hit political series mirrors the Trump administration in a number of eerie ways. The series ultimately encourages viewers to question their own complacency in the current political climate of chaos, fear, ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’.

3. And who could forget the animated duo exploring infinite intergalactic realities, Rick and Morty. Follow their escapades in alien realms and alternate dimensions as they scramble through disturbing, bizarre and downright dangerous (but not-too-distant)  situations.

4. What’s a dystopian tv show list without mention of The Handmaid’s Tale? Based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel, Elizabeth Moss stars in this often too-close-for-comfort story of life in a fundamentalist regime. This gripping series explores the what-ifs of religious extremism, population decline and militarized elitism.

Whether you’re searching for a utopian wonderland, or simply looking for a glimpse of good, this year’s TEDxBrighton will leave you feeling hopeful, inspired and equipped enough to challenge these fictional dystopias.

Leanring more about how we are exploring the fine balance between in Utopia and Dystopia at TEDxBrighton 2017 in the latest blog from my team mate Joe, you can read it here!