This TV adaptation attempts to put a fresh spin on the dystopian, sci-fi drama genre. And while fans of Black Mirror, Westworld, and The Handmaid's Tale will note some familiar elements, Brave New World generally succeeds in charting new, if somewhat shallow, territory within the genre. The introduction of New London, a futuristic society that prohibits privacy, monogamy, and traditional family units, is immediately compelling, as is its strict caste system and reliance on antidepressants that are dispensed like Pez candy. That said, Brave New World also wastes no time showcasing its preference for style -- and sex -- over substance. If you're craving a deep, nuanced interpretation of the source material, you'll likely check out after the first orgy scene.
If you survive all the beautiful, writhing bodies, however, you'll find that the story gains steam when New London residents Bernard (Harry Lloyd) and Lenina (Jessica Brown Findlay) begin to question their place in this "perfect" society. Despite unlimited access to no-strings sex and happy pills, they're forever changed following a visit to the Savage Lands Adventure Park. A tourist destination celebrating the old/real world -- where visitors can watch reenactments of shotgun weddings and Black Friday shoppers assaulting each other -- the Savage Lands is also home to John (Alden Ehrenreich) and his hard-drinking mother, Linda (Demi Moore). The setup of both worlds, as well as their denizens' lives, provides a fantastic hook, but it's the consequence-filled convergence of the characters' paths that'll ultimately reel you in. While it leans more toward late-night guilty pleasure viewing than thought-provoking art, Brave New World still offers a satisfying binge that fans will eat up.