“In a dystopian future” is something I’m so tired of reading when it comes to a new synopsis because then it becomes a matter of discussing why that certain project is different than the others. Honestly, most are not that different. There’s always some kind of metaphor in place of modern political climates along with an uncomfortable look at gender roles. Some have succeeded in this subgenre, such as The Hunger Games and, more recently, the Hulu series The Handmaid’s Tale. Some people forget that the Mad Max series was doing this before it was cool and goes unappreciated as a great example of a unique look at a different type of future.
AppleTV+ is one of the latest (and many) streaming platforms attempting to convince consumers to sign up for their service. They’re taking a unique approach by utilizing completely new content and hiring high profile Hollywood stars to grab your attention. Not a bad way to get people to shell out five bucks a month, but the content is limited as of now and I’m sure what’s currently available wasn’t cheap to produce. One of these is the Jason Momoa starring series, SEE.
SEE is set in a dystopian future where an unknown virus has wiped out most of the world’s population. Those who survived are blind and we get to watch them utilize their other senses to continue as a still divisive society that’s vicious and odd. There’s the Payan Kingdom that’s run by a queen who uses masturbation as a method of prayer, something we have in common. Queen Kane (Sylvia Hoeks) runs a tough rule and pursues her own agenda before her people, a “kingdom run by a broken heart” one character states rather beautifully I must admit.
It can be difficult to follow sometimes, but I’m assuming Kane has a connection to Tamacti Jun (Christian Camargo), leader of the Witch Finders. OK, so the Witch Finders are exactly what the name says, except witches are seen as those with the capability of sight. They burn the witches ala Salem Trial style as they fear that they have a power to be feared, like maybe seeing the truth?
Momoa plays Baba Voss, leader of the Alkenny Tribe, who takes on a wife that is pregnant with someone else’s baby. It’s unclear if this is a sign of blind compassion or if the story didn’t have room to build up the conflict a situation like this typically causes. Regardless, she gives birth to twins that can see. This is kept a secret from others for the most part but the Witch Finders catch up to them by episode three where the twins are already teenagers. One thing SEE is really good at is showing us how their ability to see can actually be a weakness for them as they don’t utilize their other senses as well as the others.
The twins discover books and learn how to live and fight the way others can’t. For example, they are experts at hunting with bows and arrows, a great silent killer that comes handy against the Witch Finders. While the show loves to focus on how the twins are introduced to an alien architect like roller coasters, and Baba Voss wonders why tree bark is banded to make a book, it gets tiresome quickly and one can’t help but inappropriately laugh. It’s not one laughing at their circumstances, but rather that we keep seeing this over and over in movies and shows a lot in the last few years. For example, the amusement park where they hold an orgy to reproduce new blood is referred to as a dance fest. However, the art design is supposed to be gloomy and jaw-dropping, but instead actually looks like the Chicago set pieces from the Divergent series.
SEE is conflicting as the overall arc is what drives the show. How are the kids able to see? What caused this virus that led to this future? Also, what’s the story behind the twins’ biological father who leaves vague clues about where they can find safety? It all gets dragged across the episodes and I don’t know how this can continue on a season to season basis. It definitely works as a miniseries, with an actual conclusion, but audiences can quickly spot a flake after the finale of Lost. The first four episodes of SEE are now available to stream on Apple TV+. Additional episodes roll out weekly, every Friday.