Brave New World could easily be renamed ‘Timid Old Rehash’ after this adaptation. Ok, this may be a bit harsh, but here at Must TV we believe that if you’re going to bother doing an adaptation, do it properly. NBC’s new US streaming service, Peacock, has got hold of Aldous Huxley’s 1932 dystopian novel and has done what American streamers love to do: thrown a load of money at it, added some extravagant sex, and made it look pretty.
To be fair to them, in a story about a world where monogamy is banned and pleasure is prioritised, this might not have been a bad idea. The problem is, they’ve forgotten to include the elements that made the novel a classic. Like the reasons why their society is like this, and what the people living in it actually think of it. Essentially, all the grit and gristle of Huxley’s novel has departed, maybe to an even braver, even newer world? But we should mention the positives: the costumes look like they’re fresh off the runway, the scenery is sublime and the special effects are otherworldly.
In the New York Times, James Poniewozik says this Brave New World “is populated with flat characters,” and says “we’re left with an unsexy portrait of decadence, a thriller without thrills.” The Rolling Stone’s Alan Sepinwall isn’t convinced by it either – he says, “all the ideas feel old and not nearly as deeply considered as the creators think.” The Independent’s Ed Cumming feels the show has the look of “a high-concept Center Parcs advert”. And what, you might say, is wrong with that?
If you’re looking for a hedonistic, riotous romp, visit this Brave New World.
First shown September 2020. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.