Molly Jackson: Sci-Fi Screaming
This past week, I went back to my parents for Thanksgiving. One of the big benefits of that is the ability to watch TV. Yes, I said that. I went back to watch TV. I don’t have cable, and I’m lazy about downloading things illegally. So I spend a good chunk of holidays binge watching my parents OnDemand cable package. My parents seem to be fine with this. Seriously.
While I was there, I caught the first episode of SyFy Channel’s latest show, the futuristic Incorporated.
Incorporated follows Ben Larson, a young executive with a secret. He isn’t who he says he is. He is actually from the red zone, an outside district of the Spiga Corporation. He has secretly built a life in Spiga’s green (a.k.a. safe) zone, where he leads the perfect life and hunts for the girl he loves. What this show does a great job of laying out in the first episode is the future they envisioned. It is a world controlled by corporations, not governments. A future world where everyone either works for the corporate machine or lives in extreme conditions. A world where getting fired literally equals torture and death.
This show may sound eerily familiar, especially if you are an avid SyFy or Sci-Fi watcher. It is because it really is just the latest in a long and growing list of shows warning about corporate control. On SyFy alone, this is the third (at least, I might have missed one) currently in production. By the by, Dark Matter and Killjoys are both awesome shows and you should check them out. But these shows aren’t the first of the controlling companies in Sci-Fi. Weyland-Yutani, OCP, Tyrell, Soylent, GeneCo; the list can go on and on.
Entertainment, especially Sci-Fi, works to envision all possibilities for humanity as well as look at who we are as a people. Every story is informed by the current events of the world. So what does it say that we have a trend of corporate greed/government in our visions for the future? When you look at the Incorporated website, they include a “historical timeline” of how the world got to the corporate control in 2074 that the show revolves around. It was so realistic, so possible. It was terrifying.
Science Fiction has been warning about corporate corruption and unlimited control for decades. This isn’t a huge leap for anyone who has been watching or reading the news. The warnings are more and more frequent and obvious. The real question is, are we listening and learning?
In case you want to catch the first episode of Incorporated to see what’s to come, it officially premieres tonight at 10pm EST on SyFy.