Amazon’s new series The Feed takes a skeptical look at humankind’s reliance on technology to deliver a dark future where the convenience of ultra-connectivity may be humanity’s downfall. Technophobia is nothing new in film or in television, though the concept was given an Emmy-winning sheen when Charlie Brooker’s acclaimed anthology Black Mirror started winning trophies about as frequently as Facebook gets embroiled in another data sharing scandal.
Since then, it seems the doors have been opened for more and more series to explore the world’s increased dependency on technology, and the potential dangers that lurk in the idea of too much connectivity. The tendency to be extremely online continues to burn people out in increasing numbers, well, when it’s not turning them into empty husks of their former selves. As such the premise for The Feed seems not only eerily like the aforementioned Black Mirror, but, like that series, it also feeds (sorry) into some of the most frequent concerns about the always-on lifestyle and the need for Big Tech to push boundaries without necessarily considering (or caring much about) the potential downsides.
To that end, The Feed, which is based on the novel by Nick Clark Windo, makes its argument by taking things to a disturbing extreme. As if the notion of everyone being connected wasn’t frightening enough, the utter lack of privacy becomes shockingly violent when a computer virus affects those in the feed, turning them homicidal, whether they want to be or not. Check out the trailer and a synopsis for The Feed below:
"In the near future, a high-tech implant connects our minds to “The Feed.” Every interaction, emotion, and memory can be shared instantly. Tom (Guy Burnet) and Kate (Nina Toussaint-White) are a young couple trying to resist their addiction to tech. Tom’s father, Lawrence (David Thewlis) invented “The Feed,” and his mother Meredith (Michelle Fairley) is the CEO overseeing its daily operation. When strange and violent things begin to happen to its users, Tom must do all he can to protect his wife, Kate (Nina Toussaint-White) and baby daughter from his father’s twisted creation. The Feed tells a very human story about survival, family, and the lengths that you would go to protect the ones you love.”
Though the series bares more than a passing resemblance to Black Mirror, it’s more than a little ironic that Amazon would want to deliver a show about the pitfalls of technology and the lack of privacy (“Alexa, what is the definition of eavesdropping?”) by taking it to an almost apocalyptic extreme. That aside, the series looks like it will be an entertaining technophobic nightmare, one that includes the welcome presence of David Thewlis as a tech genius who’s hell bent on getting the masses to adopt his latest invention.
The Feed premieres Friday, November 22 on Amazon Prime Video.