Yes, we are inundated with streaming options.
Instead of the promise of all of our content being easier to navigate, not to mention less expensive, there is more to keep track of than ever before.
NBCUniversal's Peacock arrives to the public on Wednesday, July 15. Free for all with ads, to watch their originals, you'll need one of their premium plans. One has ads, and the other is ad-free.
We know services are always worth the additional cost for the ad-free versions. After all, with all the content available, time is essential.
But is one of the premium tiers worth the extra money?
Upon launch, there will be four scripted originals for adults.
They include Peacock's flagship show, Brave New World, based on the novel by Aldus Huxley, The Capture, a conspiracy thriller from the UK, Intelligence, a comedy from Nick Mohammed starring David Schwimmer, and Psych 2: Lassie Come Home.
We will have a full review of Psych 2 on Wednesday, but today we'll give you a rundown on the other three scripted ventures.
Having read reviews going into the series, I had very low expectations for Intelligence.
Nick Mohammed created this series in which he also costars with David Schwimmer.
Schwimmer is Jerry Bernstein, an NSA agent assigned to work with the UK's Government Communication Headquarters. He's a fish out of water not only because he's no longer in his home territory, but also because he hardly seems interested in surveillance of any kind outside of the office.
Intelligence is a workplace comedy, and it takes place almost entirely in the GCHQ offices.
Schwimmer gives Jerry a Michael Scott or David Brent vibe as he spends time flaunting his importance in his relatively unimportant position, urging the unit chief, Christine Clark (Sylvestra Le Touzel), to make changes that will keep him out of hot water and his mysterious background a secret.
To do that, he enlists the help of Mohammed's Joseph, and they become a duo of ineptness.
The cast is relatively small, but very few characters are fleshed out. The show runs about 26 minutes for six episodes, which isn't a lot of time to dig deep into what makes each character tick. There are some rather ridiculous tropes, but there are laugh-out-loud moments, too.
Jerry's first interaction with Joseph is both politically incorrect and embarrassingly funny. It was the first laugh of many throughout the series.
You're not going to ponder the events of Intelligence with your friends, but you might find a good meme or two, and in 2020, and all we really need from a comedy is to relieve some stress (especially at someone else's expense).
In that regard, Intelligence delivers.
Interestingly, Mohammed costars in the upcoming Apple TV+ comedy Ted Lasso, which is also a workplace comedy.
In three episodes, it shows a lot more heart than what manages to deliver in Intelligence, but maybe he'll score higher marks for Intelligence Season 2, as the comedy has already been renewed.
2.75/5 ⭐ Stars
Another British import, The Capture, isn't one you'll quickly shake.
This drama has a similar theme to Intelligence, but they aren't messing around.
The Capture has an impressive cast, including Holliday Grainger, Callum Turner, Laura Haddock, Ben Miles, Paul Ritter, and Ron Perlman.
The action centers around Lance Corporal Shaun Emery, a Special Forces soldier accused of a war crime in Afghanistan of which he's acquitted relatively early on.
His celebration is short-lived, though, when he's spotted arguing with his barrister, who subsequently disappears.
What follows is a fast-paced conspiracy in which Emery is fighting for his life, half the time not believing that the events he recalls are the way they unfolded.
In short, he didn't do it. Or did he?
But there are extenuating circumstances at play and a pang of residing guilt after his previous acquittal that makes him ripe for the mystery.
Grainger stars as Inspector Rachel Carey, who is tasked with charging Emery in the kidnapping and murder of his barrister.
The real fun starts when she begins questioning Emery's case. There's something about the guy that presses her to dig further, and she (and Emery) never see what's coming next.
If you like whodunnits that keep you guessing and enjoy the idea of Big Brother watching and manipulating your life, then you don't want to miss The Capture.
The finale is top-notch and had all of the UK battling out whether it was the best or the worst. When something can drive that much controversy and conversation, you know they're onto something.
The Capture will make you question everything you believe you know to be true, as it gives credence to fake news and media manipulation.
Originally designed as a closed-end limited series, The Capture, too, has already been renewed for a second season.
3.5/5 ⭐ Stars
Brave New World
Although this isn't a British import, it is made in conjunction with Sky One, and the cast features a lot of Brits.
Brave New World and 1984 get a lot of attention as each dystopian noel shares similar themes, including a world shaped by weapons of mass destruction leading to the eradication of history and the loss of personal freedoms.
While 1984 imagined the end of sexual liberties, in Brave New World, meaningless sex is one of the foundations of their society. The 1984 world is dark and devoid of pleasure; the Brave New World is bright, jovial, and driven by the pursuit of pleasure.
Simply, Brave New World provides a more pleasant environment for long-form television.
There are some marked differences between the novel and the series, although most of the characters are recognizable in this story of a society praising itself for achieving utopia, all the while keeping their populace so drugged and preoccupied with mindless pursuits that they have no time to consider the alternative.
Social status is predetermined in the womb.
They've banned monogamy, family, money, and even history itself while making it your social responsibility to have sex with as many people as possible to ensure the happiness of others above your own.
Happy pills called Soma, with colors for every occasion, are doled out like candy.
For fun, the elite citizens of New London the Savage lands. It's a tourist destination in the midwestern US that makes light of the customs of the past with cultural plays on monogamy, religion, and prisons.
New Londoners have been conned into believing life without free thought and love is beautiful. Science has cured them of disease and given them all good looks.
But what Brave New World reveals is that when free thought is introduced into their world, even soma can't brighten the darkness that begins to envelop their awakening minds.
Three characters take center stage: Alpha Plus Bernard Marx (Harry Lloyd), Beta Lenina Crowne (Jessica Brown Findlay), and savage John (Alden Ehrenreich.
Bernard and Lenina's trip to the Savage lands finds them facing danger for the first time as their unblemished reality is under direct threat from people tired of being used for their entertainment.
The trip puts them in contact with John and his mother, Linda (Demi Moore), the two people instrumental in cracking the walls of their social prison.
It's John's presence in New London that tips the first domino, threatening to topple their "peaceful" existence.
And lest you want to pin 2020 political leanings on the Brave New World canvas, it's not that simple. No side has the formula right and left and right lean into the dangers of dystopian existence.
Like The Capture, Brave New World is begging for discussion, and there's a lot to unpack.
It's unpleasant when you think you have the key to a happier future only to see the pitfalls of your endeavor.
That enlightenment is what makes Brave New World compelling entertainment.
4.25/5 ⭐ Stars
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Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on X and email her here at TV Fanatic.