Where is Jessica Hyde? This is the question which ran through my mind the entire first season of UTOPIA. Looking through Netflix for something to watch, we thought we’d give it a shot, purely on a whim. It was such a gem that we couldn’t believe we’d completely missed it coming out in 2013. Surprisingly none of our friends had recommended it to us. . After the opening scene, we were hooked. Like a shot of adrenaline, we had found our fix, the sheer, unrelenting pace of the first season is astonishing. We felt like we were running a sprint and just couldn’t stop, we blasted through the entire first season (six episodes) back-t0-back in one night.
UTOPIA takes no prisoners, you’re thrown into the deep end, catching up with a story that’s already been playing out for the last 30-something years. A global conspiracy (I’ll be careful not to give too much away), involving many victims, who were simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. The death toll each episode is unreal, it’s gruesome and there are a couple of scenes that have haunted me since we started watching. Easily the most disturbing scene on TV I’ve seen was when one of our hapless victims ends up being tortured at the hands of a devilishly stylish, but twisted mind. One thing you don’t want to hear when you’re strapped to a chair, in a bomb shelter while being asked where Jessica Hyde is, is that your torturer’s preferred method of extracting information is your eyes. Rolling out a cup of sand, chillies, and a spoon. The scene is beyond disturbing to watch, it still gives me shivers thinking about it. But that’s UTOPIA for you, it won’t leave you. It’s pure addiction.
It’s got the hallmarks of a cult classic – insane characters that (hopefully) could only exist in such an bizarre universe. All played over a soundtrack that’s equal parts haunting and catchy. We’ve now finished the second season, sadly there’s only two. But like a cult classic, I’d much prefer two intense, rich, compact seasons; over an additional drawn out, confusing, money spinning seasons. If you’re still in two minds about UTOPIA, just ask yourself, do you like Black Mirror? Then you’ll dig UTOPIA, I guarantee it.