Brave New World recap: Yet another sexy dystopia series, but at least it’s fun

BRAVE NEW WORLD -- "Pilot" Episode 101 -- Pictured: Alden Ehrenreich as John the Savage -- (Photo by: Steve Schofield/Peacock)
BRAVE NEW WORLD -- "Pilot" Episode 101 -- Pictured: Alden Ehrenreich as John the Savage -- (Photo by: Steve Schofield/Peacock) /

Brave New World does not introduce anything new to the genre, but it’s fun.

Most people have heard of Aldous Huxley’s iconic sci-fi novel, Brave New World. Many were assigned to read it in school. Unfortunately, I was not one of those people and have not yet read the novel (although I did just order it on Amazon).

I want to preface this recap by stating that so you’re aware I will not be comparing this series to the book in any capacity. There are plenty of recappers out there who know Huxley’s story well and can offer you a more analytical compare and contrast of the two storytelling mediums, but here at Show Snob, we’ll be discussing the show purely based on what is presented by Peacock TV, where it airs.

Brave New World is yet another television series about a technologically-enhanced future, supposedly set in a utopia despite the obvious sinister undertones. It is impossible to discuss Brave New World without comparing it to other similar prestige television shows like Westworld, Black Mirror and the like.

However, to the show’s credit, I did find it more vibrant, splashy and humorous than some of the more somber, bleak sci-fi shows we’ve had in recent memory. Westworld is beautifully shot but extremely self-serious in tone. Brave New World may be able to strike out from the pack by leaning into the streak of humor present in the pilot and hopefully interwoven throughout the season.

BRAVE NEW WORLD — “Pilot” Episode 101 — Pictured: Kylie Bunbury as Frannie — (Photo by: Steve Schofield/Peacock) /

Brave New World: Introducing New London

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We’re introduced to several main characters and the riveting world of New London right away. For starters, there are three main rules to living in the upper echelon of humanity. You are not allowed to have privacy, family or to be monogamous.

There is also a caste system in place in New London. The Alphas are at the top, followed by the Betas, and then there are the basic everyday Epsilon laborers.

Also, anyone who feels even a hint of any negative emotion such as sadness, fear, or anxiety, need simply to pop a happy pill, called “Soma,” in this universe. Different colors seem to equate to different strengths. 

The episode begins with Beta Plus scientist Lenina Crowne (Jessica Brown Findlay) getting called in to a meeting with Alpha Plus Bernard Marx (Harry Lloyd). He warns her that she’s breaking rules and being selfish by exclusively sleeping with Henry Foster (Sen Mitsuji).

When Lenina denies this, Bernard simply pulls up a projection showing all 22 times she and Henry have had sex in the past few weeks, demonstrating the “no privacy” room. Everyone wears special contact lens that doubles as a way for them to be watched by the higher-ups.

After being admonished, Lenina chats with her close friend Frannie (Kylie Bunbury) about going out and shaking things up. She and Frannie attend a crazy party which quickly turns into a wild orgy (because, of course) and she gets it on with another guy while Frannie keeps Henry company.

However, while out, Lenina notices Bernard at the club, too. And he doesn’t appear to be enjoying the hot couple throwing themselves at him. He disentangles himself and leaves without having sex, which is strange for a New London inhabitant, especially a high-ranking one.

The reason Bernard is seemingly uncomfortable is due to an incident he discovered earlier that day. A day laborer is found dead by another worker named CJack60 (Joseph Morgan). Everyone wants to believe he just “fell” from one of the balconies but Bernard starts to wonder if something more sinister occurred.

If he did not fall, could he have jumped? Considering everyone is supposed to be happy all the time, the idea of suicide is unheard of, and certainly not something that would ever be revealed to the masses.

Bernard’s sole job was to show up to the scene and dispense soma to keep everyone’s emotional trauma from seeing the dead body at bay. But Bernard’s doubt becomes increasingly evident, to the point he gets paid a visit from the big boss. He’s not pleased with how often Bernard has been “offline” (removing his contact lens optical) lately, or his investigation into the worker’s death, which he confidently claims was only an accident.

Then, he tells Bernard that he’ll be sent on a non-optional vacation to The Savage Lands, but more on that in a minute.

Once Bernard is alone again, he receives a visit from Lenina. She calls him out for not giving into to the orgy earlier that night and he admits to her that he doesn’t feel like himself lately. He is starting to have doubts about the world order in New London, as is Lenina.

To try and appease them both, they create a projection of themselves having sex, although neither is sure if it will trick the people watching them. It looks like a  new friendship might have been formed between the two, or perhaps, something more.

BRAVE NEW WORLD — “Pilot” Episode 101 — Pictured: (l-r) Joe Anderson as Kyle, Lara Peake as Madysun — (Photo by: Steve Schofield/Peacock) /

Brave New World: The Savage Lands

The Savage Lands is considered a theme park to the members of New London. It’s kind of like a rundown, trashy Disneyland. In The Savage Lands, people do not adhere to the rules of the governing body of people.

People in The Savage Lands have relationships, get married, and even have children. That said, they’re all extremely poor and live in rundown communities far away from the glitz and glamor of New London. People out here don’t take soma,  they just try to survive, but they also have more freedom.

Here we meet John (Alden Ehrenreich) who lives with his odd recluse mother Linda (Demi Moore). We don’t learn much about Linda in the first episode, but it’s evident she has a story to tell, potentially something having to do with John’s father.

John is pals with a girl named Madysun (Lara Peake) who works as a “bride” at the park and wears a fake belly and everything. To keep the visiting New London members entertained, members of The Savage Lands make a mockery of their values, they revel in chapel weddings, misery, etc. all of the things that no longer exist and are highly looked down upon in  New London.

There is definitely a commentary to be made about how the upper-class view the world of the lower-class as a theme park to ridiculed and have fun looking at as long as they get to leave at the end of the day.

However, it seems there is a group of savages who want an uprising, although it’s not entirely clear what it is they want to change to hope to achieve. Madysun is part of the group and she assists in kidnapping John to help them make their goal a reality.

Since John has access to parts of the park the others don’t, they want to use him to help plan out an attack on the New London visitors. He doesn’t have much of a choice but to cooperate, especially when Madysun alludes that something could happen to him or his mom should he refuse.

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The entire first season of Brave New World is now available to stream on Peacock TV.