Friday, November 22, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Feed' - Technology Consumes the World in New Ways Thanks to the Hatfield Family in 'Episode 1'

Amazon's The Feed - Episode 1.01 "Episode 1"

In the near future, people's minds are connected to The Feed, giving them instant connectivity. When something or someone invades The Feed, its creator must seek the help of his estranged son.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the series premiere of Amazon's The Feed.

"Episode 1" was written by Channing Powell and directed by Carl Tibbetts

This drama depicts what could be the next evolution of human connectivity through the power and demand of technology. Lawrence Hatfield has created The Feed that provides humanity with access to everything they could ever need through an implant. Their minds are the ones controlling this new vision of reality. But it also allows people to share their own experiences in the hopes of creating a more welcoming and communal living experience. It's a piece of technology that has already dramatically changed the way that people live. Tom may be somewhat estranged from his family. He doesn't work at the family company. However, his profession is still defined by The Feed. He is a therapist who helps people who are too dependent on this piece of technology. It's a new form of addiction that has come to control people's lives. It can be healthy in moderation. People just need the right tools in order to embrace it all fully. Tom wants to help those in need. Of course, he may also be primed to see problematic patterns that exist within this programming. When he tries to get one of his patients to go offline, it seems as if he is having a seizure because his brain is so connected to The Feed. That's dangerous. Lawrence believes that his technology is perfect and cannot be abused or manipulated. No outsider can hack their way into The Feed and corrupt the system. He has developed everything so that it works flawlessly for every single person in the world. That's his grand ambition. And yet, there is the unnerving sense throughout this premiere that outside influence has already infected the product. Lawrence is doing his best to cover it up because he doesn't totally understand it. It's easy to blame the group of resistance because they stand as the fleeting remains of what humanity used to be. Sure, the underlying message of the central attack may be important. People can't get so caught up in the virtual reality of their lives that they avoid the destructive habits that their actions are having on the world around them. But it also presents as a personal vendetta against the Hatfield family. The story starts at Ben's wedding. He is attacked. Tom and Kate prevent the situation from taking a lethal turn. That begins an epic story of attraction that eventually leads to marriage and a baby. However, one woman doesn't feel in control of her actions. Instead, it was someone else in her head making her act a certain way. She is just as horrified by what she has done. That same concern is present in Moscow when Tom talks with Anton, a kid who murdered his father. A convenient story can be given to make it seem like the system continues to function properly. However, there is the ongoing concern that someone is manipulating the system in order to carry out this mass attack. No one is even sure that it is happening because they can no longer trust their memories. What's being stored may not be what actually happened. The Feed can promise an expansion of storage space for memories after the attack that cripples civilization. However, Kate's memory has been altered. She feared that something was wrong inside her mind and that something much more dangerous was going on. And yet, everything seems to change after giving birth. Even her own memory reflects her version of events. This can be a disorienting experience for the audience. One where we may ultimately have to question everything as it is being presented to us. And yet, that can create a captivating narrative as well. One full of deceit. One where tech executives are propped up as the salvation of humanity without any proper oversight to see just how dangerous their inventions can truly be. Everyone still supports The Feed. However, that may change the more destructive the various hacks become. Right now, a narrative of calm safety can still be maintained. Lawrence can ease Tom's concerns. But Lawrence is covering up plenty of things as well. This family has power and control. Tom may be free of them for the moment. But his life may forever be determined based on how The Feed has come to define life for all humanity.