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Electric Dreams

Streaming on Amazon Prime.

Metadata: 2018 | TV-MA | 10 1-hour episodes

Genre: Sci-Fi

Why did I watch: I was totally hooked by the snappy thumbnail (to your right), featuring Janelle Monáe as an android in a nest of pretty colorful wires. This is one of those times when the publicity image lived up to the reality. You might also like: While Electric Dreams has practically zero moments that I'd classify as horror and is overall more beautiful (i.e., Sony Pictures Television spent some major dollars on it), the Amazon series definitely owes a debt to Black Mirror, the OG sci-fi anthology, streaming on Netflix. Also: If you haven't already, go watch Doctor Who(starting with the David Tennant season) on Amazon Prime.


Get on board with this.

Electric Dreams slowly crept up on me, lurking unregarded on my Amazon Prime home screen for months before I decided to give an episode a try. IMHO, this is because the streaming platform's two-sentence description makes the series sound pretty dang boring: "a 10-episode sci-fi anthology series that journeys into unique worlds beyond imagination. Based on original short stories by the acclaimed author, each stand-alone episode . . .  provokes society's deepest questions about what it means to be human." Ok, whatever. I'll fall asleep now. 

And then I watched the first episode, "Real Life" featuring Terrence Howard and Anna Paquin and it was basically inception-style-virtual-reality-gone-wild. My brain literally hurt. I kept pausing to discuss with my partner. And the shots were gorgeous (with a few clunky visualizations, but nothing as bad as what's on SyFy so whatever). Honestly, I wasn't quite sure what I was watching but it felt good. So then we watched another. And another. And next thing you know, it was midnight and we were halfway through the series. 

It's hard to pick a "best," but my favorite was "The Hood Maker." No spoilers, but Rob Stark (whose real name I just learned is Richard Madden) is downright phenomenal in this episode, the least Electric/most Dreamy of the series. "Autofac" comes in at a close second. It's about a company that is basically Amazon ruining the world—so that fact that it's streaming on Amazon is the definition of meta. Oh, and this is the episode in which Janelle Monáe gives a spot-on performance of an android. (Fair warning: "Safe and Sound" and "The Father Thing" are both meh.)

I'd give this series an R rating for Really Wonderful/Bizzare/Beautiful.

Happy streaming!


This look: I am dead.


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