Episode 1 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 9 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 10 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
I love dystopian fiction. Ever since George Orwell’s 1984, the sci-fi genre has attempted to replicate the excellence of that book, with Black Mirror and Years&Years coming close to achieving those same thought-provoking chills in recent times. The Feed then feels like a natural progression of these concepts, taking the best elements from both shows and spinning it into a methodically paced, cautionary tale about our reliance on technology and the dangers we face if it all goes wrong.
In our ever-digitalised world, The Feed is a frightening concept and shares a lot of similarities with Black Mirror’s “The Entire History Of You”. Here, we arrive at a time in our future where everyone is connected to The Feed, a device that allows all thoughts, feelings, emotions and senses to be shared with one another, all through a handy implant which connects to a worldwide Cloud. At the centre of this near-future world are the dysfunctional Hatfield family. Lawrence is the brain-child of the concept and oversees his company with steely, cold determination while his son Ben does his best to try and mirror his Father’s icy demeanour.
Meredith acts as the public persona and negotiator fronting the company while rebellious Tom does his best to distance himself from his family’s work, turning his back on the company and instead working as a Feed psychologist; a job that sees him working with people struggling to disconnect from this ever-connected world. When the family learn of a hack in the infrastructure of The Feed that threatens to disrupt everything they’ve built, they’re reluctantly thrown together to try and get to the bottom of who’s behind this.
Blending sci-fi with a familial drama, The Feed settles into a consistent rhythm around its midway point after some early season action and tension, building up to a dramatic penultimate episode where the horrifying truth behind the hacks are revealed. All of this crescendos in a dramatic conclusion that leaves the door wide open for a possible second season, with many plot threads left dangling and the future of our characters unknown.
Interwoven around this main plot line are various subplots that shine light on the darker side of this concept. Danny’s obsession with The Feed takes him down a dark path before rising to redemption, while Eve and Max find themselves dragged into the hacker situation in the worst possible way. There’s also another plot line surrounding Resistors, offering yet another level of depth to the series. I won’t divulge what happens in any of these plot lines of course but suffice to say The Feed doesn’t waste many of its characters during the 10 hour-long episodes. If I have one gripe here though it comes from Danny who I feel isn’t quite utilized to his full potential. Given the ending though, this could easily be rectified with a second season though.
Aesthetically, the show looks great and the constant point of view shots really help bring you into this world. There’s some neat shots that use black and white nicely too, especially around the midway point of the show, as one particular character stands in darkened hallways looking into a brilliantly white room – a clever play on good and evil. It’s these small touches that really help the show stand out and this extends to the musical score too.
Minimalist techno and low rumbling string segments really give The Feed a sense of dread through every episode, while the glitches and echoing, antagonistic laughter for one character’s Feed really shows how dangerous a hack could be if it really happened.
While I personally felt there were a few too many melodramatic twists with the family, for the most part these are pretty surprising and throughout the show there were some genuinely tense and shocking moments that kept me on the edge of my seat. While the midway point of the show inevitably drops in pace, the end picks things back up for a dramatic crescendo that makes this a show well worth sticking with for the long-haul, especially for the shocking conclusion.
As far as dystopian fiction goes, The Feed is a frightening, all-too-real concept brought to life with chilling detail. The characters inhabiting this world may not quite reach the same memorable heights as other shows have achieved, but a story rife with tension and thought provoking questions surrounding the danger of our ever-digitalised world more than make up for this. As we become more and more engrossed in social media and our online personas, The Feed is a humbling shockwave back to reality and a cautionary tale well worth checking out.