Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Next - FILE #1

The opening episode of Next brings together FBI Agent Shea Salazar (Fernanda Andrade) and brilliant but disgraced tech billionaire Paul LeBlanc (John Slattery). She'd rather be finishing a case her team has worked on for the past year. He'd rather be doing almost anything else. However, the suspicious death of Salazar's mentor (John Billingsley) makes LeBlanc believe his former company has dusted off an Artificial Intelligence project he destroyed his reputation to keep under wraps. Branded as "Next," LeBlanc believes it took deadly action in attempts to keep its existence a secret.

"FILE #1" offers the kind of vague anti-technology themes which will likely give conspiracy theorists raging hard-ons. The show's villain is nearly omniscient, and apparently has little value for human life or compunctions about using a child as a method for leverage over her mother. While the episode jokes about robots from the future and the like, in application the Next intelligence acts much more like the evil force behind the Final Destination franchise by finding patterns and weaknesses and exploiting them as needed. Despite of LeBlanc's fancy talk, the opening episode doesn't break any new ground where the genre is concerned and I'm not sure it offers enough of a hook to bring me back week after week to see how the story unfolds.

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