Travel Documents 81: Incorporated

Incorporated

Creators:

 David PastorÀlex Pastor

 Link To Watch

Genre: Near Future, dystopia, cyberpunk

The Dust Cover Copy

From Producers Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, Incorporated holds up a mirror to our increasingly corporate world. Set in a future where companies have seemingly unlimited power, Incorporated centers around Ben Larson, a young executive who risks everything to infiltrate the all-controlling corporate world and save the woman he loves. In the process, he will take on the entire system — with deadly consequences.

 

The Scene

World building

Oof. Heads up everybody, this one’s intense. It’s also incredibly good. A lot of it made me sit there grinning as a creator, saying ‘oh that’s…that’s an awful thing to do to a character…oh that’s…genius’
In the year 2073, America is in ruins. While this Syfy drama executive produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon might be fiction, it’s so well-made that it can’t help but feel true. The world is broken into Green Zone people–the upper class–and Red Zone people–refugees living in dilapidated FEMA tents and whatever they can cobble together. Reds have almost no chance to get into the green, and the chances that are available can and will kill you.
There are no good choices in this world. You can submit. You can scream. You can sell yourself. Or you can subvert it all and give up your name, your family and your friends to become something new. If you have the brains.

…or the guts.

The Crowd

Characterization

Storytelling and acting weave a masterful net around your heart. And then the net’s pulled tight, and your heart gets shredded. All the characters have moving motivations, poignantly realized aspirations and morally complicated choices. The characters are people we can understand: a father trying to protect a child. A woman who wants to be of some use in the world. A girl who wants a life worth living. A boy who wants to love a girl, then to find her. Every one of these characters feels like an individual, and the world they live in is breaking them all, one way or another.
And yet, there’s always just enough hope to keep the characters–and us–going, one more day. One more step. One more breath. And every person takes their chance.

The Lingo

Writing Style

Written in a well-blended balance of interpersonal scenes and action, this story creates an ever-present sense of tension; of things just barely holding on, just this side of breaking down. We get a sense of the world through well-crafted details; the little news-bite about Canada building a wall to keep out refugees. The firefighter who doesn’t stop a building burning down, because the owner hasn’t paid fire insurance. The technology that’s used with casual familiarity. The fear-based efficiency of Red Zone people working as servants in Green Zone homes. The terror in the eyes of characters when the security forces walk by. And all these details weave a fabric of intense, quiet tension. Everything hangs on the next disaster. The next bad day. And any day could be the last. That tension ramps up until you’re on a knife edge, hoping and praying and hustling right beside the characters.

The Moves

Plot

Full of twists, turns and moral ambiguity, this story draws you in. But it never lets you get too comfortable. Never lets you forget that there are complexities and dangers. Never lets you relax.

 

Overall Rating

A dark, powerful and lushly imagined future, it’s a story worth watching…and one we should all work to avoid living.