Meryl Streep, Sienna Miller, Kit Harington, Edward Norton, Diane Lane, Daveed Diggs, Matthew Rhys, David Schwimmer, Keri Russel, Marion Cotillard, Forest Whitaker, Tobey Maguire, Heather Graham, Judd Hirsch
March 17th 2023 (Apple TV+)
There is no doubt that the world is getting warmer, and most of us have realized that it is largely due to our industrialization of the planet. Many have lost faith in the ability or willingness of world leaders to solve the challenges, and climate summits are often met with protests and ridicule. In the meantime, we are losing flora and fauna at a pace not seen since the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
Extrapolations tells the story of our future if we continue on our course of inaction when it comes to the climate. It is a realistic and credible story seen from different perspectives in society: religion, politics, family, technology, and desperation. The series is presented as an anthology where we meet several different characters from various backgrounds and cultures. The common denominator is how they live their lives, or simply do what they can to survive, in a world on the brink of ecological collapse.
We meet the eccentric technology mogul Nick Bilton (played by Kit Harrington), a Musk-like billionaire who preaches his technological solutions to all of the world’s ecological problems. We meet marine biologist Rebecca Shearer (played by Sienna Miller) who works to preserve the last animal species on the brink of extinction. We meet Rabbi Marshal Zucker (played by Daveed Diggs), who tries to preserve his temple against flooding. We learn more about stories of technological dependence, unbridled capitalism, ecological destruction, cultural differences, and political drama.
Series creator Scott Z. Burns has assembled a group of actors rarely seen in the same series. In addition to those I have mentioned, we meet Meryl Streep, Edward Norton, Forest Whitaker, Heather Graham, Toby Maguire, Cara Gee, Marion Cotillard, Matthew Rhys, and many others. Since this is an anthology series, most actors appear in only one or two episodes, but there are a few exceptions.
Each episode is titled after the year the events take place, which is an effective way of telling such a story. Here we see the development of both technology, global warming, and their impacts on society very clearly. We start in 2037 with climate protests and desperation due to the lack of action from world leaders. The story continues to 2046, 2047, 2059 (two episodes are set in this year), 2066, 2068, and finally 2070.
Extrapolations is a special and important series. It falls under the drama genre, but Scott Z. Burns has made a great effort to teach the viewer about the dangers of climate change and global warming in a highly engaging way. It’s easy to care about the different fates we encounter, and even though it’s a drama, we move into several other genres such as comedy, thriller, and action. Each episode is its own story, but each episode is also influenced by what happened in the previous one.
This way of telling the story of our potential future is effective and hard-hitting. In most cases, it works well, but as with the character-driven drama Extrapolations, it depends a lot on how much you like certain actors and how well they pull you into the story. They all do a good job, but some episodes are obviously better than others. But all in all, this is a cracking good and thought-provoking series.
In Extrapolations, we meet people who are torn between hope and desperation. Is it worth fighting for the world we have, or should we just give up? What if you could go into some kind of hibernation and only be awakened if the world is a better place? What would you do? Is it worth fighting for a world many of our leaders seemingly don’t give a damn about? Or are you just waiting for others to solve the world’s challenges for you while you continue to live as you always have, unwilling to sacrifice any of your daily routines?
Extrapolations is a series with an agenda. But it’s an agenda we should all be on board with now.
«No, what bothers me is hypocrisy. What bothers me is wanting comfort and ease and then being outraged by its real cost.»