In praise of willful blindness
What will tomorrow be like? And when we say tomorrow, we mean tomorrow and the next 15 years. Is it something we can even imagine? Take a look at the drama series Years and Years by Russel T. Davies.
Fiction, as we know, often predicts what the future might be like. In Years and Years, the screenwriter Russell T. Davies depicts an English family, the Lyons, living in a near future that is torn between progressivism and conservatism — a post-Brexit UK that is turning its back on Europe and is all at sea in a new and emerging world. Set between 2019 and 2034, this fictional series tells the story of our blindness, lucidity, and responsibilities, and it leaves nothing out: our knowledge of the facts and ecological catastrophes; the rise to power of a dictatorship built on popular and populist foundations; lies and truths; blindness and incredulity; artificial intelligence and humanity; migrations and traditions; reality and reality TV; information and fake news; constructive debate and passive lucidity.
It’s interesting to observe how viewers react to the ascendancy of one of the principal characters, Vivienne Rook, a rebellious celebrity and populist, whose rise to power splits opinion and will wreak havoc on an entire country and the life of every one of its citizens. Until, that is, a sudden realization dawns: after a hard Brexit, the account of the changing political and economic situation up to the 2030s raises an important issue — we can’t say that the worst won’t actually happen. When did things start to spin out of control? When did we become aware of it? Where does our responsibility begin? Years and Years is part dystopia, part reflection on the evolution of the modern world — and it won’t leave you unscathed. Frankly, it shook me to the core.
To go further: Years and Years, created and written by Russel T. Davies