A dystopia refers to a community or society that is undesirable or frightening. Kind of what we are dealing with right now. It literally translates to “bad place” and means the opposite of utopia and is often characterised by dehumanisation, overly sh**ty governments, environmental disasters and the expected decline in society – you know, such as people hoarding toilet paper and hand sanitiser for no logical or apparent reason.
Relax, I’m not here to preach to you. We’re going to be fine. How do I know this? According to Time magazine, streaming was already up by 13% last weekend! It means people are heeding the warnings by self-isolating and keeping a safe social distance. And that was before the 21-day lockdown was even instituted! Yay, us!
So let’s have a look at some dystopian movies and series to stream on Showmax to keep you out of harm’s way for the next three weeks.
Any place where you come across strict religion, autocracy, unnecessary and cruel punishment, virtually zero women’s rights and terrible uniforms that you are forced to wear will classify as a dystopia. Welcome to Gilead.
You have a samurai, an evil shape-shifting wizard, travelling to the future where everything is terrible and one douchebag is in complete power. Hang on, this almost sounds like a grown-up cartoon version of Handmaid’s Tale…
Reads recipe for disaster out loud: Set at the intersection of the near future and the reimagined past, explore a world in which every human appetite can be indulged without consequence!
George RR Martin scoffs at your idea of dystopia and gives you seven of them! Winter is literally coming. Set in the mythical continent of Westeros, several powerful families fight for control of the Seven Kingdoms. With power comes conflict and with conflict comes massive wars, dragons, a lot of evil people and yes, a boob or two can’t be unseen, but the rampant nudity hardly makes up for all the evil in this here place.
Alternate histories seem to be a recurring golden thread in a lot of dystopian fantasy series. As do masked vigilantes and outlaws. Here we get to see that against the background of white supremacy.
Think: cyber security threats, vigilantism, global dominance and the will to take down evil, corrupt corporations – from the perceived safety of the shadows and anonymity.
Instead of alternative histories or the future, what about a parallel 21st-Century Britain where black people, called Crosses, rule over the lower-class white population, called Noughts? I can hear people in Fourways collectively going “naught, bru!”. Don’t worry, dude, despite the challenges racial segregation presents, two people from opposite sides do fall in love.
In the not-too-distant future, vampires have come out of the coffin and roam the Earth as humans’ mortal enemies. However, a substitute has been found for human blood – True Blood. Now humans and vampires can co-exist in harmony, and even form relationships like the peeps from Noughts & Crosses.
Not to be a Debbie Downer, but these events did actually really take place and this series dramatises the catastrophic explosion of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant back in 1986.
In the future, an experiment for unlimited energy goes horribly wrong. Now it’s up to a pilot to not only keep his family alive but also save the rest of the world. Not to be confused with Chernobyl – they were just managing regular good old nuclear energy.
In the year 2019 (hey, that’s already in the past!), a plague has transformed almost all humans into vampires (didn’t happen IRL!). Faced with a dwindling blood supply, the fractured dominant race plots their… hang on a minute – this sounds like True Blood? I better watch it to just double check…
Sent back from a dystopian world to 1984, machines have conquered the entire world. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays the role of the indestructible cyborg-assassin known as the Terminator and commences his deadly mission to kill humankind’s most important woman: the unsuspecting Sarah Connor, played by Linda Hamilton.
It is the year 2045 and the real world is a sh**ty place. Wade Watts only has any feelings at all when he escapes to an immersive virtual universe (Oasis), where most of humanity spends their days. Here you can go anywhere, by anyone and do anything. The place was created by an eccentric billionaire who left his fortune and total control of the Oasis to the winner of a three-part contest he designed to find a worthy heir.