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Brave New World is good because every single adaptation of Brave New World — from the radio plays of 1956 to the 1998 TV movie starring Leonard Nimoy — all have one thing in common: They’re all better than the book.

Nobody can agree on the new TV series Brave New World. A smattering of reviews on Rotten Tomatoes will make you think this show is either Westworld for dumb people or a decent-yet-self-conscious remake of Logan’s Run — but with even more gratuitous nudity. But each new hot take about Peacock’s big sci-fi series kind of misses the point. Brave New World is good because every single adaptation of Brave New World — from the radio plays of 1956 to the 1998 TV movie starring Leonard Nimoy — all have one thing in common: They’re all better than the book.

Light spoilers ahead for Brave New World the novel (1932) and Brave New World Season 1(2020).

Two of the worst things that ever happened to science fiction were the words “dystopia” and “utopia.” The reductive nature of these words ruined countless discussions about different varieties of sci-fi and gave dummy intellectual ammunition to all sorts of debates about the meaning different sci-fi universes from The Handmaid’s Tale to Star Trek to Black Mirror to Brave New World.

Debating whether or not any science fiction falls into a “utopia” is pointless because doing so implies too much intent on the part of the creator. Brave New World is perhaps the best example of this: It presents a “Utopian” society that’s actually a “Dystopia,” making it both a study of so-called utopian ideals and also a critique of those ideals.

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