Through a mirror polluted: Extrapolations

Remember when Don’t Look Up came out, the 2021 satire by Adam McKay about climate change and the way humanity deals with the crisis? Climate change activists generally praised it, conservatives of all stripes berated it for being propaganda, and film critics by and large disliked it as a film. I was largely in the third of these camps: while I agreed with the underlying sentiments, I found too much of the film smug and happy to preach to the choir, and I simply didn’t see much reason to be smug about a film designed to get those people nodding who were already nodding, while being pretty much guaranteed to put those off who weren’t already among those nodding. To my mind, Don’t Look Up was best where it dropped its lazy, easy-target satire (no matter how deserving that satire might be) and went for anger instead of smugness. (Which isn’t to say that I can’t imagine a better, more successful climate change satire than Don’t Look Up, but that’s a different topic.)

Extrapolations, an anthology series by Apple TV+ mostly forgoes the satire, but like Don’t Look Up I am largely in agreement with the thinking behind it. More than Don’t Look Up, though, it fails as activism as well as storytelling – sometimes disastrously so.

Continue reading