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This Crazy UTOPIA Series Sounds Like an RPG Come to Life

Take one part reality television, two parts Settlers of Catan, add a dash of Hunger Games-potential, and you have Utopia, an absolutely batshit-sounding reality monster set to air on Fox. From the mind of The Voice creator John de Mol, the series has already proven to have initial success in its original iteration in The Netherlands, where over 5,500 people auditioned to prove themselves capable of creating an entire civilization from scratch. Hello apocalypse obsessives, have we got a show for you!

The series throws its contestants — I’m sorry, “pioneers” — into a remote setting for a whole entire year, where they are tasked with creating this brave new world. It’s part social experiment, part role-playing game. Where all my Settlers of Catan players at?

Utopia will be the largest, most ambitious social experiment on television … [it] offers people from all walks of life the chance to start all over again and re-write the rules of civilization as we know it,” explained Fox EVP of alternative entertainment Simon Andreae. “It addresses fascinating and fundamental questions about human law, morality and social structures, wrapped in an irresistible and truly forward-thinking television format.” And that’s, well, putting it lightly.

If you thought the perma-airing ways of the Big Brother empire were intense, Utopia will likely trump them. The pioneers will be on-camera 24/7, with the whole thing streaming online in addition to the “hours” of primetime committed to the series. But where other shows focus mostly on a person’s ability to be edited down to an interesting character, Utopia will have to take actual skill into consideration, as the production promises that no outside intervention will be provided. Just like in a real live apocalypse!

Needless to say, the Lord of the Flies is strong with this one.


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  1. Roel Veldhuyzen says:

    I really hope Fox puts something awesome together. The idea is great, the way they sold it to us here (in the Netherlands) before they started sounded amazing. The reality though, is far from amazing.

    The whole thing seems to be a sham, a few of the ‘Utopians’ seem to be actors with specific ‘instructions’, though everyone obviously does his best to deny it, the fact that they were heard talking about it in the live streams is buried.

    The whole ‘start with zero and build your way up’ went out the window after the first few hours. They have electricity, a smartphone, an internet connection, gas and running water, they even – get this – got a lottery subscription! lol
    They also get tons of stuff donated by sponsors, like (power) tools and stuff like that.

    The program (as it is produced here in the Netherlands) is basically just Big Brother without the assignments, but where they had to build their own beds and fireplace… that’s it. It has nothing to do with surviving or building up a society.

    I sincerely hope Fox takes the amazing original idea (because the idea is amazeballs!) and puts together something that is all it can be, and all everyone expected it to be, if they do I’ll be watching the US version 🙂

    It’s also worth mentioning that the number of people watching the show here in the Netherlands dropped by a third(!) since it started three weeks ago. At this rate it is expected to be cancelled after being on the air a total of two months.

    Let’s all hope Fox makes this thing work! 🙂