Once upon a time, a sadistic tyrant—mad with power and drunk on hubris—founded a totalitarian city-state just so they make a bunch of plucky teens perform in nationally televised dance-offs in their honor. Or, at least, that’s what appears to be the premise of Hulu’s new sci-fi show, Utopia Falls. It’s Step Up meets The Hunger Games over here in New Babyl, and that’s not even getting into the whole “Snoop Dogg voicing a cyber-library called the Archives” thing.
Mere words can’t really capture the sheer delightful WTF-ery of watching the Utopia Falls trailer for the first time, so we implore you to just click “Play.” Things kick off with a little bit of YA dystopia bingo: it would appear as though our heroes are forced to wear drab color-coded jumpsuits when not on-stage; their whole lives are spent training joylessly for this dance competition; there are false identities to uphold and family legacies to rebel against, etc. But then, two protagonists are sent a mysterious hand-written invitation, which leads them to a secret underground bunker, where they discover hip-hop for the very first time.
“Hundreds of years in the future, in the last living colony on earth, a city called New Babyl, twenty-four teenage candidates are chosen to take part in an annual musical competition known as The Exemplar. For all of them it’s a chance to write their names in the history books, but for Aliyah, the independent and adventurous daughter to a city government official, it’s the beginning of an incredible adventure. Through the discovery of a mysterious archive, she is exposed to hip-hop, an ancient form of music culture, which will lead her to question everything she has ever known and change her world forever.
The journey to unravel that mystery will play out over the course of the first season while our candidates prepare and participate in The Exemplar competition. Channeling the rebellious spirit of Hip-hop, Aliyah and her friends face off against the government for the freedom of the people in a finale that will rock the very foundation of their society, changing all of their lives forever.”
Utopia Falls arrives on Hulu February 14.