Once you get past Timothy J. Sexton’s overwhelming versatility in writing (alert: sarcasm) and the staggeringly awful tagline of “The next endangered species is us”, the Lottery offers a surprisingly satisfactory insight to a world where infertility has struck all women.
Dr. Alison Lennon (played by
Sarah Polley Marley Shelton) is one of the top researchers in the country on fertility. She discovers early on in the episode that her team has successfully fertilized 100 human embryos, something that hasn’t happened in the last six years. Excited about future prospects, her hope to continue her research is instantly crushed when the government swoops in and takes over. She’s fired and banned from her work, causing her to take extreme measures to make sure her research is continued.
It’s hard to pinpoint where Dr. Lennon stands on the moral scale. Yes, it’s admirable that she’s fiercely dedicated to her work, but to what lengths will she go? She illegally notifies one of the donors of the breakthrough, steals from an ex-co-worker, trespasses into a government facility to steal one of the embryos. All for reasons I have yet to fully understand.
But… why? For ‘science’? All because she thinks ‘something is going on’? That the government’s acting all shady? Since when do they not?! Even when the Chief of Staff, Vanessa Keller, extends an olive branch to offer Dr. Lennon her job back, Dr. Lennon panics and runs away. Her intentions are unclear at best, but I’m sure that’s something we’ll know more of as the show goes on.
On the governmental side of things — with the discovery of fertilized embryos, everyone’s got their panties in a twist about whether or not to reveal the information to the public. On one hand, if they keep things under wraps — impregnate female soldiers, use military protection — they’ll have total control of the situation. On the other hand, they could potentially reach out to the public by hosting a national lottery, so that every woman in the country has a chance to be a surrogate. And in the process of doing so, calm everybody the fuck down, since protests are a daily occurrence at this point.
Of course, not everything as black and white as they make it seem. Vanessa, whose brother is a shady fertility drug dealer, seems to have a hidden agenda, one that she’s keeping from everybody, including the President.
Kyle Walker (Michael Graziadei, if you wanna Google that shit), a scruffy, blue-eyed, handsome son of a bitch, plays the fiercely protective father of Elvis Walker, one of the last six children to be born on Earth — appropriately named the Last Six. We don’t find out much about Kyle, except that he’s supposedly a computer technician, and spends his work hours banging hot women that are ovulating. Hard life, I know.
As Elvis is one of the country’s youngest children, his health and safety come under the scrutiny of the Department of Humanity. Kyle, a single father with a reckless and alcoholic past, isn’t exactly the most ideal parent. Kyle misses picking up his son one afternoon and Elvis is taken away. Fatherly instincts take over, and Kyle rescues/kidnaps his son from the hospital, causing an Amber Alert to be sounded.
Let the record show: I fucking hate TV kids. Either they’re acting abominations, or they’re abominations at acting. None of these kids behave like actual kids. Trust me, no ten year old is delivering quippy remarks at an adult’s adult problems. They’re dealing with their stupid ten year old, fifth-grade problems like “Suzie ate my Doritos” and “I pushed Suzie down some stairs and not everyone is happy I have no idea why”.
So can I just say how refreshed I am to see that the Lottery portrays children like REAL CHILDREN? Elvis is bullied by the older kids, the mothers coddle him until he’s uncomfortable, and his father’s willing to put a bullet in anyone who tries to harm him. And what does little Elvis do? He wears a superhero mask. Because he’s scared. That, my friends, is what children do.
If I see another horrible ABC or NBC faux-child faux-act I will literally punch a hole through my TV with my skull.
Anyway, rant aside, I wouldn’t say I have high hopes for the show, but I’m definitely intrigued. Every character is shrouded in mystery and questionable morality, which is always fantastic to watch. And don’t mind my jab at Timothy J. Sexton earlier. Versatility’s great and all, but if you’re good at something, you should do that something. And as a huge Children of Men fan, I am super glad that we’re seeing more from him.
As Aleida from Orange is the New Black says, “Babies give you hope.”