Fox's folly: 'Utopia'

Thursday, 11 September 2014 05:16 PM Written by 


Fox's "Utopia" (8 p.m. Tuesday and Friday, WPGH), the network's new foray into reality programming, really ought to be called "Farming, Fighting, and Fornicating -- But Mostly Fighting."  

The premise of the show is that 14 participants -- they're not contestants because there are no winners on this show in any sense of the word "winners" -- allow themselves to be filmed 24/7 as they build a miniature society. A 15th participant will be added later, most likely in Friday's episode.

Read more after the jump. ...

The show's stars are the expected assortment of types chosen to maximize conflict: A minister and an atheist; an animal rights activist and a hunter, a woman who proclaims her desire to find a partner to practic tantric sex with. (Can you imagine the reaction in the casting office when the tantric sex woman walked in? Never in human history have the words "You're hired!" been uttered with such speed.) 

There was not much society-building in the first two-hour episode that aired Sunday. Instead, the participants erupted in a series of physical and verbal confrontations over such important social questions as, "Is it ok to eat the chicken we found dead in the coop?," "Why can't you turn off the @#$*@ hose?" and "Why can't I eat three meals per day, even though we're in here for a year and we only have four sacks of flour?"

Tuesday's episode, which saw a 43 percent ratings decline according to The Programming Insider, featured still more fighting -- a failure to order Ramen noodles threatened to become Utopia's assassination-of-Archduke Ferdinand moment -- and hints at fornicating between two settlers in a barn loft.

Fox executives could have saved substantial production costs and achieved basically the same boring result by filming 14 randy monkeys in a cage containing only 10 bananas.

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