The Society (Netflix) 10 May

mtenga

Distinguished Member
Intelligent and modern Lord of the Flies type show. Heavy on relationships and light on Scifi but enjoyable nevertheless. Couldn't help but chuckle that the small town America setting was called West Ham.
 

Stockholm

Distinguished Member
Was recommended this show due to its depiction of psychopathy, something I have an interest in, and despite a wobbly start (first two episodes are too focussed on teen melodrama rubbish), I'm really glad I stuck with it as I now look forward to discovering what happens next after every episode. It's much darker and more screwed up sometimes than I expected from a teen sci-fi drama.

Its depiction of psychopathy is so far some of the best I've seen in any TV show or film. The antisocial character in question not only possesses the traits required to diagnose antisocial personality disorder but the actor playing him really sells it through his performance and dead-eyed smirks. Edit - Oh, and the female victim's point of view is, unfortunately, authentic to real-life experiences and downright chilling.

Some of the writing his more sophisticated and erudite than I would have expected from a teen drama as well. They tackle mental illness, the notion of justice and jurisprudence, policing society, criminology, division of labour, governance, and more. Not in any depth of course but enough to be engaging and of service to the plot at least. It also has its fair share of cheesy lines and scenarios, though, but then again they're writing not only for characters who are teens but teens that aren't in Kansas anymore and have no parents, normal society and other adults to rely upon.

Possibly worth checking out if you can make it past the first two, maybe three episodes and fancy a modern and light sci-fi take on Lord of the Flies.
 

encaser

Distinguished Member
I started this but don't think finished it - nice anecdote?
All I can recall is the town closing off and raising eyebrows at the teen drama. Perhaps I got to episode 2, quit and it has the angst-ridden (annoying) teen from Supernatural.
I got this confused with that supernatural witch/werewolf or such college based thing also on NF!
May revisit...
 

Stockholm

Distinguished Member
I started this but don't think finished it - nice anecdote?
All I can recall is the town closing off and raising eyebrows at the teen drama. Perhaps I got to episode 2, quit and it has the angst-ridden (annoying) teen from Supernatural.
I got this confused with that supernatural witch/werewolf or such college based thing also on NF!
May revisit...
When it's all about the teen drama (mainly sickening teeny relationships) it stinks the place out, but when they focus on how a group of teenagers would organise society and attempt to enforce rules against pampered kids and solve quasilegal problems it becomes intriguing. The sci-fi side of the story has been so fleeting so far that I can't really say much about it. That's a huge weakness for it so far as it essentially boils down to a shifty-looking dude in the background of some pictures, although the teen boffin Gordy did come up with some interesting observations about the constellations halfway through the season.

It delves into areas like torture, extralegal detention, allocation of scarce resources, dictatorship vs democracy, and more juicy scenarios. The acting is pretty decent for a teen drama and some of the nuggets of wisdom the kids come out with offer at least interesting insights into how they think society should be governed. Sometimes I'm thinking nice one Seneca, and at other times you shake your head at the way the female leader reacts to problems and the conflicts of interest she doesn't excuse herself from, but that's to be expected for someone so young.

I'm nearly finished S1 and look forward to seeing how bad it'll get for them. If I was her I think I would have gone Stalin on their asses and either gulaged them or starved them to death for being a bunch of whiny prats.
 

Stockholm

Distinguished Member
Polished off S1 the other day and thought it finished on a tense note. The psychopath is a compelling villain, one of the best I've seen in anything this year. If you identify one and have evidence demonstrating their antisocial behaviour you can't allow them to participate in society. They must be isolated and ostracised otherwise their manipulative and antisocial ways has a pernicious and nasty effect on relationships and society.

Felt angry watching the finale, both for the way the psychopath's machinations have caused pain, suffering and divisiveness between people that had been getting along and working for the benefit of one another until he wanted his girlfriend back (he doesn't give a crap about who's in charge as long as he gets his way - and his property, i.e. the girl) and for how easily the group was manipulated by him. It could easily have been avoided if they discussed Campbell's diagnosis (something disclosed by his brother earlier in the season) and how it's likely to cause chaos among the group.

That psychopathic smirk is unnerving. Great job by the actor.

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Really looking forward to S2.
 

encaser

Distinguished Member
Polished off S1 the other day and thought it finished on a tense note. The psychopath is a compelling villain, one of the best I've seen in anything this year. If you identify one and have evidence demonstrating their antisocial behaviour you can't allow them to participate in society. They must be isolated and ostracised otherwise their manipulative and antisocial ways has a pernicious and nasty effect on relationships and society.

Felt angry watching the finale, both for the way the psychopath's machinations have caused pain, suffering and divisiveness between people that had been getting along and working for the benefit of one another until he wanted his girlfriend back (he doesn't give a crap about who's in charge as long as he gets his way - and his property, i.e. the girl) and for how easily the group was manipulated by him. It could easily have been avoided if they discussed Campbell's diagnosis (something disclosed by his brother earlier in the season) and how it's likely to cause chaos among the group.

That psychopathic smirk is unnerving. Great job by the actor.

View attachment 1344031

Really looking forward to S2.
Depends how antisocial that behaviour is; considering it;s estimated a large number run the world in various authoritative guises, without breaking (or evading) social or criminal law keeping.
You've piqued my interest further, so this will be back on my radar.
 

Stockholm

Distinguished Member
Depends how antisocial that behaviour is; considering it;s estimated a large number run the world in various authoritative guises, without breaking (or evading) social or criminal law keeping.
You've piqued my interest further, so this will be back on my radar.
Yeah, you're right. Was too absolute there by condemning them all. As you said there's a lot of them about using various degrees of antisocial behaviour to accomplish their goals regardless - and sometimes because of - the cost to others, serve their ambitions and sometimes just destroy people's lives for the fun of it. It's the ones who shun prosocial behaviour altogether and who use their psychopathy like an evil superpower to position themselves in authoritative roles and careers who pose the biggest risk to society. When they undermine the communities they're in and harm people on a repeated basis then perhaps the only way to deal with the issue is to turn them into a pariah. The really bad ones seem to be beyond the powers of rehabilitation, whatever that may be.

George Soros is often used as an example of a contemporary antisocial personality who wields power and exhibits psychopathic traits but shields himself from scrutiny as such via philanthropic acts.
 

encaser

Distinguished Member
The lack of comprehension of threat in the future sense to their lives in detention etc. is what usually gives the criminal element away. Most can only 'see' and/or realise so far.
There's plenty out there that fit more into sociopath realms than psychopath but either never get evaluated , or, misdiagnosed.
The Louis Theroux child killers two part doc' is really good in showing how kids from around teen age can be extremely dangerous and their idea of the intra- and interpersonal world.
 

encaser

Distinguished Member
OK. I binged 8ish of these and at times wondered why, whilst others thought that was a decent line and turn of events.
If you can get beyond the lead actress being bit of a one trick pony (with the odd growth) and the dribbling out of our resident psycho that is the most interesting character, then this runs along fine beyond episode 3 (as our sole resident fan, @Stockholm says).
The concept of control is balls (or is it vagina?!) with the assumption one minute of how it goes from the females fearing the males and their innate caveman tendencies to literally using sex as their power, strapped with a rationed rationality. On the one hand, it had me laughing at its absurdity but on the other, thinking, yeah, that pretty much happens as is.
There are a few quite daring and dramatic set pieces within; that albeit often borrow from elsewhere, make them sufficiently their own.
Netflix are doing the usual here though, have lots of sweary youths and realistically expected nudity in sex scenes but then turn it into an AMC-like outing and deny it with bras/clothing during sex and introduce the swear box. I found it too obvious and irritating that they go from having so much adult language that it actually felt forced in most sentences, to suddenly having have some word power, But thankfully at least, those set pieces arrive in which adult language is needed for realism and included with some strong content that would challenge other channels as to whether to allow them.
One thing though, since seeing and hearing Preacher's Arseface character; the deaf youth in this sounds so much like him, it is too close and at times funny to take him seriously. It's a shame, as he is clearly their double token character being deaf and gay with some heart felt scenes that just had me flashing to Preacher and hearing insults calling him out.
This is obviously a Lord of the Flies with the battle of the sexes twist, in which democracy again takes an inconvenient backseat in the main. But it does have some well developed angles and a surprising range of looking at aspects of emotion, sexuality and social and moral control from all sides. It raises bigger issues of democracy, dictatorship and hegemony too. And of course, repackages them with questionable youth desires, decisions based on revenge, power grabs and fear and that ever present threat of hedonism and subjugation to fulfil whatever emotion is leading the way. Or, lack of emotion in the case of the resident psychopath that they do so well with, right up until they gave him the teary need for the other - Americans!
I haven't quite finished this (will it make me as angry as @Stockholm...I sense an edit coming) but It appears clear where season two will go and with carriers of a certain appendage being at the helm this time around. Let's see...
 

Stockholm

Distinguished Member
OK. I binged 8ish of these and at times wondered why, whilst others thought that was a decent line and turn of events.
If you can get beyond the lead actress being bit of a one trick pony (with the odd growth) and the dribbling out of our resident psycho that is the most interesting character, then this runs along fine beyond episode 3 (as our sole resident fan, @Stockholm says).
The concept of control is balls (or is it vagina?!) with the assumption one minute of how it goes from the females fearing the males and their innate caveman tendencies to literally using sex as their power, strapped with a rationed rationality. On the one hand, it had me laughing at its absurdity but on the other, thinking, yeah, that pretty much happens as is.
There are a few quite daring and dramatic set pieces within; that albeit often borrow from elsewhere, make them sufficiently their own.
Netflix are doing the usual here though, have lots of sweary youths and realistically expected nudity in sex scenes but then turn it into an AMC-like outing and deny it with bras/clothing during sex and introduce the swear box. I found it too obvious and irritating that they go from having so much adult language that it actually felt forced in most sentences, to suddenly having have some word power, But thankfully at least, those set pieces arrive in which adult language is needed for realism and included with some strong content that would challenge other channels as to whether to allow them.
One thing though, since seeing and hearing Preacher's Arseface character; the deaf youth in this sounds so much like him, it is too close and at times funny to take him seriously. It's a shame, as he is clearly their double token character being deaf and gay with some heart felt scenes that just had me flashing to Preacher and hearing insults calling him out.
This is obviously a Lord of the Flies with the battle of the sexes twist, in which democracy again takes an inconvenient backseat in the main. But it does have some well developed angles and a surprising range of looking at aspects of emotion, sexuality and social and moral control from all sides. It raises bigger issues of democracy, dictatorship and hegemony too. And of course, repackages them with questionable youth desires, decisions based on revenge, power grabs and fear and that ever present threat of hedonism and subjugation to fulfil whatever emotion is leading the way. Or, lack of emotion in the case of the resident psychopath that they do so well with, right up until they gave him the teary need for the other - Americans!
I haven't quite finished this (will it make me as angry as @Stockholm...I sense an edit coming) but It appears clear where season two will go and with carriers of a certain appendage being at the helm this time around. Let's see...
Appreciate you giving it a chance, encaser. Agree that it sometimes pulls its punches and could have been grittier given some of the dark concepts it explores. But it was a welcome surprise for me that they even went there in the first place.

Agreed as well about some of the characters, particularly Sam the deaf fellow. His storyline and the pregnancy one did nothing for me and couldn't be over fast enough in my eyes. In that sense, yeah, it charts a bit of an uneven course throughout the season in terms of tone and the quality of writing.

Still, the psychopath character is such a good villain to watch as he undermines the work the protagonist has put in to stabilise a society comprised of a bunch of rich and pampered teens that it makes for compelling viewing for me. If he wasn't in it the show would fall flat on its face.

Or, lack of emotion in the case of the resident psychopath that they do so well with, right up until they gave him the teary need for the other - Americans!
Are you talking about his blonde gf? Given his psychopathy, I got the impression that he doesn't actually care about her per se but cares about exerting his control over her, which is classic psychopath behaviour when it comes to their relationships. Notice that he picked on the most vulnerable girl at the start of the season when he spots her on her own on the bus? Classic for them. Like predators, they scope out the weak and vulnerable and lovebomb them until they drop their defences and allow the psychopath to possess them. One that I've had personal experience with followed the same pattern of behaviour, almost to a tee, as Campbell does towards that girl in this show. Separated her from her family and friends (Campbell doesn't want her socialising), stripped her naked and regularly threw her into the street as punishment, controlled all of her lines of communication, bought her a dog but used it to control her behaviour by beating it whenever she did something he didn't like, moved her to a remote part of the country, etc, etc. Police and courts have been involved over the years but she can't find a way to escape despite her family's efforts. Whenever she escapes his clutches he always finds a way of getting her back again, either through manipulation, coercion, etc. Same story with Campbell except he's prepared to jeopardise the entire cohesion of the community that Allie has established just to get the blonde girl back under his control and dominance.
 

encaser

Distinguished Member
@Stockholm
No. I'm talking about the scene when he thinks he's found another in his g/f due to her hiding what she'd done with the pie. He perhaps unsurprisingly misread her intent/emotional fear and saw her as a fellow psychopath. I didn't like that and in particular that he took emotional solace and relief that he wasn't alone. It doesn't add up. If he's a 'full blood' psychopath, he wouldn't be capable of emotional reasoning or care whether he was the only one. But here he is, clearly emotionally relieved and moved to literal tears. Total fiction. He would at best see her further in worth as a tool to use with others in social settings and shorter term schemes but no more.
I agree with you it made no sense, Allie, in particular, not outing him as she knows what he is and yet hasn't used this to distance him from the group or justify her decisions when first arresting him. Then we have him leading the group off a possible cliff for his wants with his g/f and still neither she tells her b/f Veep or group as they break from her and the deaf kid keeps schtum.
Campbell's intent remains more immediate but can appear long term and larger in scale depending on how it's impacting him as he goes on. He'll target both the outlier and those embedded higher up in the social tree as and when. For him, there is no difference. It's like (to off quote) Ripley says when she kills an alien and the woman questions her killing 'one of her own' in 4: she looks at her and simply says, it was in my way. It's a hierarchical thing. You climb it and kill it or fail to get or do what you want. The moment he doesn't want the g/f, adios the dog too. Although if Netflix was braver, he'd of taken that out and just manipulated his g/f into seeing it as a divergence from her not being true to him and his need. He wouldn't care or get her happiness requirements. They're surplus to need. His needs would be made clear to be hers too.
Many are intelligent and/or adept at manipulation on all levels. It isn't just the weakest that are targets but those with something to be taken and gained on a shorter term sense as they move from one want or situation to another. Business models work well because the situation and interactions are fluid and so goals/wants suit short term patterns. From the outside, it can appear like they've had long term goals on their path to various successes but the reality is the short term wants/goals that have led them there and not some over arching grand plan that a 'healthy' mind may have set out.
In any case, he'd of more likely killed Allie and/or Lexie in a distanced set up. He could've used poison, as he knew Allie didn't out his g/f, and it would've fed the already in place paranoia. but using the guard and numb nuts saves them killing off characters.
 

mtenga

Distinguished Member

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