Lifetime tries out science fiction with the pregnancy dystopia The Lottery. Is it a winner or should you scratch it off your list?
The Lottery, Sundays at 10pm on Lifetime.
The Lottery is a
tale of conformity gone mad dystopic look at a world where the birthrate has dropped to zero. The infertility pandemic began in 2016—this story takes place in 2025, where there are only six kids who are six years old. Dr. Alison Lennon (Marley Shelton) has managed to successfully fertilize about 100 eggs, but the government has stepped in to take over her lab and bring the embryos to term. A lottery will be established to determine the surrogates who will house the embryos, but there are a lot of medical ethics questions floating around. For example, Kyle Walker (Michael Graziadei) is the father of Elvis (one of the six kids) and one misstep has the government down his throat.
Timothy J. Sexton, who wrote the screenplay for Children of Men, is one of the writers and an executive producer. There’s also some talent from Hostages (hmmm), Prison Break, and CSI.
Who is The Lottery For?
There are a lot of comparisons that can be made about this show. Children of Men is definitely in the show’s DNA, but it also feels like the flipside of Orphan Black (sans clones…as far as I know) or the inverse of Torchwood: Miracle Day. If you liked T:MD, you’ll probably have an interest in The Lottery.
The basic premise is strong, even if the execution is somewhat shaky. The story takes place far enough after the inciting incident that the story is not overly concerned with why the birthrate dropped, though that question still hasn’t been answered.
What Doesn’t Work
The entire pilot is pregnant with clichés, from the scientists taking it personally, the government consolidating power (that goes all the way to the top! BUREAUCRATS!), and six-year-old Elvis being infantilized to the point of being extremely irritating. The pilot also does a lot of jumping around in the “It’s five years later, it’s three days earlier, we’re in Balitmore, we’re in Pittsburgh” sense that makes shows like The Event and Lost incredibly irritating.
Watch the pilot. The Lottery has enough potential that you may find that you can get on-board. I found it way too similar to T:MD and would prefer not being disappointed again.