TV Review - The Lottery

Athena Karkanis (left) and Martin Donovan
in "The Lottery" on Lifetime
The series has the same premise as Children of Men (2006). It's set in the year 2025 but years after a world-wide, infertility crisis has hit. Instead of concentrating on one person, this series focuses on three. The show isn't as far into the hopelessness and despair of the amazing film by Alfonso Cuarón. The film, for example, had no actual children under the age of 10, nor under the age of 18. This series does have those little children, which allows the show to examine parenthood.

The film had such a post-apocalyptic tone to it, which extended to the production design and various aspects, but the tone of this series is not really post-apocalyptic or as bleak. It's more close to contemporary life than the film was. The whole concept and premise of this series is a rather hopeful one.

Marley Shelton stars as Dr. Alison Lennon, a scientist working on the infertility crisis. She and her team, which includes James, played by David Alpay, are able to create 100 embryos. This happens after a ton of random people donate sperm and eggs.

Michael Graziadei stars as Kyle Walker, the man whose sperm donation led to a lot of the embryos. He already has a 6-year-old son, a cute, little boy named Elvis. He's a single parent living in Pittsburgh. Because Elvis was one of the last children born on Earth, the fictional Department of Humanity sends social workers to take his parental rights away, so Kyle goes on the run with Elvis.

Athena Karkanis stars as Vanessa Keller, the Chief of Staff at the White House. Once President Westwood, played by Yul Vazquez, learns of the 100 embryos, his administration takes control of them. His White House deals with the consequences of having that responsibility, which includes attacks from other countries that are desperate for embryos.

There is an antsy nature and distrust from the American people as well, so Vanessa comes up with the idea for a lottery. The lottery is for women who wish to be the surrogate mothers for the embryos and give birth to the eventual babies, as well as possibly be the full-time mothers for those babies and raise them. The series thus far has been Vanessa, a strong black woman under a lot of pressure trying to balance and manage this lottery and its implementation.

The other main thrust of the series is following Dr. Lennon as she attempts to understand why the crisis is happening and if she can solve it. Her attempts reveal a grand conspiracy, one that seeks to have power over the unborn as well as the born.

Writer Timothy J. Sexton who is an Academy Award-nominee for co-writing Children of Men allows for diversions. For example, Episode 5 has Vanessa investigate a White House employee named Connor, played by Paul Fitzgerald, who is revealed to be gay and has a husband named Charlie. Episode 5 also opens the door for more characters to be explored while also closing the door possibly on characters without going to the extreme of killing them off.

Five Stars out of Five.
Rated TV-14-LSV.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Sundays at 10PM on Lifetime.


Popular Posts