Have you ever seen a science fiction film so realistic, you were afraid it would actually happen? That’s how I feel with Incorporated, a television series executive produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. The reality of the series feels scarily accurate – emphasizing good writing, research, and an amazing concept. The premise of Incorporated is engaging, despite some weak motives and unnecessary plot lines.
By 2074, the world is decimated by government crises and climate change. Companies have become de facto governments, protecting only their employees (who live in Green Zones) and ignoring everyone else (living in the Red Zones). Ben Larson (Sean Teale) a counter-intelligence manager for Spiga Biotech lives in Milwaukee, with his wife cosmetic surgeon Laura (Allison Miller). His senior, Chad Peterson (David Hewlett), is found guilty of treason, and Ben is up for the promotion. Elizabeth Krauss (Julia Ormond), Spiga Head Executive and Ben’s mother-in-law, and Julian (Dennis Haysbert), Spiga Head of Security, carefully look for candidates while warding off more traitors. Unknown to them, Ben’s a climate change refugee from the Red Zones named Aaron. Aaron sets up Peterson’s removal in hopes of getting the promotion to free his love, Elena (Denyse Tontz), from a Spiga brothel.
“Spiga is a generous mother: it will feed you, dress you, and protect you. In exchange, it only asks for hard work and loyalty.”
The best part of Incorporated is the mythology. The history of how the real world transitions to that of Incorporated is fantastically fascinating. Small instances of the history are hidden throughout to help cement the series mythos (ie. TV PSAs, lectures, flashbacks), which begins as early as present day. The characters speak of Hamas and the rejection of climate change as a serious issue. And overall, it works to a terrifying degree. Incorporated has good writing and research to back up this concept because every little moment in the series backs up the premise. If Syfy did a spin-off series on how the world became that of Incorporated, I would watch that non-stop.
There are two main plots in Incorporated. One is the promotion in Spiga Biotech, and the other is Aaron trying to free Elena. These main plots, along with the subplots, tie together excellently. Unfortunately, some of the subplots are more intriguing than the main plots. Supposedly, Ben’s upheaval of the world’s largest corporation is an uprising. But really, it’s all for a girl who willingly sold herself to a brothel. It’s the most hackneyed motive imaginable. I’d rather know more about Laura wanting to heal people in the Red Zone, or Theo (Eddie Ramos), Elena’s brother and a Red Zone fighter, and his handler Terrence (Ian Tracey) trying to escape the Red Zone. At least those subplots have high stakes.
“This company offers many benefits, but the one thing it cannot abide from anyone is secrets.”
Overall, I highly recommend Incorporated if you’re a fan of intricate world building and cerebral sci-fi mythology. Still, one of the main plots falls flat with a weak motive and it’s hard to watch a show where the background is more interesting than the foreground. Thankfully, the subplots further display the 2074 struggles and are stimulating enough to recapture your attention.
My Rating: 7/10