Mrs. Davis is a deeply foolish present deeply dedicated its silliness. And that is exactly what makes it a lot enjoyable. The brand new Peacock sequence from Tara Hernandez (The Huge Bang Idea) and Damon Lindelof (Misplaced, The Leftovers), pits a nun with a mysterious previous towards an omnipotent, seemingly omniscient synthetic intelligence. Her mission: to seek out the Holy Grail. You realize, one other one in all these tales. Alongside the way in which, there are a slew of messy beheadings, a tacky ’90s-era automobile chase and a gaggle of villainous German henchman spiritually descended from The Huge Lebowski’s trio of Nihilists.
If you happen to have been searching for one other complicated style train like Lindelof’s glorious Watchmen sequence or The Leftovers, Mrs. Davis ain’t it. However from the primary scene of the present, you possibly can inform that he in all probability had much more enjoyable making this. Initially based mostly on a spec script by Hernandez, who additionally served as showrunner, Mrs. Davis is virtually a live-action cartoon, crammed with colourful set-pieces and a unending slew of zany characters, all set in a world the place people willingly topic themselves to the calls for of an AI through wi-fi earbuds.
None of Mrs. Davis would work with out Betty Gilpin (GLOW, The Hunt) as its coronary heart and soul. As Simone, the nun being focused by Mrs. Davis, she successfully juggles a hard-edged cynicism with an openness to pure devotion. It is arduous sufficient to be a plausible motion lead, it is even harder to make that very same character appear believably religious. By the point we see Simone racing by way of metropolis streets on a bike, whereas additionally carrying her nun behavior, we absolutely purchase Gilpin within the function. It is like seeing Kill Invoice’s The Bride with a samurai sword — it is certain to be an indelible pop cultural picture. (And naturally, it hearkens again to Abel Ferrara’s cult revenge traditional, Ms. 45.)
As a bit of cultural commentary, Mrs. Davis is virtually allergic to subtext. It is a nun versus AI, what else do you want? It is easy to attract parallels between spiritual devotion and the way in which we reside with know-how right this moment. That is significantly true with regards to the explosive rise of generative AI. Is there actually an enormous distinction between plugging in a string into ChatGPT or Midjourney and hoping for an attention-grabbing outcome, in comparison with placing your palms collectively and praying for divine assist? And if AI in the end finally ends up fulfilling our wants extra successfully, would not folks deal with it with a certain quantity of non secular reverence?
These questions danced round my head as I watched Mrs. Davis, however the sequence itself is much extra interested by goofy shenanigans and soapy plot twists than making an attempt any severe philosophical exploration. However I suppose even Damon Lindelof wants a trip generally. Your enjoyment of the present will rely upon effectively you sync up with its farcical wavelength. Why is there a gaggle of well-funded, anti-AI militia bros, led by a shirtless buffoon? Don’t be concerned about it, they’re hilarious (Chris Diamantopoulos, one of many extra memorable VC bros from HBO’s Silicon Valley, really commits.)