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Pantheon

Pantheon

TV-14

Challenging, emotional, and wildly imaginative, this is a winning entry into the sci-fi genre

The Very Best

8.7

TV Show

United States of America
English
Animation, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Science Fiction
2022
Aaron Eckhart, Chris Diamantopoulos, Daniel Dae Kim

What it's about

A bullied teen receives mysterious help from someone online: a stranger soon revealed to be her recently deceased father, David, whose consciousness has been uploaded to the Cloud following an experimental destructive brain scan. David is the first of a new kind of being – an “Uploaded Intelligence” or “UI” – but he will not be the last, as a global conspiracy unfolds that threatens to trigger a new kind of world war.

The take

Sci-fi is already a pretty wild genre. Anything can happen in this fantasy world, so it takes a special kind of skill to make a new entry seem original once more. But Pantheon throughout its eight-episode run manages to be just that thanks to its resonant storytelling, inventive editing, and brilliant, heartfelt premise. 

The scope of the story is as wide as it is wild: it's about the unregulated rise of "uploaded intelligence," after all, where human minds are fully uploaded and digitized for corporate use. Global tech companies are in an arms race to transform this discovery into weaponry, as they are wont to do, without giving mind to the human and environmental costs. Challenging them is the unlikely duo of Maddy and Caspian (Katie Chang and Paul Dano, respectively) who, as direct victims of this greed, have more than a few grievances to express. 

It's exciting to see how far the dystopia of Pantheon goes, but anytime it flies too high, it's always grounded by the fleshed-out humanity of Maddy and Caspian. The series runs on their self-discovery and existential crises as much as it does on extraordinary circumstances. Expect to shed a tear or two while watching this series. 

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