Apple TV+: ‘See’ review | Macworld

See often gets called Apple TV+’s Game of Thrones, but it has a lot more in common with Kevin Costner’s 1995 flick Waterworld. Both are post-apocalyptic visions of futures where humans only learn to cherish and mend the land once it can no longer be seen. In Waterworld, that’s because the ocean drowned all the continents. In See, it’s because people no longer have actual vision and can’t see the surrounding mountains and forests. Hundreds of years ago, a deadly virus robbed the human race of sight and reduced our numbers to a couple million people.

Oh, and both shows are kind of silly.

See, in fact, feels like it grew out of a pub chat in which creator Steven Knight asked, “Would the blind leading the blind actually be so bad, man?”—and, to its credit, See has the guts to say, “No.” It’s actually fun to see how See envisions how humans might adapt. (Forgive the puns. It’s so tempting.) Ranged weapons basically don’t exist. Written correspondence consists of knots tied into cords. People design villages in neatly gridded patterns in order to easily navigate them. All fine and dandy so far.

That said, See demands more than the usual suspension of disbelief expected of any fan of science fiction and fantasy, sometimes to the point of distraction. Why, for example, do people still decorate themselves with feathers and makeup when no one else can see it? And wouldn’t most decorations be based on touch? (To be fair, See acknowledges that possibility with some textured facial tattoos.) How are people still able to ride horses? Riding a trained horse is one thing, but training a young, unridden colt is quite another. How are flesh wounds dealt with? They must be as common as air in a world where people spend their days running around in untamed wilds and where bears and lions stalk humans as prey.

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I also imagine you need to put a lot of trust in your horses in situations like this.

The list goes on. Some viewers won’t be able to get past this. For others, though, See’s messages about human nature and ecology should outweigh its goofier parts, although it would be a mistake to claim Apple’s new show approaches anything like the complexity of the first few seasons of Game of Thrones.

This is the tale of Baba Voss (Jason Mamoa), who takes on a lost woman named Maghra (Hera Hilmar), and she in turn gives birth to two children with the power to see. “Power” is the right word, too, especially in this primitive society where the pitiful remnants of humanity view the ability to see as a form of witchcraft and speak of light in the way we normally speak of darkness.

Hilarity doesn’t ensue. (At least Waterworld had the decency not to take itself so seriously.) See aims to show that even in such dire circumstances—in which you’d think we’d all learn to get along for the sake of easier and happier lives—humans still act like massive jerks. The first episode’s first scene even kicks…

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