Lifetime has steadily been evolving its programming. Have you noticed?
It’s not just contemporary stories about women trapped in bad marriages/odd circumstances/with awkward children. The network has added more ambitious stories with their recent Emmy-nominated movies (Flowers in the Attic and Bonnie & Clyde), the fun Witches of East End (who’s making the trip to San Diego Comic Con!) and the recently announced adaption of The Clan of the Cave-Bear. The Lottery, their latest series, is built along these ambitious lines.
The Lottery is set in a future, 6 years after the human fertility rate has dropped to zero and mankind is facing extinction. If this sounds familiar, you’re probably familiar with the excellent Children of Men which was also written by The Lottery’s writer (Timothy J. Sexton). While the situation may be familiar, the main focus of The Lottery is quite different.
Dr. Alison Lennon (Marley Shelton) has a fertility breakthrough and fertilizes 100 embryos. The government, personified by Martin Donovan’s character, steps in to take the embryos and to hold a national lottery to select surrogates. This sets off debate about fertility laws, the good of mankind and other high-stakes questions.
The other main story thread focuses on one family. In a world with so few kids, each is precious and Kyle (Michael Graziadei), the single father of one of the last kids born on earth, struggles with his alcoholism and government oversight.
Yep, there’s certainly enough drama here for a series! Fascinating premise, lots of conflict and a nice, light futuristic-look to the show. Plenty to see here!
Alison’s suspicions about the government’s intentions are well-founded, but she sort of goes off on a very driven, inexplicable little crusade that’s pretty obviously foolhardy, but also sets up some major questions.
Hopefully this was just a really forced moment in the pilot; something they needed to do to open up the series’ main story lines, even if it felt out of left field. Since it’s such a fascinating world with a difficult situation, I’ll stick around for the next episode, but hopefully she doesn’t continue to be single-minded on stupid actions. That’s a deal breaker on staying tuned for the future.
But I do see another episode in my future! So let’s see wait lies in wait for the fate of mankind!
The Lottery debuts on Lifetime on Sunday.
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