“The House on Thursday approved a resolution denouncing socialism in a bipartisan vote that fractured the Democratic caucus.” — The Hill, 2/2/23
“US military fighter jets shot down the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon over the Atlantic Ocean … the operation ended a remarkable public drama that prompted a diplomatic fallout between Washington and Beijing, as the American public tracked the balloon from Montana all the way to the Carolinas.” – CNN, 2/4/23
First off, can we just say what an AMAZING job you all did with the first Cold War. The coups. The assassinations. Two nuclear superpowers in a literal space race! And the season finale, with the collapse of the Soviet regime juxtaposed against the literal fall of the Berlin Wall? CHILLS. This season is already shaping up to be just as big a hit. We just have a few thoughts to get those creative juices flowing in the right direction.
We’re already off to a bold start with a thirty-four-year time jump. However, not entirely sure whether audiences will buy the lack of character development in the intervening years. You’re telling us that they have the technology to fit computers into the palms of their hands but haven’t solved poverty or world peace? We love a good dystopia as much as the next person, but let’s make it at least somewhat believable. Maybe some flying cars and a unified world government? Just an idea.
We have some concerns about the antagonists. It kind of feels like we’re redoing the first Cold War but with the Chinese instead of the Soviets. A communist country threatening to cause a domino effect in a foreign continent while beefing with the United States over an island—it’s a bit on the nose, isn’t it? Just swap USSR for CPC, western Europe for Africa, and Cuba for Taiwan. Like, we get it, “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.” In this case, though, it sounds like a track we’ve all heard before sans the threat of thermonuclear war. A weather balloon floating harmlessly across the Eastern Seaboard just doesn’t produce the same national hysteria as Sputnik does, you know?
Also, can we clarify how China can be an existential threat to Western hegemony and its biggest trading partner? Seems like inconsistent internal logic on NATO’s part. If you ask us, we’d focus on the whole COVID as a Chinese bioweapon conspiracy—can definitely see a war or two coming out of this storyline.
Love, love, LOVE the callback to communism with the socialism subplot, but again, think we need to do a little more to make it feel fresh. The Republican-led House voting to “denounce the horrors of socialism” is giving very McCarthy Red Scare, but it just doesn’t hit the same when the socialists’ insidious ideology is healthcare for all, worker’s rights, and basic decency for all regardless of class, creed, sexual orientation, immigration status, or race. What if we have Bernie win in 2024, but he’s revealed to be a Manchurian candidate for the Scandinavian plot to turn the USA into a well-run social democracy with free college, guaranteed housing, and generous parental leave? Maybe with AOC as the feisty loose cannon he has to rein in from blowing their cover?? We smell a buddy-cop spin-off starring Larry David and Stephanie Beatriz.
Sidenote: Is it socialism or democratic socialism? The Right uses both interchangeably for no discernible reason. Like if they’re going to accuse Joe Biden of being a commie double agent for the Democratic Socialists of America, can we at least have some consistency on the labels? It’s just so hard to keep track of all the anti-American ideologies.
Lastly—and please don’t take this the wrong way—we’re not sold on the international non-response to the true Big Bad: the climate crisis. After giving us decades of cases of the world uniting to confront existential threats like global thermonuclear war, you can’t expect audiences to plausibly believe that the world’s leaders would bury their heads in the sand in the face of such a threat. There’s suspension of disbelief, and then there’s whatever the heck this is.
Lots to chew on here. We’ll leave you little geniuses to sort the wheat from the chaff and make us all proud. And if you do end up going down the whole apocalypse route, give us a shout—Roland Emmerich is always up for a disaster flick.