SERIES REVIEW – See, starring Jason Momoa and Dave Bautista, is set in the distant future. After losing sight due to a viral epidemic, humanity lives in a primitive, tribal, dystopian society. The tribes, constantly at war with each other, can survive blind, but those who can see are considered heretics and burned alive. That’s why when Baba Voss’ (Momoa) wife Maghra (Hera Hilmar) gives birth to sighted twins (a mysterious, also sighted man is the real father), everything changes for the couple. Their tribe, after a manhunt, is launched against them. We’ve watched two seasons of AppleTV+ and are looking forward to the third with very positive impressions.
In the dystopian world of Apple TV+’s “See” series, the concept of blindness is understood as a specific enemy that the characters must fight. Where Baba Voss (Jason Momoa) was born, sightlessness is the standard, and sight is a delusion. No one seems to remember a very different past. Here, the main goal is survival.
“See? Can’t you see? Now you see!”
“See” takes place centuries after a deadly virus has reduced the planet’s population to less than 2 million people – and the few survivors have lost their sight – and civilisation has plummeted back to roughly tribal levels of antiquity. Of course, everywhere you look, you can ‘see’ the traces of a 21st-century era that has passed – but most people don’t see it. Everyone who doesn’t live on or near Queen Kane’s (Sylvia Hoeks) water-driven dam (known as the Payan Kingdom) lives in small villages, hunting live animals by day and sleeping in tipis by night. Some are mystical, others have special abilities that allow them to sense the intentions of humans, but most are of the hunting or gathering lifestyle.
The leader of the hunters – and the chief of the Alkenny tribe – is Baba Voss (Jason Momoa), the odd but reluctant warrior who befriends, courts, and marries the town’s newcomer before the series even begins. Baba, after all, has always wanted children but couldn’t have any, and Maghra (Hera Hilmar) walked into the village already pregnant.
When the pilot episode begins, a ruthless army has invaded the village, hunting Maghra. These witch hunters believe, you guessed it, that she is a witch, and even worse, that she is carrying a child sired by a man who can see. Paris (Alfre Woodard), the town’s midwife and spiritual leader, slowly comes to her senses as she goes into labour in Maghra, while Baba is on the front lines defending his village. But the inevitable flight and chase is not long in coming
Two seasons in different styles
We watched two seasons of See, the first in which Baba Voss (Jason Momoa) and his wife Maghra are forced to flee their tribe after witch hunter Tamacti Jun (Christian Camargo) launches a hunt for them at the Queen’s command. While the first season is more of a Mad Max-style road movie, with only intermittent glimpses at first and then more sporadic flashes of conflict between the somewhat perverse and snake-natured, malevolent Queen Kane and her court, the second is a somewhat more complex Game of Thrones-like story, with multiple peoples and tribal rulers.
The biggest highlight of season two is clearly the introduction of Edo Voss, played by Dave Bautista, brother of Baba Voss and one of the Harvian leaders of a somewhat more complex tribal society of slave traders. Edo hates his brother because Baba once killed their father before running away and becoming the leader of another tribe. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I think it’s clear to everyone that we can expect a brutal clash between the two former wrestlers…
A fascinating, original world with great performances
It’s Jason Momoa’s best, most convincing performance yet in this series. He perfectly identifies with his charismatic yet dark hero, a former slave trader and legendary warrior who will sacrifice anything for his family – even though the two young men in the picture, Kofun (Archie Madekwe) and Haniwa (Nesta Cooper), are not his biological children. Jerlamarel (Joshua Henry), their birth father – also a seer – is a legendary figure who tries to procreate children everywhere and create a community of his own. We wouldn’t give away much more about him. Still, Jerlamarel is a complex and interesting character, as is the violent, cruel but cunning and calculating Edo Voss, played by Dave Bautista. His unrelenting hatred of his brother drives the latter. Finally, we must also mention the two other siblings: the pretty and pure Magrha and her sister Queen Kane, who is the exact opposite: a true pervert, evil and a liar, but who can always manipulate without fail anyone she needs to. Sylvia Hoeks’ performance is perhaps the highlight of the series: she plays the psychopathic, selfish, manipulative, and at the same time, a very sensual woman with such professionalism that her acting is on a par with any other female character in Game of Thrones. But you couldn’t really say anyone who would stand out in the role.
The story itself is not without clichés and occasionally a slightly tiresome pathos, which seems to try a little too hard to evoke Shakespeare. Even the sightless humanity is sometimes too aware of its surroundings – at times, it seems as if almost everyone is Daredevil from the Marvel series.
They may regret not seeing the world around them
In a series where everyone is blind, it’s ironic how stunningly beautiful the natural scenery is in places. At times, we are treated to such unparalleled visuals as our heroes navigate the world reclaimed by nature that I almost felt sorry for them that they can’t see their surroundings as the story goes. The series makes good use of 4K resolution and HDR.
The universe, reminiscent of the PS5 game series Horizon, is also highly immersive. I could forgive the occasional clichéd twists or clichéd dialogue because I was so drawn into the world of the series.
We can’t wait to “see” the third season.”
See is a genuinely original and exciting series with a well-developed and compelling dystopian universe and many great performances, including two former wrestlers, Jason Momoa and Dave Bautista. If you enjoyed Horizon on PS5 and are looking for a similar series, you should definitely check out the AppleTV+ release, but we recommend See for those who simply enjoy sci-fi and fantasy series.