Max Headroom

Year: 1985, 1987, 1988

Type: Cyberpunk

Premise: Society is falling apart, and all you get to choose from on television is 60 Minutes and some goofy AI talking head

Primary audience: People who are nostalgic for a time when everything was going to hell and there was no future, no future for you

Tics: Evir Japanese megacorroporationos

Worth watching: The original standalone episode, yes

Asian businessmen are the scariest people 80′s scriptwriters can imagine.  They come here and throw some money around, and then they expect to be treated as our overlords.  But they’re getting a crappy deal.  In the future, everything is ugly.  Nobody cares.  Punks control the streets.  All that’s left is TV, and, for some odd reason, investigative reporting.

Max Headroom was made in two batches, a 1985 television movie called 20 Minutes Into the Future, (above), and a 1987-88 series.  The first episode of the series is a remake of the movie, allowing us to see how the concept was dumbed down along the way.  The series has the same visual style, but is kind of upbeat.  The evil hacker is now a good hacker.  The team of good guys win stupid little victories every episode.  It goes against the grain of the original.  20 Minutes was odd and cheap, but at least it stood for something.  It stood for believing that everything was going to hell.  The series stood for the family friendly version of that, ie. nothing. Nothing at all.