Syfy’s ‘Opposite Worlds’: For The Social Science Futurist Who Wants To See A Show With Broken Limbs
Have you ever watched a show and thought…how the hell did this get green lit? And then, proceeded to watch the entire season because you can’t miss a good train wreck? When a B-list show jumps the shark, does it immediately become your top priority to record every episode of it? If you answered yes to these questions, let us introduce you to “Opposite Worlds: The Oppositing,” Syfy’s … show thing? that airs tonight at 10 eastern/9 central.
Two worlds, one wall, no sense.
In this theatre of the absurd, two teams of vaguely confused, long-underwear clad contestants battle it out for the privilege of living in the future – or the present if you happen to be a gadget-obsessed millionaire with poor taste in furniture. The punishment: living in a cave-like habitat that most people would describe as disorganized camping. A glass wall is used to separate these two warring factions. Why? Because, this is a revolutionary social and social media experiment — so says scientist, adventurer and host, Luke Tipple.
The show is going to explore what is better: our cave-dwelling past or the faux-future. Except, the inherent prize is living in the faux-future, so…Awkward! Apparently, no one noticed that scientists tend to frown on including the results of an experiment in its premise. The social media portion of the experiment involves data mining twitter hashtags to figure out a popularity index. Of course, this doesn’t actually impact which player remains in the game, because a complex mish-mash of challenges and voting is way more entertaining. You’ll love it. Trust us.
Let’s start with the introductions: for some reason, all of the contestants are introduced to us in weird, nude-colored underwear. Frank would like you to know that while he’s the biggest guy in the gym, he’s not going to win Sudoku. Aww, Frank, don’t sell yourself short, we would have guessed you didn’t know what Sudoku was, so you’re already way ahead of the game. And, whatever this game is, Wyatt the lifeguard is taking it head on. It turns out the pivotal part of this statement was the clause “whatever this game is,” because it’s possible that none of the contestants were apprised of the premise, structure or the rules of the show.
As the contestants file into their respective habitats, the audience is struck by one thing: these women are dressed in lingerie. Before the first commercial break we see one girl struggling to hide her “sideboob” and another grasping her bra top to keep from having a nipple slip on national TV. The men’s outfits aren’t much better, but then again they aren’t wearing high heels or trying to adjust their pantaloons to cover their junk, so, yeah, we’re calling “sexist bullshit” on this wardrobe choice.
At some point, a timer appears, inciting utter panic in the “future” team’s living quarters. This is quelled when the house decides to start talking to them. Interestingly, when the house informs the contestants that it will “always be watching them to make sure you are happy” it doesn’t result in chaos and stampeding as everyone makes a break for the nearest exit, illustrating that not one of the team members has ever watched or read anything in the sci-fi genre. What idiot doesn’t know that if a building tells you it’s always watching you, it’s a good time to run like hell and not look back?
And run like hell they should have. Not because the house was after them, but because the producers clearly hate these contestants. To wit: the first challenge. Two players race to the top of a platform 10 feet in the air. Each one is armed with a Taser. Or, a cattle prod. It’s unclear, but either way, crackling electricity is involved. The first player to be thrown off the platform loses the challenge, and another pair of players is chosen until all housemates have suffered through the ordeal.
The rules governing this challenge are unclear, resulting in one team member from the “past” being tackled rugby style as soon as he reaches the platform. He is then unceremoniously thrown off the edge with his challenger landing solidly on top of him, breaking his leg. But does this slow down the momentum? Of course not, this is teevee people, the show must go on. The “future” team, team Chronos, won the challenge. Their prize: pick whether you’d like to camp without the benefit of matches or stay in a futuristic house that might be ready to turn on you at any minute. Except apparently, no one else has perceived the house as a threat, so it’s probably a no brainer to continue to reside in a locale with running water and central heating. Oops. Experiment over. Sorry, Luke, guess you won’t be doing much sciencing in this gig.
So, you may be asking … how do contestants get eliminated from the game? Who the hell knows? What with the poorly defined “rewards” for winning the vaguely explained twitter challenge, it seems that the producers have left enough room to make sure that their decisions could be completely arbitrary. From what I have gleaned, the official line is that the teammates vote for someone to be “safe,” which, by the way, seems a misnomer given the first challenge broke someone’s leg, sent someone else to the medics and had to be “reset” because two of the women were kicking each other while wrestling on the edge of a ten foot platform.
Anyway, then we, the audience, vote for one of the “safe” people to be a “Decider,” which is totally revolutionary interactivity, if you had a time machine and returned to 1999 when Big Brother first aired. The decider then chooses two teammates to compete in the “Duel to their Death Destiny.” The loser is eliminated.
This is must watch teevee, people. In the immortal words of team member Wyatt-the-lifeguard, it’s like the Flintstones on crack, or the battle we’ve all waited for: The Flintstones vs The Jetsons. Finally, a television channel has had the foresight to give us what we have always wanted: a dystopian future where the haves and the have nots battle to their death for the amusement of the rest of us. Who knew the Hunger Games was actually an instruction manual?