Utopia RECAP: It's Not Utopia, It's Lord of the Flies for Adults (S1:E1)

Happy Nice Time People is excited to introduce our new reality show recapper, Claire Abraham! If you’re from Ft. Worth, Texas, you may recognize Claire from the children’s television show Booker’s Alley, or from the Keller library where she’s a youth services librarian, or maybe just from standing behind her in line at the grocery store, how should I know where you know her from, leave me alone, okay?!



FOX has come up with a brand new idea for a reality show that we’ve never, ever seen before. No sir, not ever. Fourteen loud, opinionated, mean-spirited people have been dumped on a farm too small to support half the Duggars and challenged to create a new society, free from all the rules, constraints, and social expectations of the real world from which they’ve been expelled. It’s not Survivor – there are no prizes! It’s not The Real World – they are creating their own world! It’s not Big Brother, because there’s NO END TO THIS! These poor suckers are stuck out there for a year, or until the show gets canceled, which may happen next week.


So our “social experiment” has no winner and no prize, but there ARE losers. One person will get replaced each month by one of the thousands… make that hundreds… make that dozens of people out in the TV audience who might be crazy enough to apply for a position once they see what they’re getting into.

Presiding over all this chaos is menacingly mustachioed Don Priraro, the guy who created the Bizarro comic strip.  Figures. He cackles with glee every time somebody threatens to disembowel somebody else, which is every fifteen minutes or so. The producers cast this thing with people guaranteed to clash, and their victims have so far lived up to those expectations brilliantly.

The Cast:

Utopia cast

Dave Green, 31 –  Ex-convict drug pusher and homeless guy who probably agreed to be on the show as part of his probation. This petulant, screaming hot-head is, surprisingly enough, not the biggest asshole in the cast. That honor goes to…

Josh Johnston, 36 – A general contractor who actually knows how to build things, he’s also a loud, nasty, disrespectful lout who almost got thrown out the first day for getting drunk and groping the women. Looks like there might be some actual social standards in Utopia after all, idiot. His kangaroo trial was facilitated by…

Mike Quinn, 33 – A prissy attorney who doesn’t want to get his hands dirty. He wants to be the Utopian government, and after the first episode, it looks like he might actually be useful after all. But his attempts to install order may be opposed by…

Rob Hospidor, 38 – Loud libertarian, liberal-hater and resident gun nut. He’s going to get on famously with…

Dedeker Winston, 26 – Free love enthusiast who just wants to teach everybody else the joys of polyamory. She left her girlfriend and two boyfriends behind for a year to spread the free love message; bet the rent they’ve all found other people with whom to be polyamorous when she gets home. But she’s going to be just bestest buddies with…

Jonathan Lovelace, 44 – A surprisingly genial bible-thumping pastor, who has so far spent a lot of time not preaching hellfire, but praying and weeping in a corner because of the naked antics of all the women, including…

Bella Chartrand, 45 – Real estate developer by day, nude yoga lover and whacked-out doomsday survivalist by night. Winner of the prize for Most Annoying Voice, narrowly beating…

Red Vanwinkle, 42 – Toothless self-proclaimed hillbilly and handyman, a character so broad I swear he was created by the producers to amp the tension. That guy’s got to be an actor. With that NAME? Will he change it to Rip and sleep all year? Not if he storms out in a huff, as he threatened to do after his big fight with…

Aaron Thomas, 26 – Army chef and self-appointed watchdog of the food supply. He was the first to realize they didn’t have enough grub to stay alive, let alone create a new and perfect anything, but his feeble attempts at rationing were vigorously protested by…


Amanda Scott, 30 – A behavioral specialist who works with special needs kids. She’ll get a lot of practice in her craft out here, not only because the entire cast is acting like a bunch of unsupervised at-risk children, but because she’s got a super-secret bun in the oven herself. No rationing for Amanda! She’s eating for two! Because she wants her poor kid to be born in this hell-hole! With any (bad) luck, that poor baby will have a playmate, because…

Bri Nyugen, 20 – Apparently came to get laid. This veterinary student’s primary goal in coming to Utopia was to be the prettiest girl there so the men would go wild. One day in, she set her marks on…

Chris Tuorto, 25 – A musician, chili farmer and resident hunk, he can mostly be found fondling Bri in whatever hammock, haystack, bedroll or ditch happens to be handy. If he knocks Bri up, which I think is likely at this rate, the bursting pediatric ward will have to be run by…

Nikki Noce, 29 – A holistic doctor who appears to be the only person in this place with any medical training at all. Nikki’s not really here to be a doctor, though. She’s a tantric sex enthusiast, and like Bri, just wants to fuck a lot. If she decides to fuck Chris, there may be blood. But she didn’t have enough medical skill to help…

Katniss Everdeen, who is appearing incognito as Hex Vanisles, 25. She’s great at shooting a compound bow and terrible at knowing her alcohol limit. An accomplished fisherman and hunter, Hex was clearly added by the producers to keep everybody from starving to death, so she tried to drink herself to death instead and almost had to be evacuated permanently. That’s no way to win the Hunger Games… er, Utopia,Hex. Hex recovered, which is probably a good thing for the cast, but if she’d been taken out, she still wouldn’t be the first person gone, because…

Andrea Cox, 38 – was caught googling her fellow Utopians on a smuggled cell phone and got thrown out of the show before she even made it on camera.

Welcome to paradise, people. Now for the play-by-play.



The inmates arrive at the asylum and have their vertigo triggered by a giant hologram that explains the rules. They have one year. They get the farm, some chickens, a cow, $5,000 emergency cash, and each other. They have to create a great society…scratch that, they have to survive…scratch that, they have to kill each other for our entertainment, a scenario Katniss might find familiar.

They each have one little crate filled with their most prized belongings.  No! Now they have ONE big crate that they get to fill with whatever prized belongings they can stuff inside before the others tear it all to shreds with howls of infuriated selfishness. Preacher Jonathan, of course, wants to keep his Bible. Hex wants her bow. Bri wants bug spray. Bella hates the bug spray. Dave hates the Bible. Dave doesn’t want to put anything in the crate. No, wait, Dave IS DEMANDING TO PUT EVERYTHING HE BROUGHT IN THE CRATE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Dave howls and screams and jumps up and down and gets his way. Apparently, nobody else needed any clothes, anyway. They will just run around naked all the time. That’s the actual plan. And while they don’t have enough food, water, medical supplies or tools, they seem to have been given enough booze to keep a frat house passed out for a year.

Now, it’s time for dinner. God knows what they are eating, but Red wants to say grace. Josh hates that idea, and pretty soon half the group hates Josh because he’s an obvious dick from the first moment he opens his mouth. Aaron wants two meals a day, but Amanda demands three… One’s for the super secret baby, but only Aaron knows that. Nikki suggests they do hand yoga, and Rob, competing with Josh for Misogynistic Asshole of the Year, mimes masturbating. Preacher Jonathan gets the vapors, and Hex decides it’s time to skinny-dip. Jonathan nearly passes out from the horror. Oh, the temptation! All those boobies!

Naked pool party now in session, about half the cast decides it’s time to see if they can down that year’s supply of alcohol in a single evening. Josh can’t sheeeem to hol hs likker so gud. It maks hm tak funni. Josh wans Anda to mik his bedd. (Amanda: “HELL NO!”) Josh grbs Hex becase saw nekkid boobiees, an she’s drnk, 2, sos OK, sure? Dave the convict comes the rescue – Dave as the local cop, now there’s a switch – and Josh goes to sleep it off alone.

Dave and Jonathan argue about religion, while Chris and Bri start their mating rituals in this garden of Eden. Hex gets really, really sick, and it’s not just from the traumatic memory of Josh’s pawing.


Utopia farm

Hex is vomiting her guts out, and I wait to hear the cannons blast as her face shows up in the sky. Pastor Jonathan prays to God for her recovery, and God (or the network) convinces the producers to drop this pretense of self-sufficiency long enough to get this girl an ambulance. One day. That didn’t last long.

Mike’s got his lawyer hat on: the trial of Josh Johnston will now commence! Mike may be the only person secretly happy about last night’s groping because it means he’s not entirely useless. Now, don’t everybody talk at once… oh, screw it. Shout all you like, people. Bella wants Josh to stay, because he’s a human being. Scratch that, Bella wants him out NOW!!! Because he’s hateful and dangerous! Pastor Jonathan and four other Utopians want to throw him out, too, but some of the others have remembered that they need people with practical skills or they’ll be sleeping in the ditches. Also, Hex comes back, feeling all better now, to plead for mercy on Josh’s behalf because she knows what it’s like to make a drunken ass of yourself. OK, Josh. You can stay. You get probation. No booze. No fondling. No nasty cracks. No third chance. We mean it, this time.


Josh nods and huddles in a corner like a whipped puppy.

Oh, announcement, everybody. Amanda IS pregnant! And completely incapable of keeping a secret! Soon there will be a completely helpless and defenseless Utopian to feed, house, diaper, and protect from snakes. YAY!  Everybody thinks that’s a great idea! Except for Pastor Jonathan, who is not as worried about the child’s welfare as he is about the fact that baby mama isn’t married.

Josh and Mike, who have two different reasons for proving they actually have valuable skills, start trying to set up electricity and running water. No, no, says Bella. We don’t need no stinking power and water. We need a chicken tractor!

A… what?

A chicken tractor! The magical fairy chickens will plow our fields, wire our houses, fetch our food, do our laundry, chop the firewood, deliver that baby…

Josh agrees, because he doesn’t want to get thrown out and Bella is one of the people who demanded him gone, about twenty seconds after she demanded that he stay. Josh’s obedience makes Bella love him the best, and now she wants his probation lifted immediately! Bella is bat-shit crazy. Maybe her flirting is a secret ploy to make him break his probation.

Red finds a dead chicken. God knows what killed it – maybe it got into the booze. Aaron thinks it may be toxic. Red thinks it may be delicious. Aaron insists that nobody, not even Red, should get to touch that chicken, and his word has to be law because he’s the expert. Army regulations. Red gets so mad he grabs a hose and starts flinging the limited water supply all over the place, because if Red doesn’t get to eat, nobody else gets to drink. Aaron threatens murder, and I wonder why he doesn’t just let Red eat the chicken; the result might be the same.

Red gets his poisoned poultry, but that’s not enough, now. He’s so mad that he has to get along with other people, he’s threatening to leave. Pastor Jonathan tries to beg him to stay, but poor old Jonathan couldn’t convince a starving man to eat from a five-star buffet. It’s Dave who convinces Red to wait a day or so… at least until the next episode… because the producers need positive note to end the segment. No, sorry, it’s because… because… it’s Dave’s birthday! Yeah, that’s right! Red’s got to stay because there’s gonna be ice cream and cake and a piñata and lots of cool presents, all provided by the magical fairy chickens who can do anything with that tractor Bella keeps harping on about.

Red stays, Aaron apologizes, and a new era of peace, tranquility and semi-civilized behavior dawns. Pastor Jonathan and atheist Hex decide that they can treat each other with dignity and respect even if they don’t agree with each other on anything. At all. The naked girls will even vacate the lake and cover up every once in awhile so the poor guy can take a bath without being struck by holy lightning. Somewhere in another corner of the property, Bri and Chris are going at it like bunnies. All is well. Until next time, when they will probably all start throwing feces at each other.


Claire previously took on every reality show at once for us with A Quick Guide to Reality Shows for the Perpetually Confused.

For more Claire Abraham, check out her website – Recapper’s Delight!




TV Show: Utopia

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