The plot of the television series (streaming on Peacock) Mrs. Davis follows Betty Gilpin as Sister Simone, a nun who goes to war against a peace-keeping artificial intelligence called Mrs. Davis that has quietly taken over the minds of the world. A fascinating and “of the moment” premise, to be sure. Yet, rather than develop into any kind of meaningful thought experiment that evolves that age-old debate about “faith versus reason” into something more specific to our times — “faith versus technology” — the series sputters and convulses, dedicating more time to bizarre and violent set pieces and mildly amusing sights than excavating its own genius premise. In essence, the show is weird for the sake of being weird. Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022) cleaned house at the Oscars, with some calling it the most acclaimed film ever made. In the wake of the film’s release, serious attention was given to the idea of “metamodern” storytelling, of which Everything Everywhere All at Once and Mrs. Davis are pristine examples. What is metamodern storytelling, exactly? So, a “metamodern” approach to storytelling would be a story that exchanges traditional storytelling methods for irony and satire. It is, in some ways, the next stage of evolution of the mindset that gave birth to “deconstructionist” storytelling, which sought to break down traditional narrative structures in stories. However, when that satire and irony is employed in a way that has no interest in reproving, rebuking, or teaching, then perhaps Christians should begin weighing the validity of the assessment.

This Postmodern Realities episode is a conversation with JOURNAL author Cole Burgett about his review article, “Mrs. Davis TV Series Review and Metamodernism“. **Editor’s Note: This article and podcast contains spoilers for Mrs. Davis.** 

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