Utopia and dystopia in futuristic nonfiction television
Jackson, Sarah Anne.
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Fiction often represents the future in either a utopian or dystopian light. Utopian fiction presents worlds where life is perfection. Dystopian fiction's conflict comes directly from the characters' interactions with the problems in their world. When nonfiction television enters into speculation by making programs about the future, they also enter into these two categories of fiction. Some programs show a world returning to a perfect Eden, but they begin with the dystopian ending of the human race on earth. Other shows promise technological utopias, but avoid obvious problems with their technologically dependent tomorrows. These shows all take tropes from dystopian science fiction, but use their status as science documentaries to deny that any of the critiques of fiction belong in their programs.