Amazon's The Peripheral: I'm angry

I'm often angry at Amazon, but this time it's for a reason not directly related to their terrible business practices.

Dec 19, 2022 3 min read
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I just finished watching “The Peripheral”, an Amazon Prime original show loosely inspired by some aspects of the world and a few characters from the book “The Peripheral” by William Gibson. It is my opinion that the show should absolutely have had a different title since it’s not based on the book with the same title. So much so that the show perverted the book through and through.

First, I should say that the show is really well done. It’s strangely beautiful, and atmospheric, with a fantastic cast. Chloe Grace Moretz is a treasure and she’s absolutely perfect as Flynne.

The story, on the other hand, is quite disjointed, full of leaps and gaps, and loose ends. This is also entirely beside the point; the point is that this story has no relation to what happens in the book.

Spoilers ahead!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some philosopher annoyed that the deeper meaning of a book was not reflected as such on the show. What I mean is that some plot elements of the show make no sense, while others go directly opposite the book.

Say, cloaking cars in the stub. It makes no sense; they were barely able to fab the crown, how the hell would the stub end up with the latest future London tech?!

Or these clearly full-on adversarial relationships between the county and London; what the fuck? Why? It makes no sense.

Or Lev being this hated enemy of Ash and Ossian. What the what?!

Or Lowbeer being this kind of a side character and not an all-seeing, all-knowing power player who in fact defines a lot of how the klept world works. I’m not even talking about the fact that the huge lead gets buried entirely: in the show we never meet Lowbeer in the county.

There’s a lot more of this stuff. All in all, the show left me feeling disappointed and angry. It’s such a beautiful production, with fantastic details, and exceptional world-building. And it all turned out to be some far-fetched conflict, imagined and unnecessary drama, glaring plot holes, plot choices that make zero sense, and the most disappointing finale I could’ve imagined (which also makes entirely zero sense, none at all).

I think one of the goals of the idiotic finale was to make sure there’s room for season 2. And with the way this season had ended, the next one can only be loosely based on the world of the Peripheral, at best, or turn into some new disjointed story at worst. In any case, I’m not watching it, thank you.