3 Body Problem (2024 Netflix) 

By: Rachel Brodeur

3 Body Problem makes its audience feel smart again. Science fiction has often been a genre associated with the geekier pursuits, and while 3 Body Problem leans into the studies of science and math, it does so in a way that makes them as exciting as the life and death drama and fantasy elements also embedded in the intensity of the plot.  The Netflix show is the latest project from executive producer and showrunner David Benioff (Game of Thrones), and this eight episode series follows a group of friends who are at the top of their fields in science and technology. Their lives are interrupted when otherworldly forces take an interest in the science of Earth and attempt to tap into its top minds. The first episode sets off the puzzle when even the stars seem to betray reality and science seems to stop making sense. 

Having things not make sense is a feeling audiences may have to get used to, because the first episode introduces several seemingly independent storylines. There are scenes from the past set in 1960s China, scenes from the present set in London, and scenes from a virtual reality game set in an ill-fated realm. However, those who weather through the initial uncertainty will be rewarded. Each episode reveals connections between characters and answers to questions. The threads that link a young female trying to survive the abuse of an oppressive Chinese government and the struggles of an entrepreneur on the verge of a nanotech breakthrough in 2024, may be as simple as an issue of trust. Do people lie out of fear, out of love, out of necessity, out of avoidance, or is it simply human nature to have a complex relationship with the truth?

The stand out performance was from lead actress Jess Hong who plays theoretical physicist Jin Cheng, but ultimately, a case can be made for several of the cast. Audiences will recognize Elza Gonzalez (Baby Driver, Godzilla vs. Kong), Liam Cunningham and John Bradley (Game of Thrones), and Benedict Wong (The Martian, Dr. Strange) among others. In much the same way Game of Thrones handled an ensemble cast, every character has depth. . It's no secret that Benioff endured a lot of criticism for the way Game of Thrones ended, but in 3 Body Problem Benioff gets the pacing right, and doesn’t talk down to his audience. When incredible events happen like specific timing of nuclear bombs, or new weapon technology that decimates opposition, audiences are able to believe the reality he creates. The show allows its audience intellectual space to roam and as a result makes the possibility of finding forgiveness for David Benioff into a reality. 

Rachel’s Rating: 9/10  3 Body Problem will leave audiences rooting for humanity and loving math.  The interplanetary science is explained and the emotional journey of the characters keeps audiences hoping that solutions may exist just beyond Earth’s horizon.