5 Things You Need To Know About ‘The Lottery’ Premiere

Lifetime introduces us to a not so distant dystopian future tonight, Sunday, July 20th in The Lottery. The year is 2025 and there are only half a dozen six-year-olds left on the planet, with no new children in sight. The infertility crisis has sent the world into a tailspin of despair with scientists around the world racing to solve the mystery as to why no children can be conceived and to find a solution. That is the basic setup, now let’s dive into the five most important things you need to know before the premiere:

1) The Pilot Is Not A Home Run

I have been looking forward to The Lottery since it was announced, which is why it saddens me to say the pilot is not a winner. Where the trailers teased intense action and character drama, the actual premiere is weighed down by its predictability. Trust me, if you are watching the episode and at any point you expect something generic to happen, it will. Not one single “twist” was surprising…in fact, they were all either heavily telegraphed through the dialogue or grafted on from better conspiracy movies and television shows.

I am not saying don’t watch. For what it is, a low budget popcorn thriller, The Lottery is watchable and even enjoyable at times. However, it is not going to be the next must see show of the summer, and it is a far cry from other infertility stories like The Handmaid’s Tale or the cinematic version of Children of Men. And yes, I am bummed about that.

2) Michael Graziadei Is Going To Be Your Next TV Crush

Michael Graziadei (American Horror Story) stars as Kyle, single father to Elvis, one of the last six-year-olds, and there is nowhere near enough of him in the premiere. I have been watching Graziadei’s work since his soap opera days on The Young and the Restless, and he is insanely charismatic.

Kyle acts as a grounding force for a series that is caught up in the big picture. Where the rest of characters are politicians and scientists, Kyle is just a father trying to raise his son in a world gone mad. His plight is relatable and compelling. Graziadei pulls off both the role of the devoted dad and the guy barely keeping his life together. I could not muster up enough energy to care about Dr. Alison’s (Marley Shelton) egg drama or the President’s search for his “walk on the moon” triumph, but Kyle’s personal journey is worth seeing through.

3) The Government Is Super Corrupt

If the fictional American government had a mustache to twirl, it would. Everyone is shady: there is body policing all over the place, illegal testing on embryos, hits put out on people, more concern for elections than citizens and hints at even more underground conspiracies. Basically, 11 years in the future, America has turned into a police state run by creepy pod people with dead eyes.

Be afraid, be very afraid.

4) The People Are Not Much Better

We meet a couple of other people in the pilot who, like Kyle, are just regular citizens, and they are certifiable. My biggest concern is the idea that all women–including our lead scientist–have been turned into weird, baby obsessed creatures. Hands down the most unsettling thing that happens in the pilot is when a woman tries to justify to Kyle why she wants to brush Elvis’ hair. While he is in school. Because that will not make Elvis uncomfortable at all. Or us.

Sadly, every female character besides Chief of Staff Vanessa Keller (Athena Karkanis) possesses the same kind of kookiness. Meanwhile, the men are still prioritizing their jobs, using bad pickup lines and taking advantage of the crisis to run scams. Is there not one woman out there who is actually happy she can go see movies without being kicked in the back by a toddler for two hours?

5) The Last Twist Is Promising

Note I said promising and not shocking. The final reveal is exactly what I thought it would be, but it sets up some intriguing questions. The Lottery is not the show I was hoping it would be, but the last few moments captured my imagination. Where the series goes in episode two will be the real test.

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