Art imitates life — no matter how lightweight or casual the art may be — as creators draw upon the world around them to tell their stories. Pop culture thus becomes a snapshot of the trends and social realities of their era, from 1950s science fiction using alien invaders as a stand-in for communism to movies like The Dark Knight using superheroes to explore the moral cost of combating terrorism. That includes a hefty dose of emerging technologies as nuclear power, personal computers, and similar life-changing developments –for better or worse — become the subject of the latest movie or TV show
2022 has been marked by the impact of social media platforms and the ripples they cause in real life. From the war in Ukraine where soldiers post shots of destroyed tanks on TikTok to the Q-Anon rabbit holes fomenting toxic delusions in the U.S., online platforms are having an increasingly heavy — and often dangerous — effect on the entire world. Not surprisingly, pop culture has followed suit with a rafter of stories about the dangers of the internet, and, more specifically, villains who use it in their dark plans.
Hollywood’s understanding of contemporary technology is often flawed, resulting in strange takes on new advancements that tend to date badly. The early ’80s, for instance, saw a bevy of “evil computer” movies such as Electric Dreams and WarGames (though the latter is an admitted classic), while the rise of the Internet in the mid-90s produced ill-conceived thrillers like The Net and The Lawnmower Man. By 2022, however, both the Internet and social media platforms have become part of everyone’s day-to-day lives. The threat thus shifts from the technology itself to the way ill-intentioned people can use it.
The most prominent example is likely The Batman, which finds a new and terrifying take on a classic supervillain when The Riddler uses the dark web to amass an army of terrorist followers. Its update of the character succeeds in part because his plot is eerily plausible, as the movie stresses how easily he could indoctrinate followers from Gotham’s despairing population. While more overtly science fiction, Don’t Worry Darling’s antagonist uses similar methods to lure couples into a repressed patriarchal reality: silencing outspoken women in the process.
WHAT IS SHE-HULK EPISODE 7’S RELEASE TIME?
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