Monday, December 5, 2022

‘The Peripheral’ Review: Prime Video’s Series Captures Heart of William Gibson’s Novel

TELEVISIONPRIME VIDEO'The Peripheral' Review: Prime Video's Series Captures Heart of William Gibson's Novel

Prime Video will release The Peripheral, the service’s latest dip into the sci-fi genre, tomorrow, October 21. Spearheaded by Chloë Grace Moretz, the series is based on William Gibson’s bestselling novel of the aforementioned name. Right off the bat, Moretz’s character, Flynne Fisher, appears to be like any other 20-something desperate for a purpose and a way out of small-town living. She lives with her mother and brother, Burton (Jack Reynor). She and her brother are avid video game players (albeit she’s more advanced) who test out a new “system” from an overseas company. Seems harmless enough, right? With the help of the “game,” she unlocks all of her dreams of finding a purpose and romance, but what she quickly finds out is that it’s putting her entire family in danger.

With adaptions, it’s sink or swim. In this instance, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy of Westworld serve as executive producers, giving the show even more credence. They don’t stray too far off the path of the source material, which is refreshing. Moretz and Reynor blend seamlessly as the titular sibling duo. While Flynne is a bit more serious and partially naïve, Burton is laid back but stoic, having spent time in combat. While Moretz has had her fair share of dazzling moments in Hollywood, she’s always been underutilized. The Peripheral helps re-establish her momentum and her case for Gen Z’s leading lady.

Another standout performance is Eli Goree’s Conner, a quadruple amputee war veteran who served alongside Reynor’s Burton. Finding success in his role as Cassius Clay in One Night in Miami as well as recurring roles in Riverdale, The 100, and Ballers, this is his first television leading role. While Goree delivers a heart-wrenching performance combatting Conner’s PTSD, the character is written as an amputee, so it would have been made even more meaningful to have accurately portrayed disabled representation on screen.

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Something Gibson is scarily wonderful at capturing through his works is just how accurate the plot points are. That society isn’t too far off from a dystopian future. Overall, The Peripheral is a dazzling adaption that captures the heart of Gibson’s novel from start to finish.

The first episode of The Peripheral will be available to stream starting tomorrow, October 21, on Prime Video. Episodes will release every Friday.

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