Steven Soderbergh’s second TV show of 2023 — which was only announced a few days before its release — is a hopeful dystopian one. Command Z, which comprises eight short episodes totaling 90 minutes, is so named for Apple’s “undo” shortcut because that’s exactly the purpose of the show’s time-travel mission. In 2053, a tech billionaire (Michael Cera) who uploaded his consciousness to the cloud before dying on his way to Mars recruits three employees to make a few tweaks in the past to divert Earth off the course that led it to its nightmarish current state. The idea is that, by implanting themselves in the minds of those nearest to potential change-makers — like the daughter of a Big Oil CEO or a politician’s aide — they can convince their targets to take action and prevent the city-high sea levels and Hazmat-requiring pollution of 2053.
Though frequently humorous in its satirical vision of the future, Command Z doesn’t mess around, virtually breaking the fourth wall at every opportunity to prod us to do something. If the tone isn’t quite as polished as it could be — or if the production value sometimes feels slapdash — it’s all befitting of the urgency of the message it’s begging us to heed before it’s too late.
Command Z is available to stream here for a one-time fee of $7.99 that is donated in full to Children's Aid and the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research.
Genre: Comedy, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Actor: Alexandra Socha, Ben Livingston, Catherine Curtin, Elisa de La Roche, James Naughton, Jared Reinfeldt, Jiehae Park, JJ Maley, John Ellison Conlee, Karen Huie, Kevin Pollak, Laura Seay, Liev Schreiber, Michael Cera, Mike Birbiglia, Mike Houston, Monique Moses, Nhumi Threadgill, Roy Wood Jr., Stavros Halkias, Will Brill, Zoe Winters