3 Body Problem Review

REVIEW: 3 Body Problem

Astrophysicist Ye Wenjie (Zine Tseng/Rosalind Chao) sends a message into space from a remote base during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Years later, there’s a response: reply, and they’ll come and destroy Earth. After all of the destruction Ye Wenjie has witnessed, she invites them to come because Earth cannot save itself.   In the present day, Vera Ye (Vedette Lim) commits suicide, bringing together a group of former students, Saul (Jovan Adepo), Auggie (Eiza Gonzalez), Jin (Jess Hong), Will (Alex Sharp), and Jack (John Bradley). Meanwhile, Clarence (Benedict Wong) is investigating the suicides of scientists in London. After the funeral, Ye Wenjie gives Jin a virtual gaming headset that Vera was using before her suicide. Jin puts on the headset and begins playing the 3 Body game. Jack joins Jin, and they figure out the game’s meaning together. After they advance to Level 3, they are invited to a meeting of players. Jin is introduced into the cult of the San-Ti from the planet Trisolaris, led by a surprising person. The San-Ti plan on wiping Earth out completely, and the cultists welcome it. When this is revealed, Jin, the various friends, and the Planetary Defense Council work to advance Earth’s technology and prepare for the San-Ti’s arrival.

3 Body Problem Review

When I read Netflix’s description of “3 Body Problem,” I was baffled. It was something about a group of five friends banding together to save Earth or something. I’ve read the first novel and watched Tencent’s 2023 adaptation, “Three-Body.” From the synopsis alone, I knew I would have to treat this sci-fi series as a separate thing.

This Netflix series was not my jam. Instead of a hard science fiction series, the creators opted to make this series primarily witty banter and interpersonal relationships between these five people. This was not what I signed up for, but I guess if that’s someone’s thing, they’d like it. Honestly, I can barely remember anything about this group of people, and it’s only been about eighteen hours since I finished the series. I didn’t care at all what happened to this group of people.

3 Body Problem Review

The most glaring issue with the series was the complete absence of tension. Problems and mysteries would be introduced, only to be swiftly resolved within the next few minutes. This lack of intrigue and suspense rendered the series dull and unengaging. There was nothing to hold my interest, and I found it difficult to stay focused. The only aspect that managed to earn this series an extra half-star was the score. It was, without a doubt, the most thrilling part of the series, providing a fleeting moment of tension.

3 Body Problem Review

I’m only going to spend one paragraph about how I disliked how this series was adapted for a Western audience. Essentially, the creators took the physicists to a group of five buddies Vera Ye mentored. My first thought was, who the hell is Vera Ye? Vera Ye is Yang Dong from the novel, the daughter of Ye Wenjie, whose father was changed in this adaption, leading to the different surnames. They took a book that ruminated on physics and philosophy into a generic, vanilla-boring, dumbed-down series.

As an adaptation, 3 Body Problem is poor, at best, and it’s mid as a science fiction show. The creators wasted fantastic source material and produced a dull, uninteresting series. Maybe some novels just shouldn’t be adapted for a Western audience. This entire series was vapid and shallow, lacking complexity and everything interesting in the book. I have no idea why I semi-watched all eight episodes. Maybe it was morbid curiosity, or I was just too lazy to switch shows.   I’m relieved the series was forgettable and didn’t leave a lasting impression.

Where to Watch

3 Body Problem | March 21, 2024 (United Kingdom) 7.8


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