TV shows

Exit government, enter the corporation: ‘Incorporated’ is a show for our times

The American TV series imagines a dystopic future in which mega-corporations have taken over the United States of America.

The year is 2074. Governments have crumbled in the face of sweeping, devastating climate change, leaving huge corporate conglomerates to pick up the slack and complete the takeover they have seemingly been aiming at for years. The United States of America is effectively run by these multinational corporations; the zones in which they are located are called Green Zones. Outside are the Red Zones, dens of vice, violence, and a desperate struggle for survival.

This is the world of Syfy’s new drama, Incorporated. Produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, the series made its debut in the US on November 30 and was immediately hailed as timely in the wake of the election of Donald Trump as President. What could have been dismissed as yet another dystopic thriller to join a long queue – a more adult Hunger Games or a less sophisticated version of Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy – is getting a closer look thanks to its uncomfortable closeness to reality.

Play
‘Incorporated’.

From the get-go, the show plonks its viewers the shadowy world of mega-corporations, specifically SPIGA, a bio-engineering company that proudly takes credit for feeding “most of the world’. One of the SPIGA holdings in Jakarta has been attacked, and the company is on high alert, its security forces aware that even those within its glass walls are not above suspicion. Ben, a fast-rising employee (Sean Teale), is our window into this conglomeration, though we’re quickly shown that his own allegiance to SPIGA is suspect. Ben is on a mission to find a young woman with whom he has some sort of romantic history. She has been missing for six years, but using SPIGA’s extensive resources, he hopes to locate her somewhere within the morass of the system.

The writers use each of the main characters to highlight some aspect of the near-future world. There’s Laura, Ben’s wife (Allison Miller), a doctor at a cosmetic surgery clinic who has recently received permission to get pregnant. That’s right – if it seems like women do not have agency when it comes to terminating pregnancies, Incorporated pushes the premise further, creating a world where even getting pregnant is subject to checks and permissions. Tellingly, it is Ben’s bosses who have the right to tell Laura when and if she can start a family, no matter that she is a well-qualified doctor who runs a successful practice.

Laura’s mother, Elizabeth, also appears to be a key player. Played by Julia Ormond, best known for her role as the volatile Marie Calvert on Mad Men, Elizabeth is the head of SPIGA. She is also, however, on the outs with her daughter, and their relationship promises to be one of the more intriguing personal elements of the show. Calvert seems to be gifted at playing simultaneously terrifying and yet vulnerable women, and it will be interesting to see what she does with the role here.

The first episode includes a trip outside the haven of the Green Zones and into the seedy Red, following the trials of Theo (Eddie Ramos), a young man who comes up against trouble and is forced to push himself into prize fighting. The world of the Red Zone is painted in dull yellows the gritty luminescence of a streetlight in smoggy air, while the Green is primarily shot in clear, white light. They both have their dangers, even if those of the Red are slightly more obvious, and the Green more sanitised.

Incorporated seems worthwhile for, more than anything else, its ability to create a convincing futuristic world. Many creations in the dystopic genre fail to effectively address the world outside of their narrow lens. Though Incorporated is restricted to erstwhile Wisconsin thus far, characters speak of the world outside, of how events have affected countries as far flung as Micronesia (disappeared under the rising waters) and as close to home (for them) as Miami (also gone to the sea). Through little slips in conversation, we learn that the best champagne now comes from Norway, that fakon (fake bacon) is the new normal. Save for one quick exposition at the start, the show seems set on building its world for viewers brick by brick, letting it emerge organically, through the course of conversations, events, little anecdotes related by characters. For instance, nothing underscores the desperation of the residents of the Red Zones as clearly as one particular, small encounter in Laura’s clinic. Want to know what it is? Watch to find out.

Julia Ormond in ‘Incorporated’.
Julia Ormond in ‘Incorporated’.
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Top picks, best deals and all that you need to know for the Amazon Great Indian Festival

We’ve done the hard work so you can get right to what you want amongst the 40,000+ offers across 4 days.

The Great Indian Festival (21st-24th September) by Amazon is back and it’s more tempting than ever. This edition will cater to everyone, with offers on a range of products from electronics, home appliances, apparel for men and women, personal care, toys, pet products, gourmet foods, gardening accessories and more. With such overwhelming choice of products and a dozen types of offers, it’s not the easiest to find the best deals in time to buy before your find gets sold out. You need a strategy to make sure you avail the best deals. Here’s your guide on how to make the most out of the Great Indian Festival:

Make use of the Amazon trio – Amazon Prime, Amazon Pay and Amazon app

Though the festival officially starts on 21st, Amazon Prime members will have early access starting at 12 noon on 20th September itself, enabling them to grab the best deals first. Sign up for an Amazon Prime account to not miss out on exclusive deals and products. Throughout the festival, Prime members will 30-minute early access to top deals before non-Prime members. At Rs 499/- a year, the Prime membership also brings unlimited Amazon Prime video streaming and quick delivery benefits.

Load your Amazon pay wallet; there’s assured 10% cashback (up to Rs 500). Amazon will also offer incremental cashbacks over and above bank cashbacks on select brands as a part of its Amazon Pay Offers. Shopping from the app would bring to you a whole world of benefits not available to non-app shoppers. App-only deals include flat Rs 1,250 off on hotels on shopping for more than Rs 500, and flat Rs 1,000 off on flights on a roundtrip booking of Rs 5,000 booking from Yatra. Ten lucky shoppers can also win one year of free travel worth Rs 1.5 lakhs.

Plan your shopping

The Great Indian Sale has a wide range of products, offers, flash sales and lightning deals. To make sure you don’t miss out on the best deals, or lose your mind, plan first. Make a list of things you really need or have been putting off buying. If you plan to buy electronics or appliances, do your research on the specs and shortlist the models or features you prefer. Even better, add them to your wishlist so you’re better able to track your preferred products.

Track the deals

There will be lightning deals and golden hour deals throughout the festival period. Keep track to avail the best of them. Golden-hour deals will be active on the Amazon app from 9.00pm-12.00am, while Prime users will have access to exclusive lightning deals. For example, Prime-only flash sales for Redmi 4 will start at 2.00pm and Redmi 4A at 6.00pm on 20th, while Nokia 6 will be available at Rs 1,000 off. There will be BOGO Offers (Buy One Get One free) and Bundle Offers (helping customers convert their TVs to Smart TVs at a fraction of the cost by using Fire TV Stick). Expect exclusive product launches from brands like Xiaomi (Mi Band 2 HRX 32 GB), HP (HP Sprocket Printer) and other launches from Samsung and Apple. The Half-Price Electronics Store (minimum 50% off) and stores offering minimum Rs 15,000 off will allow deal seekers to discover the top discounts.

Big discounts and top picks

The Great Indian Festival is especially a bonanza for those looking to buy electronics and home appliances. Consumers can enjoy a minimum of 25% off on washing machines, 20% off on refrigerators and 20% off on microwaves, besides deals on other appliances. Expect up to 40% off on TVs, along with No-Cost EMI and up to Rs 20,000 off on exchange.

Home Appliances

Our top picks for washing machines are Haier 5.8 Kg Fully Automatic Top Loading at 32% off, and Bosch Fully Automatic Front Loading 6 Kg and 7 Kg, both available at 27% discount. Morphy Richards 20 L Microwave Oven will be available at a discount of 38%.

Our favorite pick on refrigerators is the large-sized Samsung 545 L at 26% off so you can save Rs 22,710.

There are big savings to be made on UV water purifiers as well (up to 35% off), while several 5-star ACs from big brands will be available at greater than 30% discount. Our top pick is the Carrier 1.5 Ton 5-star split AC at 32% off.

Also those looking to upgrade their TV to a smart one can get Rs. 20,000 off by exchanging it for the Sony Bravia 108cm Android TV.

Personal Electronics

There’s good news for Apple fans. The Apple MacBook Air 13.3-inch Laptop 2017 will be available at Rs 55,990, while the iPad will be available at 20% off. Laptops from Lenovo, Dell and HP will be available in the discount range of 20% to 26%. Top deals are Lenovo Tab3 and Yoga Tab at 41% to 38% off. Apple fans wishing to upgrade to the latest in wearable technology can enjoy Rs 8,000 off on the Apple Watch series 2 smartwatch. For those of you just looking for a high quality fitness tracker, the Fitbit Charge has Rs. 4500 off on 22nd September.

If you’re looking for mobile phones, our top deal pick is the LG V20 at Rs 24,999, more than Rs 5000 off from its pre-sale price.

Power banks always come in handy. Check out the Lenovo 13000 mAh power bank at 30% off.

Home printers are a good investment for frequent flyers and those with kids at home. The discounted prices of home printers at the festival means you will never worry about boarding passes and ID documents again. The HP Deskjet basic printer will be available for Rs 1,579 at 40% off and multi-function (printer/ scanner/ Wi-Fi enabled) printers from HP Deskjet and Canon will also available at 33% off.

The sale is a great time to buy Amazon’s native products. Kindle E-readers and Fire TV Stick will be on sale with offers worth Rs 5,000 and Rs 1,000 respectively.

The Amazon Fire Stick
The Amazon Fire Stick

For those of you who have a bottomless collection of movies, music and photos, there is up to 60% off on hard drives and other storage devices. Our top picks are Rs 15,000 and Rs 12,000 off on Seagate Slim 5TB and 4TB hard drives respectively, available from 8.00am to 4.00pm on 21st September.

The sale will see great discounts of up to 60% off on headphones and speakers from the top brands. The 40% off on Bose QC 25 Headphones is our favourite. Top deals are on Logitech speakers with Logitech Z506 Surround Sound 5.1 multimedia Speakers at 60% off and the super compact JBL Go Portable Speaker at 56% off!

Other noteworthy deals

Cameras (up to 55% off) and camera accessories such as tripods, flash lights etc. are available at a good discount. Home surveillance cameras too will be cheaper. These include bullet cameras, dome cameras, simulated cameras, spy cameras and trail and game cameras.

For home medical supplies and equipment, keep an eye on the grooming and personal care section. Weighing scales, blood pressure monitors, glucometers, body fat monitors etc. will be available at a cheaper price.

The sale is also a good time to invest in home and kitchen supplies. Mixer-grinders and juicers could see lightning deals. Don’t ignore essentials like floor mops with wheels, rotating mop replacements, utensils, crockery etc. Tupperware sets, for example, will be more affordable. There are attractive discounts on bags, especially laptop bags, backpacks, diaper bags and luggage carriers.

Interesting finds

While Amazon is extremely convenient for need-based shopping and daily essentials, it is also full of hidden treasures. During the festival, you can find deals on telescopes, polaroid cameras, smoothie makers, gym equipment, gaming consoles and more. So you’ll be able to allow yourself some indulgences!

Small shopping

If you have children, the festival is good time to stock up on gifts for Diwali, Christmas, return gifts etc. On offer are gaming gadgets such as Xbox, dough sets, Touching Tom Cat, Barbies, classic board games such as Life and more. There are also some products that you don’t really need, but kind of do too, such as smartphone and tablet holders, magnetic car mounts for smartphones and mobile charging station wall stands. If you’re looking for enhanced functionality in daily life, do take a look at the Amazon Basics page. On it you’ll find USB cables, kitchen shears, HDMI cables, notebooks, travel cases and other useful things you don’t realise you need.

Check-out process and payment options

Amazon is also offering an entire ecosystem to make shopping more convenient and hassle-free. For the festival duration, Amazon is offering No-Cost EMIs (zero interest EMIs) on consumer durables, appliances and smartphones, plus exchange schemes and easy installation services in 65 cities. HDFC card holders can avail additional 10% cashback on HDFC credit and debit cards. Customers will also get to “Buy Now and Pay in 2018” with HDFC Credit Cards, as the bank offers a 3 Month EMI Holiday during the days of the sale. Use Amazon Pay balance for fast and easy checkouts, quicker refunds and a secured shopping experience.

Sales are fun and with The Great Indian Festival offering big deals on big brands, it definitely calls for at least window shopping. There’s so much more than the above categories, like minimum 50% off on American Tourister luggage! To start the treasure hunt, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Amazon.in and not by the Scroll editorial team.