Artificial intelligence is one of those transformative technologies that we’ll reflect on in a decade or two with wonder. We’ll ask questions like how did we go without AIs that could automatically translate other languages from videos we fed them or quickly render art or churn out emails we didn’t especially want to write ourselves? But as AI enables us to do more faster, it is likely also going to be a terrific tool for churning out misinformation and killing jobs. But I do question whether we’ll, over time, react as badly to something like Bing or ChatGPT as violently as the nun in Mrs. Davis.
The new show from Lost and The Leftovers’ creator Damon Lindelof and Tara Hernandez (who worked on The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon) follows a nun, Simone, as she fights an AI affectionately known by its users as Mrs. Davis. Owen Harris, who directed the excellent Black Mirror episode San Junipero, and Alethea Jones, who has directed multiple episodes of the superb (and similarly weird, funny, and dark) Evil, are directing multiple episodes, as well as executive producing. So the show has the kind of creative forces behind it that promise something fascinating.
In the trailer, which just dropped today, Mrs. Davis appears to be like if Siri and ChatGPT combined into an AI that was actually intelligent. Everyone wears earbuds to chat with the AI, and many seem to find joy, and something like a religious experience, in simply interacting with it.
Except for Simone and her hot ex-boyfriend with a bad mustache.
It sounds like a goofy premise, but the trailer (and the people making the show) suggests this will be a wild, very funny, and very human show. There are cowboys! And knights?! Nuns on motorcycles! And a dude asking people not to call the AI Mrs. Davis because no one calls Facebook Doug!
It helps that Simone is played by Betty Gilpin, who has the incredible ability to balance humor and high stakes. She showcased that ability in both G.L.O.W. and Nurse Jackie, and her comedic timing, even in the trailer for Mrs. Davis, doesn’t disappoint. Her boyfriend is played by Jake McDorman, who you might have previously seen in Dopesick or as the hapless human Jeff in What We Do in Shadows.
The show’s first four episodes will premiere on Peacock on April 20th, and the next four will air weekly in the following weeks.