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Entering the World of ‘Shiny New Things’

Looking for an intriguing sci-fi dystopia web series to binge? Then it’s time to tune in for Shiny New Things, which is debuting its season one episodes right now.

 If you haven’t heard of Shiny New Things yet, you don’t want to miss out on this cool indie sci-fi series. Set in the near future after an apocalyptic nuclear war, the action of the series takes place in a world where a new government order has divided society. Poorer people find macabre work portraying the dead loved ones of uber-rich people, in a creepily believable environment in which people go to extraordinary lengths to deny their grief and losses. The series uniquely explores power, vengeance, and sacrifice in an uncertain future.

An uncertain future… Sound familiar?

Behind the scenes of Shiny New Things, photo credit: Lakeisha Jackson

While the series was launched pre-Covid, the sense of dystopia that runs through the story of Shiny New Things season one feels completely relatable in today’s world. Producer, director and writer Lakeisha Jackson found inspiration for the story itself in a strange dream she had, with rich overlooking a poorer part of town—and this vision formed the basis of the world SNT takes place in.

“The person in my dream had escaped his employer and was beaten physically and emotionally,” says Jackson. “He was frantically repeating the phrase, ‘We’re just their Shiny New Things.’ It was vivid! I can still see the fear in his eyes, hear the brokenness of his voice, and it stuck with me.”

That sense of pain, disorientation and fear permeates the series production, anchored by strong acting turns by its cast. The characters come to life through performances grounded in real, believable emotional arcs that create a taut feel to every moment on screen. 

Behind the camera with SNT’s crew, photo credit: Lakeisha Jackson

The result is that viewers get swept into the drama, which is all the more important as the production itself is being made by indie creators. It’s impossible not to notice how a great science fiction story depends as much on the overall aesthetic and concept, not just a big budget and major VFX.

“The biggest challenges were definitely related to budget,” says Jackson. “What I didn’t have in budget to pay for, I taught myself how to do in order to get it done. What money I did have, I put in places where it was needed to pull off the scene and make the story cohesive.”

So, while the show doesn’t have high-end finances behind it (at least, not yet!), what Shiny New Things has in spades is a killer concept that promises a wild story ride—which is what sci-fi fans crave. It’s well worth tuning in and getting pulled into the world of SNT next chance you get. 

Catch new episodes of Shiny New on The Fantasy Network. Connect with Lakeisha Jackson or follow the Shiny New Things cast and crew through her linktree.