The Watchman: Acorn’s TV ‘Nest’ Puts Troubled Teen to the Test; Brave New Show on Peacock

Senior content producer Michael Malone’s look at the programming scene
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The Nest begins on Acorn TV July 13. The BBC One psychological thriller is about a pact between a wealthy young couple and a teenage girl. The couple has everything except a baby. They meet 18-year-old Kaya, from the other side of Glasgow, and hire her to be their surrogate. Kaya may not be all she’s cracked up to be.

'The Nest' on Acorn TV

'The Nest'

Nicole Taylor, creator and co-executive producer, called it a “domestic thriller, an emotional thriller — very pacey, very twisty. It’s about something that’s emotionally real.”

The Nest is just five episodes, and Taylor likes it that way. “I believe in burning through story,” she said.

The idea for the series came to her at a performance by country star Brandy Clark. Taylor is obsessed with country music and often gets ideas at concerts. She’s been into country since she was a child. “It was extremely unfashionable to be into Garth Brooks,” Taylor said of her tween/teen years.

Taylor boiled The Nest down to “how far will you go to get what you want?” She added, “Three people lock into a relationship with mutually assured destruction.”

The Nest did well on BBC One. Taylor said fans were all different ages. “I love it when that happens,” she said. “You hit a whole bunch of demographics, and everyone takes away something different.”

'Brave New World' on Peacock

'Brave New World'

 July 15 sees the premiere of Brave New World on Peacock. It is, of course, adapted from Aldous Huxley’s dystopian novel from 1932. Executive producer David Weiner said the ideas Huxley puts forth — about technology, society and class — are timely in 2020. “The ideas in Brave New World seem to be more resonant, more relevant 90 years after he wrote it,” Weiner said.

Alden Ehrenreich, Jessica Brown Findlay and Demi Moore are in the cast.

Peacock mentions a “genetically-engineered future where life is pain-free but meaningless.” Society prohibits monogamy, privacy, money, family and history. Like many of us, Weiner had to read Brave New World for school, and didn’t quite finish the assignment. “It had sex in it,” he recalled, but conceded that Huxley’s grand themes went beyond his ken. Reconnecting with it more recently, Weiner mentioned “an extraordinarily prophetic novel.”

Huxley was perhaps most prescient in envisioning the tech world that lay ahead. “He’d be unpleasantly unsurprised by our use of technology,” Weiner said.

Brave New World is set in both sterile London and the gritty Savage Lands beyond. Weiner described the series as “deliciously weird.”

Peacock launches July 15. Weiner said he heard nothing but yes from the network in producing Brave New World.

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Peacock’s mix of established programs and premium original stuff, he said, should find viewers. “I’m as curious as anybody about Peacock,” Weiner added.