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Ad Vitam Review

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On y va, let’s delve into this French sci-fi show currently streaming on Netflix.

What’s it about?

Ad Vitam is a French science-fiction/detective six-part series. In it, anyone over thirty can endlessly regenerate to live forever, and all those under thirty are treated as ‘minors’ – essentially children who have no power. When seven minors are found dead on a beach, a 120-year-old cop and 24-year-old woman team up to solve the case.

Darius is the tough detective who’s been doing the job for the past 99 years, and Christa is a young women who has spent the past 10 years in a ‘facility’ following her involvement with a youth suicide group. Together, they share are a lot of silent car rides on empty roads and a begrudging partnership develops.

We also see a lot of shots of jellyfish swimming about, along with some slightly odd ‘futuristic’ tech – hover-boards, drones and standard late 00’s smartphones appear at random intervals to remind us the story is set slightly in the future.

Hand holding a drone

We discover that along with the seven dead bodies on the beach, there are at least 200 minors who have gone missing. And at one point it seems like they may have been turned into ancient sea-creatures, which is a bit of a weird (but enjoyable) twist.

The final episode wraps up the story in the final twenty minutes. It doesn’t fully explain the WHY as to what the hell’s been going on, which left me scouring Reddit for answers, only to find everyone else none the wiser.

What’s it really about?

The story touches on the social divide between old and young as well as the powerless trying to take control by sticking together. When everyone lives with no end in sight and death is a foreign concept, this means that overpopulation and insect-eating are commonplace, along with multiple marriages and divorce.

You’d think that doing the same thing for a century would make people good at it. But no one seems to be having much fun. Careers span 100+ years and the regeneration chambers which lead to major headaches and sometimes cause people to space out. With no kids around and no real family or friends, this just leaves a present that seems to stretch on Ad Vitam (forever).

Is it worth watching?

The story kept me interested and both the main characters are intriguing enough to make you want to find out more. The setting comes across as fairly clinical and lacking softness and the series makes good use of silence. It was also an interesting exploration of what happens when people are ostracised in a non-violent way.