What do people need to be happy? In the new Peacock original series “Brave New World,” as well as the 1932 Aldous Huxley novel it’s based on, happiness in the fictional society of New London is mandated by the powers that be. Everyone in New London is genetically engineered and psychologically conditioned to be suited to, and satisfied with, a specific role in their society. They’re encouraged to the point of compulsion to engage in every kind of hedonistic indulgence imaginable. There are no difficult decisions to be made. And for those pesky times when discomfort or anxiety rear their ugly heads, the perfectly effective, perfectly side-effect-free drug Soma is there to smooth it away. Everyone is happy. Except that they’re not. But why? Why, when every physical need is amply satisfied and every pleasure available and every discomfort eased, would people not be happy? Why would a worker kill …
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