The mysterious new sci-fi series Dispatches From Elsewhere premiered its first trailer last month, depicting Jason Segel in a dystopian society not dissimilar to our own. Along with three other people, he is chosen as an “agent of nonchalance” tasked with unlocking a hidden world underneath the surface of reality.
If you don’t understand what any of that means, don’t worry: neither do we. But luckily AMC, which will be premiering the 10-part series on March 1st and March 2nd, has uploaded the first few minutes of the pilot episode to YouTube, giving a bit more insight into the tone and themes of the show.
Richard E. Grant, who plays the head of a secretive organization called the Jejune Institute, narrates the first few minutes, introducing us to Segel’s protagonist Peter and running through his daily, monotonous routine. Peter appears to work as an engineer for a Spotify-like music streaming service, and spends his days walking to work, sitting at a computer, walking home, picking up a packaged sushi dinner from the bodega and watching TV.
“This is tragedy in its most quietly devastating costume: a life without risk, a life without real pain, a life without real joys,” Grant tells the audience. “This is existing, not living. At least, that is my philosophy, and at the end of the day, that’s what I’ve got.” Grant also confesses that he lied once — “and only once” — during his opening narration about Peter, but doesn’t reveal what the lie was.
In addition to Segel and Grant, Dispatches From Elsewhere also stars Sally Field, André Benjamin (a.k.a. André 3000) and Eve Lindley. The series is created and executive produced by Segel, with Mark Friedman as showrunner.