Mrs. Davis, reflections on the first half of season 1

Betty Gilpin in Mrs. Davis

Mrs. Davis is an absolutely bonkers, absurd, trope-filled quest on the part of a nun to destroy an AI known as Mrs. Davis. As of this writing, 4 of the 8 episodes in the series are available on Peacock. I have a few comments.

Mrs. Davis is delightfully inane. It’s unpredictable and unbelievable. We live in a world deviled by insane culture wars. Our entertainment has become more and more absurd to compete with the insanity of our reality. Mrs. Davis is just one example of this trend, but it’s a funny and well done example.

Let me try to describe the plot. Sister Simone (Betty Gilpin), a nun living near Reno, hates two things: magicians and the Artificial Intelligence running everyone’s life. In America the AI is called Mrs. Davis. She (It! It is a machine, not a person) has other names in other places.

Kim Hawthorne and Betty Gilpin in Mrs. Davis
Kim Hawthorne plays the kindergarten teacher who is a proxy for Mrs. Davis

Simone refuses to speak to the AI, so it goes to all sorts of extremes to get her attention. It communicates by getting “proxies” to listen to her on the phone and repeat everything she says to Simone. There are many such proxies all over the world.

Jake McDorman in Mrs. Davis
The leader of the underground resistance.

Simone has a former boyfriend named Wiley (Jake McDorman). He tells her he wants to destroy the AI running the world, too. They team up to take down the AI.

Andy McQueen in Mrs. Davis
Um, Jay is short for what name??????

When Simone became a nun, she married Jay (Andy McQueen), a Middle Eastern fellow who makes good falafel in an always empty cafe and takes orders from a boss in a secret room.

What are all these characters up to? They are chasing the holy grail. Yes, that holy grail. Simone made a deal with Mrs. Davis. If Simone procures the holy grail, Mrs. Davis will turn herself off and end herself.

In her quest to find the holy grail, Simone goes all over the world chasing nutty clues. She’s kidnapped, she finds giant swords, she meets the pope, she eats too much paper. Everything that happens is a cliché, a trope, an unpredictable twist that has been used a million times before. The series should be called “Quest for the Tired Cliché.”

The thing is, when you throw all those clichés into a semblance of a story it can be hilarious. Schrödinger (Ben Chaplin) is there with his cat. The Mother Superior (Margo Martindale) disappears in a helicopter. Jay has a fluffy bed on the floor next to the stove in the kitchen of his restaurant. There are religious people everywhere – nuns, priests, popes, people who have wings granted by the AI. It’s heavy on derisive Catholic symbolism.

It’s impossible to predict where the next four episodes of this series will go before the end of the season, but I’ll be watching to find out. Are you watching? Do you find it entertaining or simply too silly?

8 thoughts on “Mrs. Davis, reflections on the first half of season 1”

  1. christopher swaby

    i am really enjoying this show. the relationship btwn Sister Simone and Jay felt as i imagine a nun’s marriage would feel. and an AI that seeks to control humanity, even benevolently, has been the stuff of science fiction for decades.

    with so many channels and streamers, it seems to me that there is room for virtually every type of story. this one may not be for everyone, but its definitely for me.

  2. I’m having a hard time with this one.. I love Betty Gilpin..the premise looked so good. But I just find myself almost pushing to get thru and eps. I’m at the end of #2 and have stopped it 3x to watch other things. I dunno..I’m gonna keep at it.

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