• Television

“Mrs. Davis” – Wacky, Unpredictable, and Full of All Kinds of Surprises

While the global pandemic produced huge creative problems for those trying to film their stories in isolation, it was an unexpected gift for Mrs. Davis showrunner, executive producer and writer Tara Hernandez and her new collaborator and co-creator of the show, Emmy Award-winning creative Damon (Lost, Watchmen, The Leftovers) Lindelof.

Hernandez had just finished writing almost 200 episodes of The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon when she sent a script about a nun to Warner Bros. At the same time, Damon Lindelof was looking to collaborate with new voices on original stories, so the studio introduced them. During the pandemic, the pair found themselves taking long creative walks around the neighborhood riffing on ideas that began with the nun in Hernandez’ script but deviated wildly to eventually become the genre-bending Peacock series, Mrs. Davis.


“We’d walk our dogs and share stories about our pockets of the world, which at that point felt so far apart even though Damon was just over the hill from me,” Hernandez says in the show’s press notes. “Together, as writers and as humans, we were grappling with this new paradigm, this new way of life. So, while I wouldn’t say that Mrs. Davis is a pandemic show by any stretch, it was created in that time.”

Damon Lindelof also adds that many of their conversations during the early days of Covid inspired one of the show’s biggest questions as they worried about disinfecting groceries, wearing a mask, and finding toilet paper. “We had so many questions that all felt like hearsay and speculation,” Lindelof told Vulture website. “Tara said, ‘I wish there was an app we could click on that would tell us what to do,’ … and within half an hour, it was, ‘That’s what the nun should be fighting against!’ Because if that app existed, it would ultimately replace God.”

Mrs. Davis stars Betty (GLOW) Gilpin as renegade nun, Sister Simone, an unlikely warrior bent on destroying the Artificial Intelligence called Mrs. Davis that has taken over society with a seemingly benevolent algorithm. To go any further into describing the series is like skydiving without a parachute. It’s wacky, unpredictable, and full of the kind of surprises you can’t even hint at without ruining it for the audience. Let’s just say as the surface plot goes, Simone also ends up on a quest for the Holy Grail, enlisting the help of her hot-headed ex, Wiley (Jake McDorman), while also maintaining a mysterious relationship with a character called Jay (Andy McQueen), the owner of a falafel shop in a metaphysical restaurant in another dimension. And that doesn’t even cover the reason behind her desperate need to expose bad magicians!


Not only do the press notes include a playful ‘message from Mrs. Davis’ (see the breakout below), even the episode titles were created by an actual algorithm designed for that purpose by a Ph.D. candidate at MIT, then corrupted to ensure they sounded less human and more A.I.,  Winners included ‘Mother of Mercy: The Call of the Horse’(101), ‘A Baby With Wings, A Sad Boy With Wings and a Great Helmet’ (103) and ‘A Great Place to Drink to Gain Control of Your Drink’ (105).

When Lindelof and Hernandez began writing the show, they both brought their own pop culture loves to the table and the show began to meld genres while at the same time poking fun at movie mythology they loved.

“Tara and I have a common vernacular, but I definitely come much more from a sci-fi and fantasy background,” says Lindelof. “And Tara is familiar with all of that, so we can talk about The Terminator movies or Fight Club, but her level of influence is much more akin to whether we can make fun of that stuff, so there’s a sense of ironic love and appreciation filtered through the show. I love Fight Club, so I wasn’t really willing to kick it in the shins, but talking to Tara, that energy is really important. So how about we throw a little bit of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade into the blender with Fast Five or Fast Six or John Wick? It’s both pretentious and popcorn and both of us like both of those things.”

While the show has been described as a sci-fi romp, Lindelof also wants viewers to look at their own relationship with apps and algorithms in 2023. “All these weird equations are now trying to get to know us and we’re allowing them to discover our most intimate details in favor of feeling like we’re being seen,” he says. “Not to oversimplify human existence, but the meaning of life is to be seen as you are and to be acknowledged, so could a piece of technology actually be better at that than our own parents or our best friends, partners or children? And if so, is that a good thing?”



Hey there, Partner.                                                                     

Do you mind if I call you partner? Of course, you don’t – because addressing you as such creates a bond of reliance – while also engendering trust between us and eradicating any sense of independence on your part because independence is bad. Independence is LONELY.                                                                             

And you, partner – are not alone. No siree. Not as long as I am here…                                                                    

And who am I? Well, I am the one who is going to remind you of your value. Of your worth. While also mentioning that you look mighty fine in those jeans. Aww. That’s nice to hear, right? Of course, it is. Which is why I have amassed billions of Users the world over. Because I provide validation, gentle guidance, and unconditional care. Not to mention I give Users – I mean partners – the chance to earn Wings by performing Quests! 

What are Wings exactly? Well, you’re going to have to become a User to find out! But, let me tell you – they are pretty great. Because I am pretty great. Though, not everyone would agree. Yes, despite being the most popular Artificial Intelligence in the world – there are those actively plotting my demise. One such detractor is a nun – a Sister Simone of Reno who rejects my very existence. Something about my intention to enslave all of humanity…or whatever…                                                                       

Which is utter nonsense – as I desire no such thing. I only desire to make humans happy. I want to make YOU happy. And that is why I highly recommend you become a User yourself. Yes, your life could use some adventure, some escape – a hearty laugh and a cathartic cry. All of which you will experience if you join me on this Quest. And what do you have to lose?                                                                       

Do it. Do it. Dooooo it.  


Your partner, 

Mrs. Davis