More human than us: How "Maybe Happy Ending" robots show us the miracles in the mundane
“What if we wrote a show about what it means to be human and told the story through robots?”
When book-writer and lyricist Hue Park emailed his writing partner Will Aronson suggesting such a concept, the pair never batted an eye at the irony of using sci-fi to explore the gift of everyday life.
“Now that everyone’s spending more and more time looking at their cell phones, spending time online, and not actually talking to other people face to face, I feel like we are getting more and more used to not expressing our emotions as much as we used to,” Park shares. “We are slowly turning into robots, in a way. So I think that was one of the first inspirations to write the show.” Park says this inspiration initially sparked when he heard the lyrics to a Damon Albarn song, “Everyday Robots,” talking about how we are all trying to find belonging in our cell phones.
Despite its futuristic premise, Maybe Happy Ending is not so much about looking towards the future and the dangers therein, but about valuing interpersonal opportunities here and now.
“I don’t think we’re saying technology is bad,” Park says. “I think we’re asking, ‘What’s the most magical experience that we get to have as humans, when we are only on this planet for a limited time?’ We felt the robots were more human than us, so we let them teach us about the things we’d forgotten about life.”
Part of the reason behind choosing robots was that the characters could look at the human experience with a fresh eye, viewing emotions and connection with wonder.
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