Set in a distant future where a deadly virus has reduced the human population to "less than two million" and left all the survivors blind, See has a set-up that might remind viewers of similarly bleak thrillers like A Quiet Place, Bird Box, or the 2008 film Blindness, which was adapted from a José Saramago novel about a world suffering from widespread blindness. From the first set of onscreen titles, which explains that vision "exists only as a myth" and that "to even speak of it is considered heresy," you'll likely feel like you're watching something you've seen before. Occasionally, that sense of déjà vu can be comforting in genre storytelling. In the case of See, it grows tiring fast.
The first episode goes to great lengths to front-load as much exposition as possible, introducing the villainous, determined Queen Kane (Sylvia Hoeks) and establishing Momoa's rugged, fearsome tribe leader Baba Voss. Over the course of an hour, we learn he's a man of great physical prowess and strong moral character, a respected figure in the hilltop village of Alkenny where he lives. In addition to fighting off an incoming raiding party, using tumbling boulders and slicing blades, Voss cares for the two children born to his wife, Maghra (Hera Hilmar), during a particularly stressful delivery overseen by Paris, a wise community elder played by Alfre Woodard. Quickly, it's apparent that the twins have a gift, passed on from their mysterious father: the ability to see. Though the babies are not his, Voss swears to protect them with his life.
The scenes that follow in the first episode should have a biblical rush to them -- Momoa and the family on the run to a sanctuary city would be enough plot to power an older, hokier network version of this series -- but the show struggles to build tension or suspense. A big set-piece set involving a creaky rope bridge, one where each piece of poorly secured wood might fall off with every step, is about as hokey as these dystopian thrillers get. Even the stranger touches, like a record player blasting out Lou Reed or Queen Kane masturbating while saying a version of the pledge of allegiance, feel borrowed from better, more genuinely out-there shows and movies. For the most part, the remnants of the past that do surface, like tattered paperback copies of To Kill a Mockingbird and 1984, are thunderingly obvious.