HBO’s Time Bomb Y2K is an amusing documentary exploring what has become a quaint part of apocalyptic human history.
Throughout history, we’ve always struggled with the reality that one day, our planet will be no more. The advancements we make as a civilisation will one day be lost, and we will be just another closing chapter in the vast galaxy. Thankfully, by the time our planet draws to a close, we will most likely not be there to see it. However, what if that wasn’t the case? What if our planet came to a close at the dawn of a new millennium? Time Bomb Y2K is a documentary comprising archival footage and first-hand accounts of a time in human history when we thought all of our hard work in society would come to a close.
Time Bomb Y2K is a documentary that recounts the tale of “Y2K”, the most significant technological disaster feared to occur when computers would misinterpret the year 2000 as 1900, causing chaos worldwide. As the world banded together to stop this potential apocalyptic scenario, we see how technology has blossomed over its many years of use with humans and how, even when we make great electronic leaps, there’s always some sort of vulnerability around the corner.
Technology is a beautiful piece of human intelligence, but it’s open to errors, just like us. As advanced as we have become with computers, smartphones, and electric cars, something as simple as a date can be an entirely different issue. Time Bomb Y2K focuses heavily on this crucial point in its opening act. As we’re given a picture of what technology looked like in the 90s, we see a world arriving at the new millennium with excitement and anxiety. Welcoming a whole new century is presented here, like exploring uncharted waters. The lack of knowledge of what comes next is both exciting and terrifying. Humans can’t predict the future, and because of this, technology can’t either.
What’s fascinating about Time Bomb Y2K is the optimistic naivety many people show as the world approaches the 2000s. Looking back at the past 23 years of this century, we’ve found ourselves more divided than ever. Whether it be political views or the latest celebrity we choose to unapologetically stan, our connectivity through technology has made us a much more angry bunch of human beings. However, that’s not to say that our bond with technology hasn’t brought some good to the world. In fact, without our devices being able to preserve much of what we see here, the nostalgia-fuelled lens of Time Bomb Y2K would’ve likely been impossible, and the film isn’t afraid to remind you of this. Looking back, the world in 1999 was in a much different state. However, it’s essential for us to be able to look at the past in order to recontextualise the future.
Time Bomb Y2K is a fun descent into a strange part of human history. Looking back, the idea of the 2000s ushering in an apocalypse is quaint and straight out of an old cheesy science fiction film. However, the anxiety felt by many people at the time was genuine. Looking back, we will likely never face another moment like this again in time, but rest assured; we will always live with the anxiety of what the world might look like in a hypothetical techno-apocalyse scenario.
Time Bomb Y2K is now available to stream on Max.