Visioneers is a satirical black comedy dealing with the dehumanizing aspects of capitalism and American society as a whole.
Zach Galifianakis plays George Washington Winsterhammerman, an employee of the massive Jeffers Corporation. The only bright spot in his day is talking on the telephone with Charisma (Mia Maestro), a fellow employee with a charming voice and a caring attitude. His story is set in a world where people, for little apparent reason, have begun spontaneously exploding all over the nation; this phenomenon has been apparently linked to dissatisfaction with one's life and dreaming (which few in this world do).
As his life gets more complicated and stressful, the normally passive George is forced to change his life or risk death by languishing in a life that doesn't fulfill him.
Trust us, it's a lot funnier than it sounds.
This show provides examples of:
- Chekhov's Gun: Beautifully, beautifully invoked and subverted. The gun is a literal—but unloaded—gun, which Todd must fire at his head hourly, or risk exploding. When the Cuddle Crew arrive, Todd is surprised, and forgets to fire the Chekhov's Gun, making him a figurative Chekhov's Gun by virtue of the literal Chekhov's Gun NOT firing. Then he..."fires."
- Companion Cube: At one point in the movie, the Jeffers Corporation provides big, fluffy, talking teddy bears to each employee, calling them the Cuddle Crew. Later, employees are asked to fill out questionnaires where one of the prompts is "Describe your sexual relationship with your Cuddle Crew member."
- Dream Sequence: George's dreams are hazy, with light surrounding the edges of the screen.
- Driven to Suicide: One of George's employees, who has been ordered by his psychiatrist to put an unloaded gun to his head and pull the trigger once every hour, or he might explode. Played for laughs.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Jeffers Corporation's building is four smaller towers with a taller one in the middle, managing to look like both a hand flipping you off and, well... you know.
- The Ghost: George's son, who is constantly in his room (even during dinner), never shown to the audience, and whose voice is never heard. He eventually runs away, leaving a note.
- Happiness Is Mandatory: If you're not happy, you might explode. And exploding disrupts productivity. Plebes who still dream, and are therefore in danger of exploding, are fitted with "inhibitors", which make them "happy".
- Heroic BSoD: Experienced by several people trying to stave off unhappiness, most notably talk show host, Sahra and telethon MC, Bern.
- Mega-Corp: The Jeffers Corporation, which has power up to and including ordering the President of the United States to evacuate cities and use mind control devices on its citizens.
- Mind Rape: The Inhibition Collars.
- Recurring Dreams: Supposedly a symptom of one in endanger of exploding. In George's dreams he is his ancestor George Washington (the general) about to cross the Potomac.
- Shaped Like Itself: "Happiness is being happy? What the fuck good does that do me? What idiot wrote this?!"
- Stepford Smiler: George's wife, at least, at first. Also Missi Pyle's talk show character, Sahra until her suicidal breakdown.
- Strange Salute: The official Jeffers greeting gesture is Flipping the Bird. Likewise, the official verbal greeting is "Jeffers morning!"
- Your Head A-Splode: People have been spontaneously (sort of) exploding around the nation. Mostly, these explosions are done off-screen, with one exception.