Series Review: “The Wilds”
A captivating series about a group of troubled teenaged girls stranded on a deserted island. It’s ‘Lost’ meets ‘Lord of the Flies’ with a Feminist Hunger Games chaser.
The surprising thing about The Wilds is how quickly you find yourself totally engrossed by the story, the characters, and the emotional twists and turns in a series that seems to be selling something so much less than what it really is. The setup (and it really is quite the setup) is this: a disparate group of teenaged girls from divergent pasts, each dealing with some form of trauma or adjustment issue, is assembled for a destination ‘female empowerment’ weekend in Hawaii, to be jetted off in style on a privately chartered jet. When the unimaginable happens and the plane crashes into the water, leaving no one from the crew alive, the girls somehow swim to the shore of a deserted island, with absolutely no idea of where they are and no means of protection or survival.
Thus begins the story of how they must learn to work together and rely on themselves to somehow survive until the day in which they hope and pray that rescue will occur. We quickly get drawn into each girl’s narrative, with well-placed back story vignettes showing their ‘real lives’ and how they came to the point where their parents made the decision to send them on the retreat that was billed along the same lines as a spa weekend with life coaching on the side.
But that plotline is just a ruse for the deeply troubling machinations and betrayals percolating behind the scenes, in a Hunger Games kind of scenario that keeps you guessing until the thrilling season-ending cliffhanger. And even then the unanswered questions are deliciously out of reach yet captivating in their promise.
It’s been a while since I’ve found myself so invested in young characters in an ensemble cast. Usually, there are only one or two standout performances which ‘anchor’ a show, while the rest of the players feel like cinematic arm candy. Not here. Series creator Sarah Streicher has assembled an extraordinary group of young actresses whose fearless embodiment of girls at their lowest and most vulnerable points is at times so shockingly real that you must remind yourself these are actors. Add to that the always intriguing Rachel Griffiths as the puppet master hovering in the background of the drama, infiltrating the story with a twisted and inverted Feminist bend and you have the makings of an instant classic and a highly anticipated second season hopefully on the near horizon. Don’t let this one float away in the tide.
The Wilds is presently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Norma’s Streaming Picks is a Baby Boomer’s Guide to the Best Streaming Movies/TV on the Planet. Check out my site for a TON more titles and reviews!
If you enjoyed this, please hit the green “Recommend” button below so others might also enjoy it.