Nature Imposes Its Will In Amazon’s New Original Series THE WILDS

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"Nature Imposes Its Will In Amazon’s New Original Series THE WILDS"
Fatin (SOPHIA ALI) juggles the edge of sanity and insanity in THE WILDS | © Amazon Studios 2020

Ok, well… umm… I’ll do the best I can to not talk about THE WILDS without talking about THE WILDS. So, I’ll… summarize THE WILDS? *Shrug*

For starters, the whole YA saga has been hijacking attention for quite some time. It still remains “a thing.” What is it about these stories that keeps generating a following? Keeps people on the edge of intrigue? I think it’s two things: 1. Exposition of young adults placed in the utmost unique of dilemmas and 2. Interesting, well-executed stories that engage. Whether fictional, non-fictional, sweet, or sour, these stories lure the masses into some of the most intense dramas ever portrayed among any form of entertainment outlet.  Designed to tap into our emotions, those pulling the strings know what they’re doing – and that’s part of the joyride, folks!

The genre continues to dig a deeper imprint with Amazon’s latest original series THE WILDS. A series that stands on a thin line between survival and sleepover. The overall narrative shines a sandy spotlight among a group of teenage girls who find themselves fighting for their lives due to a plane crash that leaves them stranded on an island. With no knowledge of where they are and what comes next, these forced castaways with various ideals and backgrounds reluctantly rely on each other to endure the unknown. While some clash and some bond, the traumatic experience is something they all share equally. However, there’s a catch, because their ordeal may not be an accident after all.

There’s a lot to say about Amazon’s new series. As a 1st season, 10-episode drama, THE WILDS provides a lot to take in due to various storylines tying into one. As straight forward as can be, its cast provides a wide range of raw talent in order to get their characters in full motion. As build-up ensues episode after episode, the backstories help elevate the narrative towards its climax. So, if there’s one thing you can bank on for sure it’s character development. And that’s a good thing! While it may seem jumpy in some areas, trust me when I say it comes to an interesting wrap. Each serving as a link towards one another, it’s their individualities that binds them as a unit. Watching it unfold can be just as fun as it is emotionally exhausting (in a good way). You’ll cheer for some, you’ll boo for some, but each triggers a different feeling allowing you to take in the show from different angles.

The Castaways From L-R: ERANA JAMES (Toni), SHANNON BERRY (Dot), MIA HEALEY (Shelby), SOPHIA ALI (Fatin), SARAH PIDGEON (Leah), REIGN EDWARDS (Rachel), JENNA CLAUSE (Martha), HELENA HOWARD (Nora)

Now, if you’ve seen one stranded survival film or show, you’ve seen them all. Therefore, I can’t lie, there’s a lot about the show that feels familiar. Elements of having seen this before, but even though it uses a template we know very well, its writing grants it interest, which in turn, leads to its characters giving the show a lifeline of its own. One that grants you access to one of the grungiest slumber parties ever known to mankind!

There are slow-burn episodes, as well as episodes that just feel too damn good to believe you’re watching the same series. However, the good thing is each episode is designed to serve as its own short film. Broken down in number of days the girls are on the island, what makes this show engaging is its unapologetic ruggedness. It’s a grimy setting even though scenery portrays a sense of sooth. And as the girls find out, nature has ways of imposing its will no matter how tranquil it seems. Things that go on do raise plausibility questions under real-life circumstances, but suspending disbelief allows a unique POV as it plays along.  THE WILDS isn’t just a show with a focus point of survival, it’s also a show that exposes day-to-day occurrences that lead to critical decision making, helping understand one another, the act of acceptance, family bonding and issues, team work, etc. In short… it exposes deailed complexities among human existence.

Premiering on Amazon Prime Friday, December 11th, THE WILDS covers every base. It gives you a solid cast and story with plenty of drama, silliness, a little horror, mystery, sexuality, and above all… a twist. One that’s open to personal interpretation, but harsh nonetheless. The show doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it sure sheds a different kind of color coating. Therefore, I conclude, if you take LORD OF THE FLIES, THE TRUMAN SHOW, and THE MAZE RUNNER and pour them into a blender, and spin it on high for a minute, you’ll wind up with THE WILDS. A smoothie that won’t go down easy, but thoroughly enjoyable.

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