The Wilds

Rating 6.7
Streamer Amazon Prime
Seasons 1
Episodes 10 x 60 mins

If Lord of the Flies, Lost and Mean Girls got mixed together in a blender, The Wilds would be the resulting smoothie. This series asks, which is scarier: being a high school girl, or being abandoned on a deserted island? We know which one we’d pick… 

It all starts when a group of moody looking teenage girls board a private plane ready to jet off to an all-girls retreat in Hawaii. Then, we quickly realise, we’re in a flashback. Back in the present day, one of these moody teens, Leah, is being questioned by a psychiatrist on how they survived. As it turns out, the plane they boarded crashed, landing on a deserted island. A bit like Orange is the New Black, each episode focuses on one of the girls, flashing back between their high school lives and their new survival mission.  

The girls all come from starkly different backgrounds – this is where the Mean Girls elements come in – with a popular kid, a stoner, someone suffering heartbreak, a religious girl, and a sports star with a fierce temper. But thankfully, this isn’t quite as crass as the 2004 classic.  Whilst right now they might be busy dealing with the fact they’re on a deserted island with no food, water, or even worse,  no phone signal, they’re also still just teenagers trying to process their thousands of emotions and traumas from the normal world. And this is the show’s strength – it handles these complex struggles well, weaving the girls’ stories together to create a compelling tale of teenage life. However, there is a bit of a weird element. You know that retreat we mentioned earlier? Well, there might be a bit of a conspiracy going on…

Lucy Mangan in The Guardian says the series “marries coming-of-age drama with apocalyptic mystery,” saying she bets “you’ll stay till the end to find out” the truth. Hillary Busis in Vanity Fair praises the emotional intelligence of the series, saying it has “endless empathy for those girls, for their perseverance in the face of a cold and unforgiving world.” However, she does go on to say the ending is “fully ridiculous.” And Variety’s Caroline Framke agrees, saying that if there is to be a second season “it would do better to get back to the basics that work rather than advancing the complications that don’t.”

First shown December 2020. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here:

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