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The Wilds

Rating: 3.5/5

(I do recommend the show)

The Wilds is an Amazon Prime series that premiered in December 2020. It’s about a group of troubled teenage girls who are on their way to a therapeutic retreat, but the plane crashed and they get stuck on an island.

My feeling towards is a little complicated. There are some very interesting elements that I absolutely love, and the lesbian storyline melted my heart. However, there’s something really didn’t work for me. And just let me get this out of my chest: *spoiler alert for episode 1* why is the Asian character always the first one to die??? I know there is an episode about Linh/Jeanette later on, and she is quite an important character in the story, but still, as she is already dead in episode 1, there is not much her character can do. The trope of Asian characters are the first ones to die is really bugging me. *end of spoiler* Oof, anyway, I still like the show on the whole despite some flaws. So what’s it all about?

The idea of a bunch of girls get trapped on the island is actually very interesting (not the almost dying part, but the surviving part). It is no surprise that the accident is all a set-up. It’s really messed up because it’s unethical and inhuman, but the logic behind is actually something worth exploring – women are expected to act in certain ways in a patriarchy society, what if they are in an environment where there is no men, no biased system, no expectation from the society, just women? Will it show that women’s abilities are inhibited by men/patriarchy? Will they finally thrive in an environment that has no restriction? All very interesting. However, it’s batsh*t crazy to put a bunch of underage girls on an island on their own, without their consent.

Since the story is about these troubled teenage girls, character development plays a big part (as in any series tbh, but particularly this one). There are A LOT OF characters in the series. It’s a blessing but also a curse. First of all, there are 9 girls on the retreat. It’s really difficult to remember all of them, especially everyone has their own backstory. Some characters are really interesting and I can’t get enough of them, but some are quite boring and frankly, I just want to fast forward. Let’s dig into the good ones first. One of my favourites is Shelby. She really annoyed me at first as she is this Christian girl who talks about how great God is and full of positivity. Oh boy, I just wanted to tell her to shut up. Yet, there is more than the Christian good girl. *spoiler alert* She has a big secret that although not a big surprise, it helps us to understand and connect to her character, and all her God talk makes sense now. Her obvious homophobia is unsurprisingly because deep down she is gay. Although we sort of all saw that coming, I don’t mind it at all. Not to mention her romance with Toni is just adorable! Speaking of Toni, she is one of the characters that I unfortunately have to put it into the not-so-interesting pile, as her backstory is too one-dimensional. She is all anger and that’s it. However, her interaction with Shelby redeemed her character, because surprisingly, she is really mature about Shelby. Shelby and Toni had a really rocky start, they pretty much hated each other, and Shelby’s homophobia made their relationship even worse. Yet, when Toni found out Shelby’s big secret, I guess it’s also because Toni understands how hard it can be to be gay, she did not force Shelby at all. It may appear that Toni is teasing Shelby, but she’s not. She respects Shelby’s space and let her figure out what she wants to do with her sexuality at her own pace. It’s really cute that Shelby thought Toni didn’t care but it’s actually the opposite. And when they are finally together, oh my days, bless the gays. *end of spoiler* There are a few more characters that I really like, Dot and Fatin. Dot’s backstory is not very interesting (sorry!) but you see her personality when she is on the island. If you are stuck on an island, you would want Dot to be with you. As for Fatin, I couldn’t decide who was more annoying, Shelby or her. Fatin is the classic spoiled brat who loves beauty more than anything, even if food should have been more of a priority. I guess everyone just loves seeing how an annoying character grows up, but still sassy the way she originally is.

One thing that I think (at least to me) is the biggest flaw of the show is Leah. Leah actually gets quite a lot of screen time and even an extra episode of her past. Yet, her story is getting old, the extra episode didn’t add much to the storyline and her character. Yes, it sucks that someone broke her heart, and it’s really painful and can cause you damage. The thing is, I don’t see Leah tries to help herself. Move on, Leah, it’s hard but at least try? I feel like it’s just because she’s the suspicious character (about someone might be behind the whole accident), she gets more screen time, but her story is not interesting. To be honest, as creepy as the writer is, Leah did lie about her age, she’s bloody underage, what is he supposed to do? Because she has an important role (suspicious of the accident), we have to see her a lot, but she keeps coming back to her past while she is on the hunt. Another thing I don’t like about the series is the season finale. That episode was SO SLOW! *spoiler alert* I understand it’s essential to talk about Nora’s past as she is the mole, it’s WAY TOO LONG and it’s supposed to be the final episode, it’s really boring and nothing really happened. *end of spoiler* I wanted to see what actually happened on the island, or in the facility they’ve been kept, not Nora’s boring past. Nora as a character is not very interesting anyway, it really gives me the feeling that the final episode is fishing for another season. I get it, and I want another season, too, but I wish the episode could be more active and move the story forward.

Although The Wilds has its flaws, it’s still a good show to watch and can get a little addictive (especially towards the end). I would recommend the series. I hope season 2 will be better and I really want to see more Shoni!! (If you know, you know ;) )

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