So here we are, right in that awkward few weeks/month following the season finales of many of our favorite shows and right before the start of the summer shows. I don’t know about you guys, but Outlander, iZombie, and Game of Thrones have been the only shows left for me to cling to lately. But then I kept seeing advertisements for Wayward Pines, and I thought, “Why not? Seems kind of interesting.” So I gave it a whirl when it premiered a little while back. I’m still watching it, if that says anything, but is it because I’m itching to know what happens or because I’m simply bored? Well, let’s discuss the premiere.
What I liked:
- The general creepiness and menacing undertones. Right from the get-go it’s plain to see that something’s not quite right in Wayward Pines. Its residents are so eerily, enthusiastically content that you’re always on edge, expecting something severely weird or sinister at every turn. It definitely keeps you engaged.
- The baffling mystery. There’s a lot of unusual stuff going on here, and I can honestly say that it’s left me stumped—in a good way, of course. There isn’t much revealed in the first episode, but you learn enough to know you want to know more.
- The Lost-esque feel to it. You know the beginning of Lost when we had so many questions and so few answers, but that was okay because it was awesome? There are bursts of that here, and it gives me hope that this could be really great.
- Nurse Pam (Melissa Leo). Homegirl is the creepiest creep of them all, and she’s pretty great. She’s definitely one of the more interesting characters on the show—if not the most interesting altogether. She’s one of those “love to hate” villains, and I feel like she’s going to cause a lot of glorious mischief.
What I didn’t like:
- I don’t really love the protagonist, Ethan (Matt Dillon). I just find him very bland. And reckless. And not as smart as he should be for a Secret Service agent. And surly. And just…yeah. I don’t care for him. Granted, he’s thrown into pretty extreme circumstances. But even so, a slightly more likeable/relatable lead certainly wouldn’t hurt anything…
- I could not care less about Ethan’s wife (Shannyn Sossamon) and son (Charlie Tahan). We’re supposed to feel bad for these characters, but they really haven’t been developed at all. Basically, their whole existence so far has been to puzzle over where Ethan has gone. Lame.
- The weird use of time. I can deal with most of the mysteries in Wayward Pines, but this time thing is driving me nuts. It’s like entering this place makes time work differently, and I’d really love to at least vaguely understand some of that confusion. Basically, I need answers. Which leads me to me last point…
- It’s Lost-esque. I know I also said that was a good thing, but that could very, very easily turn bad. Because as much as I love Lost, we all know how crazy it got in the end. I just hope Wayward Pines doesn’t cross into territory that is too out there.
The Potential: I think there’s some there. Wayward Pines isn’t flawless, but it has enough going for it to keep me engaged. There’s a head-scratching mystery, a fantastically creepy tone, and hints of a plot that could (hopefully) echo the better parts of Lost. Also, it’s nice to see M. Night Shyamalan attached to something that has been pretty well-received (he’s an executive producer and he directed an episode). So we’ll see. I think the summer has better things to offer, but I don’t mind this one as a space filler.
My Grade: B