Posted on May 24, 2016

Why I Love Wayward Pines…And You Should Too

Gwen

First let’s hash out the basics:

Season 1 is over but Season 2 is about to premiere on Wednesday night 5/25/16 at 9pm on FOX. So if you have not watched the first season, my recommendation is to run and binge watch before season 2 starts. If you want to know the premise of the series you can find it here. This show cannot possibly get anymore star-studded than it already is: Melissa Leo, Carla Gugino, Shannyn Sossamon, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Juliette Lewis, Matt Dillon, Charlie Tahan, Toby Jones, and Terrence Howard to name a few..and that is only Season 1! Season 2 promises the addition of Jason Patric and Djimon Hounsou.

Why I love Wayward Pines . . . let me count the ways:

The acting is absolutely out of this world. Wayward Pines doesn’t have to rely on name recognition because the entire cast can carry this story with their skill. It doesn’t hurt that the storyline, dialogue, sets, and characters far exceed expectations. Let’s put that aside because anyone could tell you that; it’s stating the obvious. I would like to tell you specific to my interests what makes Wayward Pines so broadly appealing.

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The strong female characters. I know initially some people might look at the show and immediately notice Matt Dillon and Terrence Howard. I won’t lie and say that the male characters don’t hold a primary place in this series, but the break-out performances truly comes from the women. These women have strong personalities, they have important roles, and they really goad the audience into feeling strongly. Whether we love them or hate them, they drive the narrative. By far my favorite is Melissa Leo (Nurse Pam), without whom the story would be devoid of much of its power and suspense.

The show is suspenseful, eerie, and thought-provoking. Part of the allure is the inability to distinguish reality from illusion. Just when you think that you have figured out the story behind the town of Wayward Pines, some other little nugget of knowledge drops in your lap like a gift from above in The Hunger Games. The abbies are genuinely creepy and their origin keeps the audience guessing. Where did the abbies come from? What happened to the world outside? How were people chosen for Wayward Pines? And is any of this real? This show keeps you focused on the story (and will make you jump) like a person trying to remove the funny bone in a game of Operation.

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I love that Wayward Pines makes me think—not only about the show itself, but about how its subtext relates to the world today. Questions arise in my mind after watching this show such as: To what extent are people willing to trade their freedoms for safety (or at least perceived safety)? Is society able to handle the truth of policies and propaganda? What are the negative effects of educating and perpetuating a privileged class such as the First Generation? The distinct division between groups in Wayward Pines definitely resonates with me given that we are in a presidential election year.

People want to believe a certain reality. We all have a different world view based on several factors including demographics, social, and economic influences. I see the divisiveness between the characters and I am intrigued by their fervor to defend their world view at any cost. I can imagine a similar potency at political rallies today considering the passion behind people’s closely-held social and political views. At times it can be hard for one side to understand the other and possibly only a mutual threat (like the abbies) will make them work together. Wayward Pines Academy tries to neutralize diverse world views. The one thing that the Academy does get right is that the future is in the education of the youth. Not quite, however, the way Mrs. Fisher teaches.

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