Chris and I have been watching Wayward Pines, a summer hiatus miniseries on FOX. It’s based on a set of three novels by Blake Crouch and directed by M. Night Shamalyan. We’re a couple episodes behind, but so far, we’re both really enjoying it. It’s moody, atmospheric, creepy and engrossing.
It’s hard to review a show like Wayward Pines without getting quickly into spoiler territory. It’s been compared to Twin Peaks (which I never saw) and LOST (which I have no objectivity about.) So that’s possibly not the most helpful point of comparison. Admittedly, the opening shot is a direct ripoff of LOST. I tend to view it as an homage, personally.
I haven’t read the books, but the consensus that I’ve read online is that if anything, the show streamlines and to a certain extent improves the story from the books. It’s a rare TV show or movie where I’ve seen so many people say they liked it better than the book, so that says something for it.
Probably the easiest way to describe Wayward Pines as a science fiction story with nested mysteries. If you’re looking for a pure detective story with no speculative elements, it’s probably not for you. But as of the seventh episode, it looks like most if not all of the big mysteries will get resolved. Will they be resolved to your satisfaction? Well, I think nobody can really promise you that, but I found the answers at least interesting and worth talking about later. Also, I appreciate the fact that it’s a miniseries which covers all three of the books. I think that’s a good indicator that viewers will get a conclusive ending and not be left hanging. (Yeah, I’m looking at you, Galavant.)
The acting has been pretty fantastic, carrying the story even when the characters find themselves in situations which strain credibility and making you care about the outcome. And without spoiling anything, as the series progresses it raises some really interesting questions. What do people really need to survive? If you’ve taken care of the physical basics like food and shelter, what about things like freedom, purpose and hope? Are we destined to self-destruct, or when faced with death, could we think our way out of even the most impossible situation?
I don’t think Wayward Pines will give any clear answers to those questions, but I appreciate the series’ willingness to raise them. Definitely a worthwhile watch during your summer hiatus.