Eight teenage girls sit and/or stand around a bonfire on a beach


Title: The Wilds (Season #1)
Released: 2020

Fix: Lord of the Flies but with girls, Lost but without the Smoke Monster, Yellowjackets but without the adulthood, deserted islands, secrets, troubled teens
Platforms: Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime Summary:

A group of teen girls from different backgrounds must fight for survival after a plane crash strands them on a deserted island. The castaways both clash and bond as they learn more about each other, the secrets they keep, and the traumas they’ve all endured. There’s just one twist to this thrilling coming-of-age drama… these girls did not end up on this island by accident.

FYA Summary:

Eight girls picked to board a plane headed for a young women’s empowerment retreat and end up crashing on an island. Let’s find out what happens when people stop being polite and start fighting for survival.

Are you like me and love an unreliable narrator? Excellent, you get eight of them! In flashbacks and flash-forwards to their rescue, we delve into why each of the girls was supposed to be participating in the Dawn of Eve retreat, and what they end up learning about themselves and each other by being castaways instead.

Familiar Faces:

Rachel Griffiths as Gretchen Klein

Gretchen is head of the Dawn of Eve program, which the girls were headed to before crashing. She has a more vested interest in all their lives than one might suspect. Griffiths is best known for her work on Brothers & Sisters and Six Feet Under, which I have never watched. (Relax, I’m sure I’ll get to it eventually.)

Sophia Ali as Fatin Jadmani

Fatin is my dark horse favorite. You know, one of those characters you think you’ll hate, and then they end up being the absolute best? She comes from a wealthier background than the other girls, but she has a vengeance streak that can go up against the best of them. Plus, she never lets the wilderness ruin her accessory game. Ali can be seen on Grey’s Anatomy and the recent Tom Holland misstep, Uncharted.

Shannon Berry as Dot Campbell

Dot is a tough-ass Texas girl with some survivalist training which saves the group’s asses numerous times. She’s probably the most independent member of the group, but also has serious dorm mom energy.

Jenna Clause as Martha Blackburn

Martha is the tender-hearted and fragile animal lover of the group. Her vegetarian ways make surviving on the island extra difficult.

Reign Edwards as Rachel Reid

Rachel is a competitive diver who’s used to fighting tough battles on her own. Edwards is known for The Bold and the Beautiful (can you believe that’s still on?) and Snowfall.

Mia Healey as Shelby Goodkind

Shelby is a beauty pageant contestant from a conservative Christian background who forges an unexpected relationship on the island.

Helena Howard as Nora Reid

Nora is Rachel’s quiet twin sister. Like all of the girls, she has a secret, but hers might be the darkest one of all.

Erana James as Toni Shalifoe

Toni is a loud-mouthed hothead and Martha’s best friend. She is loyal and protective and most likely to bite your head damn off.

Sarah Pidgeon as Leah Rilke

Leah is dreamy and soulful, but also a bit paranoid. She seems to be the most obviously unstable of the group, but that’s also pretty much the same reason they were all invited to the retreat.

Couch-Sharing Capability: Ride Or Die

This show is best shared with your besties or nobody. You can devour it faster alone, but isn’t it far more satisfying to be able to turn to someone and share your bonkers new theories after every episode?

Recommended Level of Inebriation: Takis And Vodka

Watching these poor girls slowly starve on an island definitely gives one an appreciation for their Postmates delivery folks. Do not be stingy with the binging snacks and libations (and tip your courier!). But do yourself a favor and save the edibles for another time. This show is wild (I know, I’m so sorry) enough.

Use of Your Streaming Subscription: It’s Never Too Late

The purpose of the Dawn of Eve project is to prove that women are the superior gender. As I watched these girls form bonds and survive against near impossible odds, I really started to root for them all and believe they were capable of forming something special together. At the very least, I can promise you this show aces the hell out of the Bechdel Test.

Given the popularity of Yellowjackets, you may ask yourself, “did we really need two shows about feral teenage girls marooned in the wilderness?” Hell yes, we absofuckinglutely do. We need at least as many of those as there are cop shows set in New York.

Full disclosure: The Wilds was canceled after season two. If you continue on the journey, it will become very apparent where they went wrong in the second season, thus tarnishing the magic that made the first season so good. But I am so weary of unique and compelling teen shows getting canceled (pour another one out for The Society) while we get eleventy seasons of Riverdale and a fourth Pretty Little Liars spinoff. Despite the cancelation and the season two twist, I promise, The Wilds is still well worth your time.

Kandis (she/her) is a proud member of the Austin FYA book club chapter who loves vampires, romance novels, live tweeting CW shows, and Jonah Griggs. She’s not like a regular mom. She’s a cool mom.