Fix: Yellowjackets lite, demented feminism, survival stories, a total lack of a resolution, Lost but it makes sense
Platforms: Amazon Prime
Spoiler alert: Have you watched the first season of The Wilds? If so, good work, keep reading. If not, HALT! READ NO FURTHER! While I will avoid major spoilers for Season Two, I will most definitely ruin Season One for you.
Amazon Prime Summary:
Survival hangs in the balance for a group of teenage girls stranded on a deserted island, after the explosive discovery that what’s happening to them is an elaborate social experiment. Season 2 ups the drama and keeps you guessing, with the introduction of more test subjects – a new island of teenage boys – who must also fight for survival under the watchful eye of the experiment’s puppet master.
The second season both picks up almost right where Season One left off (the gals are grieving the death of Nora, who drowned/got eaten by a shark) and also smacks you in the face with MAJOR news: there’s a group of dudes going through the same experiment on a different island (or on another part of the island, it’s not totally clear to me), because Grade A scenery-chewer Rachel Griffiths is determined to prove, once and for all, that girls are better than boys, so obvs she needs a control group.
Now, I know the minute you realize dumb stinky boys are joining this show, you may be inclined to break up with this series harder than Jeff dumped Leah, and while I’m not going to pretend like the S2 premiere is nearly as good as the girls-only premiere of Season One, the conflict within the boys’ camp becomes VERY intriguing, not to mention dark AF. More importantly, the show wisely devotes at least half of its time (after the premiere) to what the hell is going on with our fierce, increasingly sunburned, and dirty-yet-never-disgusting (and always accessorized in Fatin’s case) band of toughass broads.
To keep things vague, I’ll just say that Season Two delivers the goods you’ve come to expect from Season One: twisty twisty twists, heartfelt bonding, high (but not too high) stakes, and increasingly complex characters. Speaking of!
(Some Not So) Familiar Faces:
L-R: Sarah Pidgeon as Leah Rilke, Sophia Ali as Fatin Jadmani, Jenna Clause as Martha Blackburn, Shannon Berry as Dot Campbell, Reign Edwards as Rachel Reid, Erana James as Toni Shalifoe, Mia Healey as Shelby Goodkind
One of my favorite things about Season Two is the fact that we’re already in deep with these girls. During the first season, as we were getting to know each other, they were more likely to irritate me (Toni) or make me shake my head (Shelby) or make me want to shake them (Leah) or make me want to freaking scream (Rachel). Now that they’ve been through hell, they’ve settled into the core of who they are, and it’s honestly rewarding to see their bare, beautiful, inner selves. Of course, this doesn’t apply to Fatin, who was and will always be the most fabulous person on the show.
At any rate, I adore them all. (Okay, I might still be on the fence about Rachel.)
L-R: Nicholas Coombe as Josh, Charles Alexander as Kirin, Zack Calderon as Rafael, Miles Gutierrez-Riley as Ivan, Reed Shannon as Scotty Sims, Aidan Laprete as Henry Tanaka, Tanner Ray Rook as Bo Leonard.
Missing from the photo, simply because there’s not a lot of stills from this show online, is Seth Novak, played by Alex Fitzalan. You might remember him from The Society, which means this poor dude was on not one but two series that got cancelled too soon AND after an insane cliffhanger finale.
Oh yeah, we haven’t talked about that yet, have we? So… yeah, if you aren’t already aware, this series got canned after Season Two. I think it’s important to know that going in, but I also think it’s totally worth the pain of zero resolution. That’s how good this series is!
Anyway! The boys! You’ve got your asshole jock (Kirin), your nerd with tons of allergies (Josh), your sweetheart with an abusive dad (Bo, ILU!!!!), your charming friend-to-all (Seth), your poor kid from the wrong side of the
tracks border (Rafael), your out and proud gay guy (Ivan), your goth dude (Henry), and your consummate hustler (Scotty). Together, they form a powder keg of conflict, and if you thought the girls’ drama was a lot, JUST YOU WAIT.
There’s also a totally rad cameo that of course I won’t spoil for you. But it did make me realize that the writers are probably in their 40s like me as opposed to the hip young people I imagined. (That’s not a dig! It’s a really good cameo!)
Couch-Sharing Capability: No (Wo)Man Is An Island
Y’all, this show is RIFE with opportunities for frenzied speculation and baseless theories. Who’s the mole? What’s Rachel Griffiths actual deal? How much is planned and how much is shit just… happening? I do not recommend watching this alone, because you’ll end up going crazier than Rachel after Nora gaslighted her. I couldn’t talk with someone who’d already seen it, because I was scared of accidental spoilers, and I couldn’t talk with someone who hadn’t already seen it, because after about a minute they would start to get a look in their eye, a look I knew because it was the same look everyone was giving Rachel in S1.
ANYWAY. My point is, the more, the merrier.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Go (Kinda) Wild
Look, you’re gonna need something to lubricate your nerves because, again, teenage boys. They like to shotgun beers, which I wouldn’t advise since you still need to be able to pay attention to the twists and turns of the show. But this ain’t no Yellowjackets, so your eagle eyes can be a little out of focus thanks to vodka (the girls’ drink of choice) or, since we can afford to be a bit more civilized, a tropical beverage befitting the beach.
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Lord of the
I could tell you that this show is a freaking blast while also offering some provocative social commentary (in S2 even more than S1) and powerful emotional layers, because that’s all true, and I could also tell you that (hot take!) I think the second season ends up being just as compelling as the first. But all I want to do is share this line from Kandis (even though she disagrees with me about S2):
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.
Just kidding, that’s not the only thing I want to do. I am DYING to talk about S2 with you!!!! So, if things go my way, please note that the comments section will be rife with spoilers. Now make like Fatin and let’s dish!
4 thoughts on “The Wilds (Season #2)”
Rafael and his rich girlfriend wear matching couple bracelets (at least, Rafael wears his…), and the bracelets are a very distinct style from St. Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Islands. What was that about??? How would this kid from Tijuana, who has presumably never travelled before, get those?? Just one of a MILLION question this season left me with!
I didn’t realize the bracelets were, like, $$$$ but I had assumed that Rafael’s GF had gotten them since she’s rich?
I feel like I have to come in here just to defend myself. My biggest objection to season two is just that adding the boys feels TOO Lord of the Flies, which means it has been so very done already. That said, I was very into getting to see what happened to both groups after their rescue and would have been hella on board for the season three the cliffhanger was building up to.
Yeah, I totally hear you, and I think the boys are WAY less interesting than the girls. Then again, the “cancel culture” theme was *really* interesting to me (versus the bullying/sexual assault which, while handled effectively, is just overdone at this point in TV/film).