After the success of Sex Education and 13 Reasons Why, Netflix unveils The Society. Between The 100 and Under the Dome, she does not hide her inspirations and takes the gamble of portraying teenagers in a situation, to say the least strange. We watched the first two episodes, of the ten-episode series.
Adolescents are mysteriously transported, leaving no trace, to a facsimile of their wealthy New England town. In order to return to their “real” city, but also to survive, alliances will have to be established as quickly as possible. This is not the first time that Netflix is launching in the series for young adults, but this time, it makes the bet to transport the themes related to the genre, in a city cut off from all civilization. Loosely adapted from Her Majesty of the Flies , the series is worn by Christopher Keyser and directed by Marc Webb ( The Amazing Spider-Man ), Haifaa Al-Mansour and Tara Nicole Weyr.
The laborious introduction
For its pilot, The Society is lamentably taking its feet in the carpet. Laborious in its construction as in its incarnation, the pilot does not convince and saddens us by his scriptwriting simplicity. The series does not manage to install the main stakes of the plot and the pilot leaves us unmoved. The Society does not take the time to introduce it. The characters are catapulted under the gaze, perplexed, of the viewers. The series, by wanting to explore an immensity of characters, does not succeed in capturing our attention.
The childish game of the “young adult” series
Quarterback jackets, red goblets and boiling hormones, that’s The Society’s recipe . Loaded with clichés, the series accumulates the errors of course and remains where we expected it, in the epidermis. Caricatural, the protagonists embody all the clichés of the genre. The geek in love, the popular girl, the unbearable rich kid, everything is there … Like open books, they are delivered too quickly, too easily for us to be interested. By wanting to address too many themes, The Society gets lost in the profusion of information and remains on the surface. The actors do their best to embody his traveling shots, but do not save the house.
In the casting, Rachel Keller ( Fargo ) does not convince in the role of the teenager and bandleader, and can not count on her cronies to raise the level. Kathryn Newton, also in the cast of Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, is joined by Kristine Frøseth, interpreter of Nolla in The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair . Sean Berdy ( Switched at Birth) saves the furniture, even if he doesn’t have the place he should have in this first episode. Erased, we hope that he will have more space on the screen to express himself.
In this first episode, the series does not attempt to transcribe the anguish, the fear of the characters and that is a shame. This company, however sold in the title, is not explored and we are more interested in the love affairs of Quarterbacks than in the issues of isolation. Between two evenings and romantic crises, The Society briefly discusses the cohabitation between adolescents. Political, religious and societal references are thrown into the plot, like a paving stone in the pond. Too didactic, the pilot gives us all the (thin) avenues for reflection on a silver platter. To want to be too talkative, the series does not make itself heard, and there is only one thing, the insipid relations between the protagonists.
During one scene, however, Keyser’s work deconstructs the patterns and surprises us. The game of chance that is being played intrigues us for a moment. It seems that the hour is not for the fantastic and by making the bet to be interested in the characters more than in the mystery, the series could have found its way. The second episode does better than the first and revives the machine a bit. If the scriptwriting errors are not erased so far, the plot is set up and could reserve some good surprises. The condition for success: that the series explore what it sets aside in the pilot.
The end of the second episode piques our curiosity. The situation escalates and the series finally gets to the heart of the matter. Survival is the main issue and everyone will have to fight to survive one more day. The Society is currently available on Netflix.