“Who died and left you in charge?” - is a question that The Society, Netflix’s latest teen drama, answers over the course of its 10-episode first season. Plans go awry for the teens of the picturesque small town when they depart on a week long field trip. Unexplainable events lead to their return right “back” to the town square, where hours ago, they’d just made their cozy farewells to their parents. Little did they know that that was the last time they’d see their parents. By the time the teens are bused back to town, everyone has disappeared. The show spends some time attempting to explain just what happened or where everyone went, but luckily, less time than on establishing their New World order. This establishment and persistence of the new society is arguably more interesting, so this is perhaps a good thing.
Reminiscent of such sci-fi/mystery or post-apocalyptic shows like Jericho, Lost, and The Walking Dead, with a mix-in of the teen element of The 100, The Society isn’t short on characters you’d wish would either step up (or sit down) given the moment to do so. The kids, really aren’t alright, you see. Allie (Kathryn Newton), presented as ever in the shadow of her older sister, Cassandra (Rachel Keller), is the focus of the show. Cassandra is understandably split between the two’s existing sisterly bond, and with her having been the local high school’s former Student Body President, has now also been tasked as the natural leader to run the entire town. There’s a bit of time spent early in the season on setting up the rival approaches to just how the town should be run with the parents gone. At one point, we see the initial makings of Allie and Cassandra perhaps being on opposing sides themselves. This becomes a linchpin to the story later in the season when story arcs force some unexpected shifts to their new status quo. To be clear: Allie is not Cassandra and Cassandra is not Allie.
Beyond the political and survival drama of who and how the now adult-less town should be run, primarily so that they literally don’t run out of food or fall into total and utter chaos, the show continues to move forward by interlacing perhaps some recognizable problems within the sci-fi elements of the show. Episode 3 and beyond does a sufficient job of setting up more of the secondary characters and where they fit into the overall show.
What was intriguing to see as the show progressed was conflicts that arose between such secondary characters. With each passing episode, new questions are raised and the show essentially morphs into something that differs from what the first two episodes seemed to be tonally. What happens when someone doesn’t like the choices an unelected leader is making for the group at large? What happens when you realize danger is presented by the very people you think you know? What happens when what you thought was yours, isn’t actually yours anymore? Stream The Society on Netflix to find out.
By: Prutha S. Patel (@pspatel)
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