The trailer made this look like a Lost knock-off, but it isn't, at least not judging by the first episode. It still wasn't a good start.
The first 15 minutes of this episode show some of the worst writing I've seen in a while. It's an atrociously clumsy exposition, right out of the guidebook of all the biggest mistakes poor writers commit. I feel like I need to come up with more ways of saying how terrible a job the writers did on this, but it still wouldn't really come close to how bad it is when you actually watch it. The lead character's monologues in the frame story, for instance, make not the least bit of sense at the best of times – like many others in this show, she speaks to us, the audience, instead of the other characters. At the worst of times, it's a borderline cacophonous string of buzzwords and platitudes that don't mean anything, but are supposed to make the plot sound edgy and teen-angsty, which only works if you don't actually listen. I guess it's the perfect level of writing then for a target audience that the producers assume will be live-tweeting while watching. Most painful is the opening montage, which has to qualify as some of the worst television produced in 2020. The way in which it clashes completely with the context, and the unmotivated gaze at the audience in the end, make me feel like the writing team really lacked a member with TV experience.
The rest of the frame story's writing doesn't make any more sense. Apparently, this is the first time her parents explain to Leah the reason they're sending her to the camp, and also she doesn't know any of her classmates and is uninformed about general school events. Again, this is of course all because the script is not written as character dialogue, but to explain the situation to the audience, which destroys any believability of the scenes.
It gets a bit better when the plane crashes. Not the characters, though, because they are the most bland, cookie-cutter assortment of all possible teenage movie stereotypes the creators could think of. Which would be fine had they not been exaggerated to the point where you wonder if this show is actually a sitcom. Maybe they'll do more with these cardboard characters later on, although the average quality of the writing so far doesn't bode well. However, the crash gives us the first piece of decent writing as Leah relates her reaction, and her analysis of it.
It was that scene, and small glimmers of moments like it, that make me want to give the show one more chance. The plot twist was not very surprising and, in keeping with the initial exposition, introduced in a very hamfisted way. I hope the rest of the plot isn't as predictable, but I might want to see if the mystery is able to keep things interesting a little bit.
I also want to add that the acting, which is often a problem with teen shows, is pretty decent. There's some good upcoming talent in this, it's just a shame they weren't given better quality material by the writers. Sarah Pidgeon in particular has some absolutely stunning scenes in this episode. From the panic after the crash, to the low-key car scene, to the where she asks the investigator about the call she made, she's never anything less but totally believable when the script lets her. Maybe that's even more impressive when the story doesn't make much sense.
I was so excited to watch this and now I’m kinda disappointed? It’s not bad, but like imagine you are a detective investigating this mystery and the victim/witness starts talking about the highs and lows of high school... like it’s embarrassing, she was stranded on an island and all she can think about is that man and then she had the chance to ask him for help and instead she chocked up??? The premise still looks really good and I’m gonna keep watching but Leah’s story was embarrassing and cringey, also I hate this new trend of teen shows being all fake deep and “philosophical”, I was a teen a few years ago and I wasn’t like that and neither my other co teens, like yes you are emotional and dramatic but not like that, Leah reminded me of Jughead.Something I really liked is that all the girlies are gorgeous but also had a more relatable beauty to young girlies, like not a “perfect” skin or typical hollywood “perfect” features.
It's a rough start (especially the dialogue) but from about the 20 minutes mark, it gets interesting.
Wow this show was a pleasant surprise. I had passed on it from the advertising but from the first episode alone its clear I had the wrong impression of it. I was invested before the final twist and now I'm even more intrigued!