A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Wilds is a series that's reminiscent of Lost, but all the characters are troubled teen girls. They swear (expect "f--k," "s--t," "bitch"), one of the main characters loses her virginity with an older author in the first episode, and we see one girl with bulimia make herself vomit. The plane crash scene isn't violent, but we see the girls' emotional reactions as the plane falls from the sky. Competition among the girls, their shifting allegiances, and the stories of their pasts will feel familiar to teens.
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What's the story?
In THE WILDS, nine teen girls -- four pairs that are known to each other and one alone -- are en route to a retreat on a tropical island. The plane crashes within swimming distance of a deserted island, where they expect to be quickly rescued and imagine that their stories are all over the news. But they don't know that this "crash" was no accident, and on the island they're being closely monitored by the retreat's organizer (Rachel Griffiths, Muriel's Wedding). An operative dies shortly after the crash, but we learn that there's a second one in the group. The action is split among time on the island, flashbacks, and post-island talks with two male investigators; we gradually learn about the girls' pasts, what brought them on this trip, and how their time on the island has changed them.
Is it any good?
Arriving 16 years after Lost, the time is right for an all-teen-girl desert island melodrama that mixes adventure, emotion, and serious bonding. Viewers who hate cliches might be tempted to parachute off this ride early on, when Leah (Sarah Pidgeon), talking to investigators, says of their traumatic time on the island, "Being a teenage girl in normal-ass America? That was the real living hell." Press on, though, and The Wilds reveals its charms and its humor. Getting to know each of the girls through flashbacks and their experiences on the island deepens our appreciation of characters who could be stereotypes: the tough girl, the lesbian, the slut, the cheerleader, the brainiac, etc. Created by Sarah Streicher (Daredevil) and executive produced by Amy B. Harris (Sex and the City), The Wilds joins a long list of recent thought-provoking shows made by women that introduces viewers to fresh new talent.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about death and disaster, which are prominent themes in The Wilds. Is the show optimistic or pessimistic? Are the characters intended to be role models?
Have you ever had a dangerous experience in nature? Did it change the way you felt about the natural world?
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