Amazon’s The Wilds is a teen drama unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. The gender-flipped Lord of the Flies (yes, a female Lord of the Flies) is full of diversity, complicated lives and plot twists that will keep you gasping.
The Wilds, the commerce and streaming giant’s first move into young adult series programming, and it’s a big, risky, sprawling cross-genre project. In addition to Griffiths, it has a huge cast and a tricky narrative.
Breathing new life into the “lost at sea” genre, The Wilds is one of the best shows of 2020, that embraces the strength of women rather than having them tear each other apart.
The ten-episode series follows a group of teenage girls from radically different backgrounds after a plane crash strands them on a deserted island. Part survival drama, part dystopic slumber party, the castaways both clash and bond as they learn more about each other, the secrets they keep, and the traumas they’ve all endured. There’s just one twist to this thrilling drama… these girls did not end up on this island by accident.
Not just a survival story, the show explores the past and present struggles of these young women, offering up a vivid and honest portrayal of the many different versions of what it means to be a woman and the lengths young women have to go to, to regain their stability under the pressures of modern life.
But it is all a lie? And what is truth? And who is really in on it?
On the show the audience is introduced to the real Jeanette Dao, better known as Linh Bach. Not an innocent teenager she appears but a third-year doctoral student who had been embedded as the experiment’s sole ‘confederate’ spy/responsible (undercover) adult.
As we learn in Episode 7, the internal injuries leading to her death the first day on the island weren’t sustained in the plane crash (which we know never happened), but rather on the dock when she and Alex are getting ready to ferry an unconscious Leah out to the island.
Having been drugged and groped by a bunch of boys in high school — a formative experience that turned her interest in teen girl psychology into academic fanaticism, which lead her to joining Gretchen’s project as a True Believer — seeing Leah splayed out, insensate, in the bottom of Alex’s boat sent Linh physically reeling.
Trying to stop her from running away, Alex only managed to knock her off balance, sending her sprawling, gut-first, onto a metal bar on the edge of the dock before tipping over into the water. When she came spluttering back to the surface, he’s ready to pull the plug, but she’s back on board. Convincing him she doesn’t need medical attention, she makes him take her and Leah to their drop point. A day later, she’s dead.
The Koalition spoke to actress Chi Nguyen about unlocking the secrets of The Wilds and what the death and life of Jeanette Dao can reveal for season 2 of The Wilds.
Check out the interview below.