Lord of the Flies…But Make It Female (Spoilers Ahead)

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Courtesy of Amazon

“The Wilds,” now available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.

Kayden Mandley, Photojournalist

The Amazon Prime Video series, “The Wilds,” is a new television show that takes on a fairly similar plot to William Golding’s classic novel, Lord of the Flies. “The Wilds” centers around a group of teenage girls who are left stranded on a remote island after a fatal plane crash and are forced to remain civilized in a desolate environment, even when the girls are constantly at odds with each other. Aside from that, though, “The Wilds” strays from Goulding’s original take on young adults surviving out in the wild and incorporates its own intriguing twists throughout the ten episodes. WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!

To summarize, nine girls from completely different lifestyles 一 Fatin Jadmani, Dot Campbell, Martha Blackburn, Rachel Reid, Nora Reid, Shelby Goodkind, Toni Shalifoe, Leah Rilke, and Jeanette Dao 一  are flying to Hawaii for the Dawn of Eve program, a retreat that focuses on empowering women. While flying over the Pacific Ocean, the plane begins to break down and the girls find themselves stuck on an island in the middle of nowhere without any recollection of the plane actually crashing. Throughout the show, the castaways begin to learn more about each other as they all struggle to survive on the island, and they are all unaware of the fact that they are subjects of a social experiment. Basically, the plane crash was staged and the whole stranding is being conducted by the head of the Dawn of Eve program, Gretchen Klein. Each episode focuses on a different girl, flashing back from their everyday lives before getting stranded, to their new reality of trying to survive on a deserted island. 

Personally, I could not stop binge-watching this series, and Reena Patel (12) says, “‘The Wilds’ is one of my favorite TV shows right now!” In addition to having a compelling and unpredictable storyline, “The Wilds” is also made up of an admirably diverse cast 一 including two Native American characters, both from very different backgrounds and having incredibly contrasting personalities 一 and adds in a number of relatable teen girl tropes and struggles that almost anyone in the audience can relate to: Fatin Jadmani, a rich and promiscuous girl who likes to party but is constantly forced to do what her parents want; Dot Campbell, who sold drugs in order to take care of her sick father; Martha Blackburn, a kind and optimistic girl from the Ojibwe tribe who was sexually abused at a young age; Rachel Reid, a competitive diver from New York who develops a severe eating disorder; Nora Reid, Rachel’s cautious twin sister who actually knows the truth about the Dawn of Eve program and is constantly worrying about her sister; Shelby Goodkind, a pageant girl from a Christian family who is struggling to accept her sexuality; and Toni Shalifoe, Martha’s hot-tempered best friend who has been placed in the foster system as her mother goes to rehab.

Overall, there was no dull moment throughout the first season of “The Wilds.” Similar to Goulding’s Lord of the Flies, the girls are constantly faced with some life-threatening situations and are forced to make difficult decisions that cause animosity to rise between each of the characters. Despite their differences, however, the girls manage to form a unique bond and survive before they are taken off of the island 一 unlike the savage characters in Goulding’s novel. There are still a few cliffhangers after the final episode, so I hope there will be a second season that answers all of my burning questions. (Like why did Shelby go bald all of a sudden?) I would also like to point out that viewer discretion is most definitely advised as some of the topics and scenes throughout the show can be sensitive or triggering for some. Apart from that, I highly recommend adding “The Wilds” on Amazon Prime to your watch-next-list!