Wayward Pines (TV Mini-Series) Review

Let’s talk about M. Night Shyamalan, the guy who wrote and directed: Lady in the Water, The Happening, and The Last Airbender (one of the worst movies ever made). However, he also wrote and directed: Signs, Unbreakable, and The Sixth Sense (one of the best movies ever made). Yes, it seemed for the longest time that Shyamalan lost his touch big time. But through it all, I noticed something. After he hit his lowest point (The Last Airbender), his work started to increase (albeit slowly) in quality. Devil was stupid, but had a few chilling thrills and ideas, After Earth was boring, but not insulting or disgraceful, but Wayward Pines (which he is producing) may be a good omen signifying Shyamalan’s career has finally gotten back on track. Wayward Pines was created by Chad Hodge and stars: Matt Dillon, Carla Gugino, Toby Jones, Melissa Theo, Hope Davis, and Terrence Howard. Premise- Secret service agent Ethan Burke (Dillon) travels to Wayward Pines, Idaho in search of two missing agents. He quickly realizes something is terribly off about the seemingly normal town.

The acting in this mini-series is astounding! Particularly the supporting cast of: Toby Jones, Melissa Leo, Michael McShane, and Terrence Howard (Matt Dillon is also a great lead)! Even the kid they got to play Ethan’s teenage son, Ben (Charlie Tahan) was able to convey: confusion, interest, and sympathy pretty well for his age. Considering this show had many directors, I’ll just say this: Shyamalan (Episode 1) was the best director followed by Jeff T. Thomas (Ep 6), while Tim Hunter (Eps 8, 10) is probably the worst director. The story is definitely the best aspect of this series. This show had 10 writers working on different episodes and yet the story remained: interesting, creepy, thrilling, and very well-paced from beginning to end. The overall tone of this series builds extraordinarily well, but when episode 3 (Our Town, Our Law) ends, that, is when things really start to pick up. The overall tone of Wayward Pines consistently stayed unsettling and mysterious, so I was always invested in what would happen next. There are many plot twists which kept me guessing (I like stories that are getting the viewer involved like that) and when the ultimate truth is finally revealed, you will be flabbergasted like never before.

The only negatives I can think of for this show are few, but sadly, annoying. For one, the love interest to Ben Burke. Yeah there’s one of those in this show. I don’t remember much about her character, mostly because she exists to be the love interest to the main character. She does a few plot relevant things, but now that I think about it, those actions could have easily been done by a more developed character: Ben’s teacher (Davis). Unfortunately, this series has one of the worst endings I have ever seen in a TV show. Aside from the final episode (Cycle) trying way too hard to be scary instead of threatening, the last 2 minutes completely ruin the whole storyline. If you watch this series (and I highly suggest you do) when the camera fades to black the first time, immediately turn off the TV. If you watch any further, you’ll be incredibly frustrated. Those 2 minutes could have (and should have) been cut, but for whatever reason they made it into the final product.

Setting aside the last episode, I thoroughly enjoyed Wayward Pines. It has outstanding acting, a creepily intriguing tone, and best of all, a smart, thrilling, and interesting story. Welcome back to glory M. Night, I look forward to The Visit. Wayward Pines gets Guy’s Guru Grade of a B+. On a side note, what did you guy’s think of my first TV review? Post a comment if you so desire, and thank you all!


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