Review: Amazon’s New Series ‘The Wilds’ Takes an Uncharted Course Into Dystopic Waters

Amazon Studio's first young adult series, The Wilds, premiers globally on December 11th and this is an ill-fated flight that you'll want to board.

Part survival drama, part dystopic slumber party, The Wilds follows a group of teen girls from different backgrounds who must fight for survival after a plane crash strands them on a deserted island. 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.

Amazon's New Series ‘The Wilds' Takes an Uncharted Course Into Dystopic Waters

It may be difficult to read the premise of The Wilds and not have flashbacks to ABC's series Lost, which had a uniquely love-hate relationship with its audience. But The Wilds takes risks where other series have chosen to shy away from leaning fully into that keyword — dystopic. If you were a fan of the best parts of Lost or intrigued by the mystery of Netflix's The Society, you will not want to miss out on The Wilds. Ten episodes are not nearly enough time to spend within the world that has been created and with that cliffhanger… you might feel like you've been left on an abandoned island waiting for more.

The Wilds is brought to you by creator and executive producer Sarah Streicher (Daredevil), executive producer and showrunner Amy B. Harris (Sex and the City, The Carrie Diaries), and executive producers Jamie Tarses (Franklin & Bash, Happy Endings) and Dylan Clark (The Batman, Bird Box). Before we delve into The Wilds — it's time to meet the girls.

Leak Rilke 

Sarah Pidgeon stars as Leah Rilke, a girl mature beyond her years, creative and brooding with an overactive mind. Leah is somewhat of a loner who prefers reading, writing, and observing the world around her. Leah makes an unexpected connection with a famous author twenty years her senior, and a risqué relationship develops between them.

Shelby Goodkind

Mia Healy stars as Shelby Goodkind, a God-fearing pageant princess from the heart of Texas, whose natural optimism helps the island-dwellers stay hopeful. Despite her angelic appearance, Shelby has a lot of hidden grit and many secrets that she’s keeping from the others.

Fatin Jadmani 

Sophia Ali stars as Fatin Jadmani, a proudly promiscuous girl with an audacious fashion sense. When she doesn’t pull her weight on the island, the others mistake her for a good-for-nothing slacker. But if they knew her past, they’d realize nothing could be further from the truth.

Toni Shalifoe

Erana James plays Toni Shalifoe, a tomboy with anger issues who feels like everyone is out to screw her over since almost everyone in her life has. Despite her aggression, Toni has a softer side and a high capacity for love, as evidenced by her fierce loyalty to her best friend, Martha.

Martha Blackburn

Jenna Clause stars as Martha Blackburn, a timid animal lover with a big heart and shaky self-esteem, Martha will face challenges on the island that will force her out of her shell.

Rachel Reid

Reign Edwards stars as Rachel Reid, an elite diver, Rachel has driven herself to dangerous lengths to excel at her sport. She’s a motivated self-starter who leads the charge to find a way off the island and back to the pursuit of her Olympic dreams.

Nora Reid

Helena Howard stars as Nora Reid, a quiet, artistic savant who’s had a hard time fitting in among her peers. She may seem meeker and more reserved than her fraternal twin Rachel, but she’s the secret strength in their relationship.

While Pidgeon's character, Leah, is positioned as the central character of the series, the structure of the series allows for each character to have their moment in the limelight. For the sake of preserving the mystery of The Wilds, I won't delve into how the intricate backstories of each of the girls plays into the overarching storyline of the series, but the show's creators have done something marvelous. While all of the girls' suitcases may not make it onto the island with them, their emotional baggage is used against them in the best and worst ways as they fight to survive the island and themselves.

The Bottom Line: Amazon Studio's The Wilds is a unique twist on a familiar trope. Jenna Clause, Erana James, and Mia Healy are stand out performances, among an insanely talented cast of actresses. Do not be off-put by the “young adult” angle, this is a series that will garner fans from all demographics. 

The ten-episode Amazon Original series will premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime Video on December 11. For a limited time, the first episode will be available to everyone on Amazon Prime Video YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook from December 11-25 and available to stream on Prime Video with no Prime account necessary. 

Maggie Lovitt is a writer at Wealth of Geeks where she covers her favorite topics: Star Wars and pop culture nerdery.

In her free time, she is also a novelist, screenwriter, actor, and member of the Screen Actors Guild.