The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Spoiler Alert: if you haven’t watched the first and second seasons of “The Wilds”, you should watch and then come back here!
“The Wilds” is one of the best series today. With a central cast made up of teen girls with different internal problems, it’s very easy to like the characters and the series itself. I binge watched the first season, finished it all in a single day and was already desperate for new episodes. Now, after watching the second season (also in one go), I can say if I liked the first or the second season better.
The end of the first season left fans extremely confused and surprised when the head of the operation, Gretchen, revealed that another group, with boys only – “the control group” – was also isolated on an island and being watched. Since Amazon Prime Video announced that the show was renewed for a second season, the primary concern was the new characters and how they were going to fit in the story.
The idea of bringing the boys was good, but not well executed. They, in general, are not likable: I personally like one or two of them. I don’t know if it is because the fans already care a lot for the girls and are interested in their story, but this alternation of new and old characters scenes made me distressed and uninterested in the boys’ backstories.
There is no debate on how the girls saved this season. Honestly, every single scene they had was perfect, funny and heartwarming. Even though they didn’t have enough screen time, their evolution was pretty visible – personally and with each other. It was good to see how much they changed since they arrived on the island, how much their dynamic grew and how they really became a family – like Leah beautifully said at the first episode of season two. I can only imagine if we could actually have seen their changing process, instead of only the final result.
This is why I think some points were left a little loose in the narrative. It is great to watch Rachel deal with Nora´s death, how she manages to cope with her grief and her journey with faith, but how about Shelby´s internalized homophobia? I mean, in season one she had a ruff time accepting herself, she was really secretive about her and Toni, but in season two she is feeling good about it all? It seems a little off. This is just an example of how some important things were solved quickly and shallowly.
Despite all that, I need to highlight the acting in this season, because it was a whole other level. The actresses were able to make the characters even more likable than last season. You really care and feel for them. I was rooting for their small victories all the time, making cute noises every time they interacted – they shared many sweet and beautiful scenes this season and I cried a lot -, laughing hard at some dialogues and hoping that the next scene was one of the girls and not the boys.
They promised and they delivered!
The relationship between Shelby and Toni is one of the best things from this season. If by the end of the first we already had some cute moments, in the second one we have a bunch of them. “Shoni” shippers were blessed with some sweet and simple scenes and other deeper and more intense scenes – a real win for the gays! As the season goes, we can see how Shelby has changed because of Toni and how Toni changed after seeing herself in love with the blondie.
My expectations for the second season: what was accomplished and what wasn’t
Because it is a show with female protagonists that talks about women matters, a lot of fans were able to see themselves in the girls, understand their issues, internal demons, wishes and backstories. These characters helped many people to feel seen and validated, but when the boys arrived, this mirroring got a little lost and the real important topics were brushed over. It is like I said before: the idea of bringing male figures was good, but when it really comes to it, it does not work that well.
To me, this season was a “transitional season”: it was like a preparation for a bigger and better third season – at least this is what I am hoping for. Now that we have the girls and the boys trapped in the same island, new plots can be brought up and maybe old ones can be slowly and perfectly solved. Overall, I really liked this season, but it was definitely not better than the first one.
The article above was edited by Milena Casaca.
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