“Lord of the Flies” Meets High School

Chances are you’ve read Lord of the Flies by William Golding for your required reading during high school. The 1954 novel detailed the experience of British boys stranded on an island and their attempts at self-governance. The initial sense of freedom that comes with having no authoritative figures quickly gave way to conflict, and it delves into some dark aspects of the characters (i.e. inherent savagery). Now, 65 years later, the story has gotten an update. Netflix’s new show “The Society” takes the idea of the classic novel, sets it in modern-day, and throws some supernatural twists in. 

 

“The Society” begins like most other teen shows- we’re introduced to the classic high school cliques and all is seemingly normal in the wealthy New England town. The students leave for a field trip, only to have their final destination revealed to be identical to their hometown. However, everything is not as it seems; the adults have vanished and the town is entirely surrounded by dense forest. It’s all fun and games (and partying) until the kids realize that they have to figure out a) how to organize a functioning society (hence the name) and b) where they are. There’s power struggles, complex characters, and twists galore- everything a Netflix original smash needs. 

 

Kathryn Newton, who plays Allie on the show, sat down for an interview at Build Series. You may recognize her from “Big Little Lies,” “Blockers,” or even “Detective Pikachu,” but Newton was drawn to “The Society” by its dark themes and the realistic development of her character. She mentions that “none of [the characters] are stereotyped… even if you think they might be at first, every single one of them has a storyline that changes and they transform by the end.” Obviously, since the teens have to grow up quickly as the town’s society is being cultivated, heavy topics are brought up. From criminal justice to gun control to dictatorial governments, “The Society” dives into it all. At times the show was so bleak, in fact, that she had to watch The Office and take baths to unwind.

 

Whether you liked Lord of the Flies or (in my case) not, “The Society” is definite binge-watch material. The well-developed characters are obviously a huge draw to viewers (“I just think teenagers are smarter than we usually see them on TV,” as Newton stated). It keeps you on the edge of your seat and never lags. Look it up on Netflix- I can attest that you’ll be halfway through the season before you even realize it.