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Netflix’s new original series, The Society, is a familiar story with a spin. A little bit of Lord of the Flies, The 100 and The Leftovers rolled up into one. Even though the basis of the story has been told, The Society is a recommended watch. Overall, I give the series an 8, taking away 2 points only due to the plot not being unique. What The Society lacked in original plot, it made up for in suspense and psychological thrills. Spoilers Ahead!If you’d like you can stop here and watch the trailer and read the rest after you’ve watched.
The story starts with a group of teenagers leaving for what looks like an overnight school trip. Several buses depart from the school in the day time and return at night with a quick explanation from the bus driver that the trip was canceled due to the weather. As soon as the students leave the bus, the drivers pull off. As they were not due back, there were no parents there to greet them nor answer their calls. As they all arrive home they realize their parents are not there.
The teens are alone in the town. Sound familiar? They have to fend for themselves in a world without parents. Things quickly get out of hand as chaos ensues and they struggle for power. Some are enjoying freedom from parents too much and others are having a hard time trying to keep some form of order and considering things like food rationing.
To make matters worse, the town is affluent and most of the teens are spoiled rich kids not used to sharing. Those who want to develop structure, are viewed as a threat and the leader is shot and killed. Fear grips the town after the leader is shot and to calm things down a group pushes her little sister to take her place. She is able to develop some form of organization by furthering her sister’s ideas of mandatory work groups and started some committees to look at food options, figuring out what happened to their world and even social activities.
In the midst of the budding society, there are a few issues. They believe they are in a parallel universe and were somehow brought there by the bus driver as punishment for some broken deal their parents may have made. There’s one kid diagnosed antisocial personality disorder, who has latched on to a loner ballerina, whom he now abuses. He is also facilitating the drug habit of a depressed rich kid who is upset he has to share his mansion with others to preserve resources. Another teen discovers she is pregnant and her deaf gay best friend volunteers to be the father and the biological father is a mystery probably to be revealed in season 2. Ballerina girl is tired of the abuse and tries to poison antisocial personality boy but ends up poisoning several other except him.
The football team are playing police and abusing there power. The group seem to have hope as an expedition discovers farm land, only to have that hope ripped away by a coup staged by antisocial boy putting depressed boy in charge along with a girl who was mistreated by the football team police and ignored by the current leader. There’s and execution and lots more power, struggle and betrayal.
As the season ends, we see that perhaps the group might be right about being in an alternate universe, because their parents are home believing they’re all dead. Well done Netflix, well done. I’ll be keeping an eye out for season 2. If you need something to spend a day doing, I’d suggest bingeing The Society. Even with this review, there will be much more to enjoy and keep you on the edge of your seats.