It’s hard to get too excited about Wayward Pines knowing M. Night Shyamalan’s involvement. The director is infamous for crafting intriguing productions and then spoiling them with ill-advised twists. Nevertheless, I have faith that Fox knows what it’s doing with their new event series, and the show’s pilot exhibits enough potential to warrant a few episodes.
The best thing Wayward Pines has going for it is an eerie and spooky sense of place. Wayward Pines feels like a living, breathing town. There’s a genuine aura of mystery surrounding this story of a federal agent trapped in a strange locale, and while it’s all a bit too Lost-ish for my liking, I’m hoping the closed-ended nature of the series will yield some satisfying answers as the ten-episode-run comes to a close.
The show’s assembled a stellar cast, but they’re a tad uneven. Melissa Leo is immediately captivating as Pam the demented nurse, while Terrance Howard is strangely unsettling as Sheriff Pope. However, Juliette Lewis is tremendously miscast – it’s as if there’s a disconnect between the script and her performance, and she’s left stuttering about with strange character beats that simply don’t land. In addition, I was far from impressed by Matt Dillon (our lead). His dazed and confused look fits the show’s premise, but I’ve never been a fan of the actor in general. Thankfully, he didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the show.
A word of note: I happened to catch the show’s second hour, and it’s bookended by a pretty nifty twist. The show’s definitely taking risks so props for that. Let’s see if they can sustain the momentum.
It doesn’t have the freshest premise, but Wayward Pines has an ominous tone and enough creepy intrigue to be recommended.