I’ve just finished writing a post about Wayward Pines, the book trilogy. I decided to read the trilogy after watching the first two episodes of the TV series starring Matt Dillon.
I was attracted to the TV series by first and foremost Matt Dillon, then the fact that it is produced and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, and last but not least that the books and series were inspired by Twin Peaks.
Without further delay, let me tell you what I think about the show so far.
1. I think that the second episode was better than the first, and I’m hoping that this trend will continue in future episodes.
2. I was a bit thrown off by the age changes: Nurse Pam and Ben are older while Kate is younger in the TV adaptation.
3. I love Terrence Howard, but so far I feel that his performance as Sheriff Pope is off, especially when compared to the trilogy’s Pope.
4. I think that the reveal that something is definitely wrong with the town came a bit prematurely at 23 minutes into the first episode. I think that it would have been more dramatically suspenseful or suspensefully dramatic to keep the audience guessing as to whether or not Ethan is losing his mind, at least for the first episode or until the end of it.
5. Ditto for the reveal that Adam Hassler is responsible for the disappearance of Ethan. This was done at 41 minutes in. Of course, this is supposed to be a 10-episode limited series, so maybe the showrunners feel pressure to provide answers faster than if we were watching a multi-season show, or even a limited series with more episodes. Would a longer season have been the thing to do here? Perhaps, but I think of True Detective which only featured eight episodes and which had no false notes and no issues with the timing of reveals, and I’m reminded that a show’s quality is not determined by its length but by its content and execution.
The fact that I feel that Wayward Pines is rushed makes me wonder if the show will meet its full potential. To be honest, I’m currently doubting it. But, I loved The Sixth Sense and so I’m giving Mr. Shyamalan the benefit of the doubt.
In any case, Chad Hodge , the show’s creator promises something fresh. What I found refreshing is what he said to NPR’s All Things Considered in reply to a question on whether or not the series would end with a cliffhanger,
You are going to be satisfied at the end. This is truly a beginning, middle and end, 10-episode event series.
One thing that I really wanted to do with this show is not cheat you as a viewer. I’m a TV viewer, too. Of course, I like to be surprised but I don’t like to be manipulated. And there’s no manipulation here at all. Could there be a season two? Sure, but this was not designed to go beyond this season, at least at this point.
Now, that’s great news and almost as good as watching Matt Dillon.