Stream it or skip it?
When The Savages created in 2020, we were living in a post-Lostpre-yellow jackets world. We’d seen our fair share of plane crash dramas over the years, but never anything that shone a light on teenage girls the way The Savages did. The twisty and often confusing series’ first season revealed there was a whole operation behind the plane crash that brought them to the island, and season 2 quickly reveals that these girls aren’t the only ones. victims of this sick experience.
Opening shot: Dot is questioned about what happened “that day”.
The essential: When we last saw Nora (Helena Howard), the truth about her position as an informant was finally coming to light, and she had run into the water to save Rachel (Reign Edwards) from a shark attack. In the aftermath of the chaos, Rachel loses a hand (helpfully cauterized by Dot), and Nora is nowhere to be found. Rachel blames herself for Nora’s disappearance and barely speaks to any of the other girls. Shelby and Toni, meanwhile, continue their romantic date in the jungle, while the rest of the group begins to come to terms with their relationship. As all this drama continues to unfold, we learn that a plane full of boys has also crashed (on another part of the island).
While girls live on day 30, we see boys on day 1; they all fell for a similar lie, about a schmancy retirement that would change their lives and allow them to fly in a private jet. Much like the girls, this group of guys are a mixed bag; we have the emo kid, the jock jerk, the sensitive screamer, the poet, and best friends, to name a few. Flashbacks reveal that the boys only end up 34 days old (while the girls made it the “full 50”), though what that really means remains to be seen. Back and forth in time drops some serious bombshells about who some of these people really are and what their time on the island drives them to – and that’s just the beginning for our stranded teenagers.
What shows will this remind you of? The Savages always had Lost vibes, and it could also bring to mind series like yellow jackets and even cruel summer.
Our opinion : Say what you want The Savages, but this show still lives up to its name. Whether the series is dropping bombshells on its characters or taking us down dark and terrifying rabbit holes, it never fails to go to some truly wild places. The addition of the boys this season is nice in theory, but when you already have so many girls (who have each been portrayed with so much love and care) it’s hard to imagine a show the boys are going to have the same treatment. If they aren’t, what’s the point? That’s not to say teenagers can’t have rich inner lives too, but giving nearly 20 main characters the time they all deserve in an 8-episode season just isn’t feasible. Due to the addition of all these people, the characters are essentially deprecated, leaving us with more superficial storytelling when all is said and done.
Despite this new problem, however, The Savages remains as watchable and intriguing as ever, unafraid of getting bloody and gross and delving into deep emotional trauma. The series, which first attracted Lost comparisons, now alongside yellow jacketsa very different (better written) show with a similar premise that will likely bring more viewers to The Savages at the end of the day. The show may not always be on point, but you have to understand that it’s ready to swing and miss, because some of the biggest swings are the most interesting. The level of darkness may not be easy for everyone to bear, but for those who like to escape to absolute blackness instead of light, The Savages could be just the ticket.
Sex and skin: Shelby and Toni get a little hot and heavy in the jungle, but we part ways before things get too crazy.
Farewell shot: Raf wears a shocked expression in his cell until he is surprised to find a hand over his mouth and a threat in his ear.
Sleeping Star: Sarah Pidgeon’s Leah still has one of the most obviously made faces for the camera on the show. Just like Sophie Nelisse on yellow jackets, there is a breathtaking power in her, a unique magic in everything that happens behind those captivating eyes. I would pay to watch Pidgeon and Nelisse tear up the scenery together – both girls are just so good.
The most pilot line: It’s not particularly pilot, but Raf’s statement that the boys in the group “wanted to be men, but the truth is some of us were turning into freaks”, was a good thing.
Our call: SPREAD IT. Although adding boys to the mix takes away some of the singular magic of the first season, The Savages remains a hugely entertaining and beautifully acted series.
Jade Budowski is a freelance writer with a knack for ruining punchlines, hogging the mic at karaoke, and tweeting thirst. Follow her on Twitter: @jadebudowski.