I'll take The Wilds over Lost any day.
I know this is a big statement to make but, after watching the entire Prime Video series in 72 hours, I was more invested in the Unsinkable Eight—played by Sophia Ali, Shannon Berry, Jenna Clause, Reign Edwards, Mia Healey, Helena Howard, Erana James and Sarah Pidgeon—than Lost's Oceanic Six.
As E! readers may recall, Lost took the world by storm almost 17 years ago. The ABC drama ran for six seasons between 2004 and 2010 and won several prominent awards, including the '05 Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series and the '06 Golden Globe for Best Drama.
It followed the fictional survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 after they crashed on a mysterious island. Viewers got to know the large ensemble cast—which included Matthew Fox, Josh Holloway, Evangeline Lilly, Naveen Andrews and more—through present day, flashback and flashforward scenes. I watched it religiously and, practically two decades later, I still can't make sense of what happened.
Lost quickly escalated from a simple survival story to a chaotic storyline featuring supernatural elements (*cough* The Smoke Monster *cough*).
Now, it's safe to say that The Wilds (created by Sarah Streicher) took a page from the Lost playbook as it too fleshed out its narrative by taking viewers to moments before the plane crash, on the island and following their supposed rescue. And, like in Lost, everything was not as it appeared to be.
Initially, I believed the show to be simply a survivalist adventure, a female take on Lord of the Flies even. However, viewers soon learned that the survivors were actually a part of a social experiment, the Dawn of Eve.
Organizer Gretchen Klein (Rachel Griffiths) wanted to prove that a traumatic experience would bring out the best in the female subjects, which would inspire them to create a harmonious community. A "gynotopia," if you will.
Of course, being a YA drama, the experiment had its fair share of nail-biting moments. I'm talking physical altercations, a near-deadly case of food poisoning, a shark attack and more.
In no reality would this type of psychological study ever occur, no matter how much private funding was acquired. While this part of the plot did seem a bit preposterous, The Wilds didn't rely on any supernatural or wildly far-fetched villains to drive the narrative. Plus, it was a plot that was easy to follow. No need to analyze 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42.
Rather for the diverse group of girls on the island, the lack of every day resources forced them to evaluate what mattered most. In fact, being deserted on an island wasn't even the worst thing to happen to many of the characters.
Case in point: There's Rachel (Edwards), a competitive diver struggling with an eating disorder; Martha (Clause), a Native American student who refuses to see the worst in people, even her own sexual abuser; Dot, a teenager turned drug dealer trying to care for her dying father; Shelby (Healey), a religious pageant queen grappling with her sexual identity; etc.
As obsessive Leah (Pidgeon) so accurately stated in episode one, "If we're talking about what happened out there, then yeah, there was trauma. But being a teenage girl in normal-ass America, that was the real living hell."
So, between the relatable characters, the feminist themes and the somewhat realistic plot, I can't say I'm surprised that The Wilds is officially returning for season two.
It definitely beats being continually lost—excuse the pun—while watching Lost.
The Wilds is streaming now on Prime Video.
(This story was originally published on Friday, Jan. 8 at 8:30 a.m.)