Drop By Drop
Putting on the Clothes
Like A God or Something
How It Happens
Lord Of The Flies is one of my favourite books. Acting as the original archetype for a continuing line of “group going it alone” shows, The Society takes this idea, adds a dash of Lost with a bloated storyline and a tried-and-tested mystery for good measure. While there are some good moments here, it all feels like well-trodden ground for much of its run time, and when the answers arrive they never quite live up to the expectations of the answers keeping you watching to the end.
In true Netflix fashion, The Society feels slightly overlong and could have done with some tighter editing. With 10 episodes at a little under an hour, The Society gets right to the heart of the drama early on. A strange smell descends over the town and as the kids return from a school trip, they realize all the adults are missing and the town now inexplicably surrounded by thick, lush forestry. Even stranger still, when they return the smell’s disappeared and the town has small differences that play a bigger part in the plot further down the line.
Realizing they’re stuck with nowhere to go, the kids in The Society descend into a heady cocktail of teen angst and melodrama. Between these constant bouts of partying and having sex, the group do come together and try to figure out what’s happened.
The second half of the series starts to answer some of these questions and with such a diverse group of characters at the heart of this one, it can take a while to warm to some of these people, especially given the emphasis on the teen drama. Still, if you enjoyed Lord Of The Flies or other shows based on this, you’re sure to enjoy The Society.
The ending certainly leaves things open for a second season too and in a way, it feels like Netflix have been eyeing The 100’s popularity closely given the similarities early on with this one. While the series does have some stand out moments, including a few thought provoking, thematic ideas, this story has been done numerous times, with plenty of shows jumping on this bandwagon shortly after Lost finished airing too.
The Society does feature a pretty good score, with a good sound design that kicks the music in at the perfect moments. There’s nothing particularly fancy about the camera work although a few overhead shots are quite nicely implemented. Still, given the emphasis on the teen drama, if you’re looking for something a little more focused on the mystery, you certainly need some patience with this one.
Despite all that, The Society is a perfectly enjoyable drama, even if it does borrow heavily from other sources. If you’ve ever watched the aforementioned shows referenced in this review, you’ll likely find a lot of similarities in this one. The episodes do feel a tad overlong and in typical Netflix fashion, the show could have done with some editing to cut this down to a tighter 8-episode arc.
Is it a slow burn? Yes. Does it have a lot of teen drama? Absolutely. However the mystery is enough to keep you watching, even if it does take a while to get to the good stuff.