Happily Ever After – | Review Score – 2.5/5
The Other Woman – | Review Score – 2/5
Repent at Leisure – | Review Score – 2/5
Home Sweet Home – | Review Score – 2/5
Like Mother, Like Daughter – | Review Score – 2/5
Where White Knights Go to Die – | Review Score – 3/5
Liv (Jenna Coleman) and Will (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), a newlywed and seemingly happy couple, are at the very heart of the British mystery show, Wilderness. On closer inspection, however, it becomes clear that their union is far from perfect and that they’re definitely not riding into the sunset together.
As the story progresses, Liv is forced to face the devastating truth that her seemingly perfect marriage has been tainted by her spouse’s cheating. Liv grudgingly agrees to go on an adventure with him, allegedly to save their marriage, given his persistent pleading. However, Liv’s hidden motivations ensure that the plot will be both gripping and intense.
The drama mostly centres on the subjects of adultery, vengeance, and plotting. The story of the mystery thriller develops as the drama is established, and then the dark and unsettling elements are revealed. There’s no question that the show is going for a diabolical tone and is hoping for a few jump scares. The show makes an effort to create an air of mystery. Time and time again, though, we are able to predict the upcoming reveal. This occurs because the show clumsily establishes its plot and fails to effectively build suspense.
Three timelines overlap during most of this show. While this is accomplished without a hitch, it serves only to demonstrate how much the show could have benefited from a more consistent narrative arc. The lack of coherence and clarity essentially generates sensational scenarios that lack substantive complexity.
The characters in the show don’t seem to have a nuanced motivation, particularly Will. The show presents him as a one-dimensional caricature who is merely a cheating spouse with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Will’s motivation for cheating is basically: he couldn’t perform certain sexual acts with his wife like he could with Cara, and that Liv made him the center of her world. His justifications make little sense, and that’s because he’s a poorly written character.
It doesn’t help that Liv seems to hold nothing against Cara compared to the fury she has for Will. While her rage towards Will is justified, her leniency towards Cara isn’t. Cara had an affair with Liv’s husband despite being aware of the fact that he’s married. Both she and he deserve equal blame. This is more evidence that the drama’s character motivations are poorly written.
The show has stunning visuals that deserve appreciation. We get to see a lot of gorgeous locations since our primary characters are constantly on the go, which is a big part of the show’s charm.
The beginning of the show also features some dark comedy. Unfortunately, this is a transitory element. The show would have benefited enormously from continuing to use it in subsequent episodes.
The show’s actors mostly hold their own. They aren’t great, but they aren’t terrible, either. It seems like Jenna Coleman is a talented actress. However, her role in the show called for a malevolent, neurotic element that never quite materialised.
Eric Balfour, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, and Ashley Benson all do a satisfactory job in their respective parts. However, these characters couldn’t get us to detest or sympathize with them, which should have been the case given the subject matter. Overall, the show suffers as a consequence of this flaw.
Overall, the mystery drama provides an acceptable portrayal of adultery and the subsequent quest for vengeance. There is nothing here that hasn’t been seen before, thus it lacks originality. The show’s character arcs, motivations, and narrative structure are all disorganised. Additionally, the mystery is predictable. This show isn’t horrible, but it’s also not particularly good.
Verdict - 5/10