Between Series Premiere
The town of Pretty Lake is quarantined when everyone over the age of 21 starts dying from a mysterious disease.
May 21, 2015
Normally, Netflix loads an entire season of an original series at once. With Between, they are trying something new and giving viewers one episode at a time on a weekly basis. This new format may have worked for some of the other shows Netflix has created, and could have possibly worked for Between if it had offered a decent premiere to make people rush back each week for another episode.
After some sarcastic one-liners from a pregnant teen, people start dying and no one seems to know why. The only thing that is clear is that the victims are fine until they cough a couple of times, spit up blood, then drop dead. Oh, and that only people over the age of 21 are dying.
Pretty Lake is quarantined and no one is getting in or out. Well, no one except the one guy they let in for a reason that is never really given. We’ll just assume it’s because he’s pretty and they needed another attractive young actor to round out the cast.
Drama ensues when the pregnant teen goes into labor and (uh oh!) all the people qualified to deliver the baby happen to be dead. Fortunately, there happens to be a young farmer nearby who can come in and deliver the baby, just in the nick of time.
A couple of guys who are up to no good… wait… that’s a different show. Two guys decide that, since all the adults are dead, they can help themselves at the car dealership, and they take a truck out for a test drive. Unfortunately for them, the only living person over the age of 21 happens to be the owner of that truck. His solution: strip them down at gunpoint and attempt to tar and feather them.
Throughout all of this weirdness, there are several scenes in a prison we can only assume is in Pretty Lake. These scenes make no sense. I don’t even know how describe them except people fight, the police get mad… and aren’t any of these people over 21?
If the episode recap seems choppy and disjointed, then I’ve done my job and given you a fair sense of what the show is like. You may have already guessed that I was not impressed with this show. At all. In fact, the best description I could give it would be “hot mess.” Even if you ignore the premise of the show, which has been done again and again, there were bad decisions made throughout production that almost ensure its failure.
The storyline seems to have a logical progression at times, but the director either tried to do way too much in one episode or someone lost the pages of the script that actually tied everything together. The scenes are edited in such a way that there is virtually no flow to the episode, and it’s hard to really make sense of a lot of what is going on. In fact, whatever is happening at the prison is the most interesting part of the show, and it makes absolutely no sense.
Perhaps the most painful thing about the show is the stereotypes. First, you’ve got the pregnant teen with a smart mouth that could have come out of any show currently airing on CW. Next up is the computer genius who is misunderstood by everyone but I’m sure will bring everyone around when he figures it all out. Of course, you can’t have drama without chaos: enter the group of guys getting into trouble as soon as they’ve got the chance. Finally, just to round things out, there’s the good guy who just wants to live his life and take care of his little sister, and the rich kid who goes running to daddy to solve his problems.
To make matters worse, the lighting in almost every scene is dark to the point that it is hard to distinguish between the characters; or maybe it’s just that they all looked alike. Apparently, when the plague hits, you had better hope you’re young and pretty because those are the only people who survive.
Spiritual Content – While there is no occult use or mention of it, there is an overall disdain for religion. The pregnant teen is the daughter of the local minister and her attitude towards God is derogatory. In one instance, she tells her sister, “I don’t want forgiveness from your god.”
Language – With everyone dying there isn’t any time for crude humor, but there is a lot of cursing. There is cursing in every scene (d**k, d**n, a**, p***, f***, h***, s***) and most of the time it is just there for effect and not part of a conversation.
Sexual Content/ Nudity – There is no nudity in the show, but in one scene a girl gives birth and a lot of skin is shown in the process. In the beginning of the episode, there is a discussion of the teen’s pregnancy and its circumstances.
Violence/Gore – The town has been hit by a plague, so there is a lot of death. The people afflicted cough and then spit up blood before dying, and there are several shots of areas with dead bodies everywhere. In one scene, two teens steal a truck and are apprehended by the owner. He holds them at gunpoint and forces them to strip down so he can tar and feather them.
Negative Themes – Though it’s not really an issue in the premiere episode, viewers should be aware that the show intends to explore the idea of society’s breakdown when all authority figures have been removed. Considering the premiere, it can be assumed that this will involve both personal attacks on people and a breakdown of moral and ethical barriers. Depending on how the show decides to handle these topics, it could be unsuitable for many viewers.
+ Well, at least it's over
- They didn't have enough money for lights
- Most of the actors are too young to have learned how to act
- The premiere makes almost no sense