The Horror Honeys: Wayward Pines ~ Season 1, Episode 1: Where Paradise is Home

Wayward Pines ~ Season 1, Episode 1: Where Paradise is Home

A Horror TV Series Introduction by Lisa

Lets just get this out of the way right now. Yes, Wayward Pines opens just like Lost did and depending upon your personal pop culture history, you either feel like its too Twin Peaksor too The Village. From M. Night Shyamalan, Wayward Pines is based on the book series from Blake Crouch and Crouch is the one to blamefor the Lynchian qualities. (If you listen to Honey Radio, then you know where my heart is with the term Lynchian.) Lets just push all of that out of the way and deal with the task at hand; is it worth watching?

No, it's not Twin Peaks.
Special Agent Ethan Burke is sent to Wayward Pines looking for two missing agents. Waking up from a car crash, he has no way of reaching his wife or work superiors. Everyone in town seems a bit off except for the bartender that instantly befriends him.  As the outside world tries to locate Burke, he realizes that nothing is as it seems in Wayward Pines and the road out of town is the same one that leads into town. While trying to drive away from this crazy, little town, Burke stumbles upon the massive electric fence that encloses it. So, are the residents being kept in Wayward Pines or is something being kept out of Wayward Pines? 

Keeping something in... or out?

There are a million and one questions brought up in this first episode and its delightfully engaging if youre willing to let go of any comparisons to other television shows or movies. Based on the novel by Blake Crouch, Wayward Pines is definitely a Twin Peaks super fan and thats not always a bad thing, but with Shyamalan being brought on to direct, the marriage of Twin Peaks and The Village is undeniable and hard to ignore, but please try. In fact, it is strongly encouraged that you read the first novel in the series before this miniseries premieres on May 14. Its the kind of book that you blast through, so I know youll have time to finish it. Knowing where the story is going is what is making it easy for this TV Baby to forgive all of the glaring similarities to other entertainment. There wont be any new ground broken, but its certainly a fun ride. 

Speaking of TV Babies, its no secret that I have a life long love affair with Matt Dillon, so that is already working in its favor. Thankfully, Mr. Dillon is still just as brooding, mysterious and sympathetic as always. Weather hes Doing it for Johnny!or knocking over pharmacies, Dillon is perfection. In fact, the casting gods were definitely smiling on Wayward Pines. Melissa Leo as Nurse Pam may be the most perfect casting choice since since John Malkovich played himself in Being John Malkovich. Terrence Howard spent a total of 3 minutes on screen and Im already giddy about what hes going to bring to the character of Sheriff Arnold Pope. Juliette Lewis is playing our helpful bartender Beverly and shes doing a great job on both this show and Secrets and Lies which only further proves that all of the great writing for great actors is currently on television. Carla Gugino is always a welcome addition because she plays badass females like nobodys business. My only complaint, if you can call it that, is Toby Jones as Dr. Jenkins. Unfortunately, Mr. Jones will always be the guy who played Truman Capote after Phillip Seymour Hoffman did and that is endlessly distracting for me, however, knowing what I know about the story, Im interested to see what he does with the character. 

This is going to be good.

It seems pertinent to note that Crouch is listed only as a consulting producer on the show and the story was written for television by Chad Hodge. Crouch has enjoyed success as a horror author and, for me, Wayward Pines is the best thing that he has written, but thats akin to me calling something Lynchian. David Fincher had  Gillian Flynn adapt Gone Girl for the screen because she has the skills and you just have to wonder why Crouch wasnt involved in adapting his own story for the screen. Heres to hoping that Hodge was able to clean up some of the extraneous bits Crouch felt compelled to leave in the book. 

Melissa Leo is a boss.

Verdict: This TV Baby will definitely making appointment television out of Wayward Pines.

Mark your schedules, Wayward Pines premiere episode airs on Thursday May 15th on Fox.