Panic: Amazon’s new high-stakes teen drama offers a juicy premise
SEE AGAIN: Every small town has a secret – Carp, Texas is a game.
Held every summer, the winners earn enough to start a new life elsewhere. The losers remain trapped for another year.
It’s also a competition with ghosts – last year, Jimmy and Abby were killed in competition, when a challenge involving a blindfold ride on a freeway turned horribly pear-shaped.
As the 40+ players lined up for this year’s competition have understood, the goal of a new 10-part teen drama streaming on Amazon Prime Video is the risk you take with the eponymous. . Panic.
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It’s definitely not the one Heather Nill (Olivia Welch) is willing to accept. As a graduate of the local high school, she became eligible for the first time.
However, she has her own escape plan that doesn’t involve challenges like spending the night buried alive in a coffin. For years now, she has worked for the wireless company, collecting money that would allow her to pay her tuition for a college accounting course. With only $ 500 to go, Heather’s participation in the fall looks assured.
In other words, until his world collapses. First, the company tells her that it can no longer afford to keep her. “It’s okay,” she told herself, with her skills, finding more jobs should be easy. But no one in Carp is hiring.
Then comes the kicker, when Heather returns to check her stash, she discovers, to her horror, that she has practically disappeared. Her blameless mother stole her to pay for her car’s new transmission, believing her need was more immediate and vital to running the house, especially since she “ never has spare money. for herself, after making sure there was a roof over Heather’s head. “. Except for “beer, lottery tickets, cigarettes and drugs,” the teenager retaliates, as she steps out to use the transmission she paid for.
Its destination? The site for this year’s Panic opening challenge. After all, that all-time high of $ 50,000 would certainly come in handy now. Plus, Heather may have a reputation for being afraid of everything, but now she feels she has nothing to lose.
Adapted by Lauren Oliver from her own 2014 novel of the same name, Panic’The opening episode does a terrific job of directing and then building up the tension for the upcoming series.
In addition to Heather, we meet a number of other suitors, including her best friend – and avid Panic student – Natalie (Jessica Sula), the new Dodge (Mike Faist) and famous bad boy Ray Hall (Ray Nicholson). ) – and yes he is Jack’s son).
They are definitely archetypes and there is a certain Riverdale vibe about world building. It also reminded me of the great thriller Emma Roberts-Dave Franco 2016 Nerve, with its challenges, crowds and peer pressure, but with more of an old-fashioned pre-smartphone vibe. It’s both a strength and a weakness, which both gives it a refreshing feel, but also makes you wonder why they didn’t just make it into a period drama at the same time. Strange things.
Welch, who appeared in the first two episodes of Netflix’s critically-acclaimed 2019 drama Unbelievable, makes it a charismatic and endearing track, but it’s Nicholson who is the stage thief and seems to have inherited at least part of his father’s screen presence.
Panic doesn’t quite live up to its name, at least in its early days, but there’s enough exciting potential to make it worth a first leap of faith to see if you’ll get hooked.
Panic is now available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.