Has Netflix delivered its first hit YA show with Between?


Netflix has been behind some of the most popular TV shows of the past few years; with hits like Orange is the New Black, House of Cards and Daredevil proving popular with viewers and critics alike. Now, Netflix now have their own YA/Sci-fi show Between, co-produced and financed with Canadian network City. With new episodes of Between broadcasted every week on Netflix, will Between become the new TV sensation?

Its first episode is a mixed result but potentially promising. We’re thrown straight into the action as one teenager tries to escape from the town of Pretty Lake before thrown back to a few days earlier to see how this all began. We’re introduced to the town on the day the adults starts dying, and within a couple of days the death tolls grows so big that the town is quarantined by the army. It’s an exciting start to a series, with the teenagers having to cope with what’s going on around them as their parents all start dying one by one. No one knows why this is happening or when it’s going to end. So far only a few characters realise that everyone who’s died has been 22 and over. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when everyone in town realises exactly what’s going on and there’s no adults left to bring order to the chaos.

Between sets up everything well in it’s opening episode. As well as the mysterious virus, there are also other sub-plots going on. There’s Wiley (Jennette McCurdy), a surly pregnant teenager who plans to give up her baby and leave Pretty Lake before the outbreak starts. We are also introduced to a bunch of other main protagonists whose journeys we’ll be following. The characters are thinly developed at this point as more emphasis is on building up the situation and the atmosphere. Hopefully over the season we’ll start to get more focus on the individual characters and see them grow into more three-dimensional characters.

The acting ranges from ok, to a bit wooden. At the moment a lot of the dialogue is exposition heavy. A scene between Wiley and her friend Adam is particularly bad with this, full of conversations that start with “I know you’ve already told me but…” There’s not a lot of natural dialogue going on here. Hopefully this is just first episode jitters and will improve now the set-up has been established. If not it will become increasingly irritating to watch.

Its’ a shame the series hasn’t been streamed all at once on Netflix as I think more people would be willing to give it a go if they could watch episodes back to back to see how things develop. As it is some people may not fancy waiting a whole week to see if the episodes improve or not.

Maybe not an instant hit, but there’s enough of an engaging mystery for me to give it another shot, at least for the next couple of episodes. 

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