Review: Teen Dystopia Fascinates In ‘The Society’

You won’t want to stop until you’ve binged all 10 episodes in a night! 


Courtesy of Netflix

The poster for the Netflix series “The Society”

Emily DeFilippis, Contributor

What do teenagers do when left to their own devices? People have been producing media on their takes on this forever; just look at Lord of the Flies. But Netflix’s The Society by Christopher Christopher Keyser brings a whole new spin on the idea, with an intriguing storyline and incredible writing and acting.

Returning to their home of West Haven, CT, after a canceled field trip, high school students find an abandoned town: no adults, no parents, no cell service, no working telephones, no internet access, and no way to escape. The students face the survival test of the century.

But before they admit to their dire circumstances, they throw the party of a lifetime. Music echoes through the streets, cups fill the church pews, and all order escapes their minds. There’s not an adult in sight, and they take full advantage of it.

As the next morning comes into view, though, they are hit with the realization that something is seriously off.

Two courses of action soon come to light. Some kids choose to follow the voice of reason – or unwanted authority – Cassandra Pressman, who tries to restore some order to the town. Others follow the rich, popular son of the mayor, Harry Bingman, who shuts down anyone who tries to put an end to the free-for-all.

The actors’ ability to capture this community divide is engrossing. As students pick sides, one might worry about the cliché of such an idea. But Mr. Keyser’s ability to capture a lack of instant attachment to one side or the other is something you won’t see anywhere else. 

Viewers meet characters like Sam, Cassandra’s cousin who’s deaf, and get to see his way of navigating this newly created dystopia. His best friend Becca is one of the only real people he can communicate with through sign language, since his brother refuses to use it when talking to him, and not many others in the community have learned. But we also see the sparks of new relationships forming, as some people take the time to learn some sign language so they can communicate with Sam. 

As the show progresses and the students adapt to their new way of life, emotions fluctuate exponentially. From romance to mystery to drama, it’s all packed into this 10-episode season. You won’t want to stop til you’ve binged all 10 in a night!