4 Reasons Why You Should Watch 'Wayward Pines'
4 Reasons Why You Should Watch 'Wayward Pines'
Jennifer Lind-Westbrook
Jennifer Lind-Westbrook
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
In the premiere of FOX's Wayward Pines, the much-anticipated 10-episode small screen adaptation of Blake Crouch's international best-selling series of books, Special Agent Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon) is having a bad, bad day. He wakes up, alone, in the middle of a dark lush forest. He's battered and bruised. Things quickly go from bad to weird, as Burke finds he has arrived in Wayward Pines, Idaho. A picture-perfect hamlet where the people are incredibly attractive but disturbingly strange.

This probably sounds like another show many people remember and love, Twin Peaks. You know you're in for trouble when the town slogan is "When Paradise is Home." If the premiere of this psychological thriller is any indication of what's to come, here's a few reasons why you should run -- not walk -- to your Lazy-Boy.

1. It's Directed by M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Signs)

Yes, once golden boy Shyamalan, has hit a bit of sophomore/junior/senior slump. After a string of big-screen flops, Shymalan may have found the right medium and material to make his big comeback. The director's forte is creepy characters and plot twists and turns that the audience won't see coming. What could be construed as ridiculous plot holes are interwoven with just enough reality to make the viewer question if, under the right circumstances, the unbelievable and extraordinary can indeed occur.

2. It's Familiar but Unpredictable

Yes, it's a bit formulaic in the sense that we've seen shows where the leading character, hero or anti-hero, is put in an unfamiliar situation but what appears to be strictly by chance. Yet, it turns out he or she or them have a purpose, a connection that has brought them to a place that was expecting them all along. Sound familiar? Time isn't a constant. The story isn't linear, the present is intermingled with the past in the form of non-linear flashbacks. Wayward Pines manages to be purposeful and chaotic, so don't bother trying to think a few steps ahead.

The town exists within the confines of the U.S., or so we think, but it's sovereign. It's cutoff, to some degree, from everything and everyone outside its borders. Was it designed that way or evolve from a place seemingly mundane into something more sinister? Is it a government cover up, an alternate dimension or some strange grandiose illusion, or a Utopia beyond Burke's wildest dreams?

Burke may be a well-intentioned good guy, or deeply troubled. We learn he's suffered past trauma, and his sanity is questionable. He struggles to hold on to what he believes to be true, but is bombarded with doubts, reinforced by both strangers and those he knows and even loves.

Wayward Pines is an amalgam of film noir, psychological thriller and science fiction. It's quintissential Shymalan with a big nod to one of his films in particular, The Village. And while Wayward Pines may draw comparisons to shows like Under the Dome, Twin Peaks and Lost, it is likely to carve out its own niche as the series progresses.

3. It's Complexity is Astounding

Burke is sent to Wayward Pines to find two missing agents, but what they were doing there is a question that remains unanswered. The two arrived together but met very different ends. Burke gets help in the form of cryptic warnings and even a daring rescue which lets viewers know that he's not without allies in this bizarre fishbowl.

Burke has no wallet and no phone and the circumstances under which he arrives make him virtually untraceable. The hospital he's admitted to appears to be empty and manned by a disingenuous nurse named Pam (Melissa Leo), and a "physician," Dr. Jenkins (Toby Jones), who, in addition to being eager to perform brain surgery on the discombobulated Burke without his consent, may also hold all of the answers as to why Burke was sent to Wayward Pines.

There are multiple conspiracies afoot, and Burke's wife, Theresa (Shannyn Sossamon), promises to be tenacious when it comes to figuring out what has happened to her husband, but since friends are now foes, she's likely to set out on her own looking for answers.

4. The Locals are Colorful

Burke has only been in Wayward Pines for one day, but most of the locals promise to make his stay very unpleasant. Terrence Howard (Empire) plays the nefarious sheriff, Juliette Lewis (Cape Fear) a woman whose very existence could be questionable, a pushy hotel clerk, and a tavern owner, who refers to Burke by some code name after pummeling him senseless.

The pilot sets the bar high for the remaining nine episodes, but I'm optimistic viewers will not be disappointed.

The pilot of FOX's Wayward Pines is available to watch free, ahead of the premiere, until April 30 on FOX ON DEMAND via participating pay-TV providers, including AT&T U-verse, Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Charter, Cox, DIRECTV, Mediacom, Suddenlink, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS and XFININTY. Check with your local cable provider. Or you can stream on FOX and Hulu

Wayward Pines Premieres Thursday, May 14 at 9pm on FOX.

(Image and video courtesy of FOX)