Wilderness

Wilderness

A mild revenge romance that works better as a drama than a thriller

6.9

TV Show

United Kingdom
English
Drama, Mystery
2023
Ashley Benson, Claire Rushbrook, Eric Balfour

TL;DR

Yes, the premise makes it sound a lot like the BBC series Doctor Foster—no, it’s not nearly as wild nor enjoyable as that show.

What it's about

Liv (Jenna Coleman) happily uproots her life in London to follow her husband Will (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) in New York, but when she discovers he hasn’t been faithful, she starts questioning her marriage and makes rage-filled and revenge-fueled decisions.

The take

 As the drama’s dysfunctionally in-love leads, Coleman and Jackson-Cohen are compelling. Whether the scene demands rage or romance, they’re able to effectively dial it from a subtle one to an all-out ten. Sadly, the material they’re working with fails to match their energy. Lackluster direction makes their arguments more of a weak tug than an intense push and pull, while scant introspection and backstory fail to justify the murderous urges that Liv all of a sudden has. In fact, it’s this aspect of Wilderness that remains the weakest. It’s watchable as an infidelity drama, but not nearly as believable as a crime thriller. The violent scenes come out corny, if not unintentionally funny. There is a version of Wilderness that could’ve made it a spiritual successor to the much wilder and brasher Doctor Foster, but this, unfortunately, isn’t it. 

What stands out

The opening credits to Wilderness is Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do,” which, if you know the lyrics, speaks to the same karmic revenge, doubt, and paranoia that colors the series. It’s a perfect fit, but not just for these reasons. Both the song and the series share an unthreatening aura that tries to sell you on danger and vengeance, but ultimately is just too sweet and harmless to pull it off. 

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