The Society – to binge or not to binge

(Netflix Reviews by Odette Parfitt)

In a noble attempt to find and bring you suggestions for worthwhile Netflix content, I accidentally binged the first season of The Society in one day. I have many thoughts.

The Society (2019)

Basic plot: A large group of small-town teenagers go away on a school trip, but it gets cancelled on the way and they are brought back home – only literally everyone else (except for one random dog) has disappeared.

How it was (probably) pitched to the producers: Think Lord of the Flies meets Riverdale – but with the freedom for swearing that only a streaming service can provide.


Most of my observations were from the first episode and taken wildly out of context, but these points still have to be made.

  • OK, most important: There’s a football player named Grizz who somehow knows Bible phrases in the original Hebrew, quotes Sherlock Holmes, and manages to have floppy 90s hair and a man-bun at the same time. He fascinates me.
  • I am convinced the town of West Ham is actually Stars Hollow, cause I recognize that gazebo from many town events in Gilmore Girls.
  • Nobody can connect to the Internet which is terrifying to them but also Becca has that blanket that everyone’s mother or grandmother crocheted for them at some point.
  • Why does someone always guess “elaborate prank” when the apocalypse comes along?
  • One guy decides to bail on a group gathering because, and I quote, “I have a fridge at home with food in it”, and honestly, same.
  • I really appreciate how, when these kids realise they are on their own, everyone just starts wearing comfy clothes.

Bottom line: I started out watching the series to mock it, but found it oddly compelling. It’s less like a teen show than I expected, with more focus on how they form a society than who’s sleeping with who (though there is a fair amount of that too). There are no characters you absolutely love (OK, except maybe Sam) and there are some you genuinely hate (looking at you, baby Jason Priestley), but mostly they are just sort-of-OK people – which is believable. I also appreciate that the teens are very clearly aware that they’re in over their heads. 

I feel like I have to add: given our new normal of social distancing, panic buying and general anxiety, this series will be extra relatable.

Will the man in your life like it?

This is a tough call; maybe watch the first two episodes and judge for yourself on this one.

Watch this if you like:

  • Spending half the season of a show just learning the characters’ names because there are so many and most of them are blonde ook nog
  • Post-apocalyptic storylines
  • Random and yet believable conversations about nothing in particular (not often that TV shows include dialogue that doesn’t actually contribute directly to the plot – see if you pick up any of these bits)
  • Teenagers worrying about their parents and talking about how ungrateful they were for how awesome their parents are (this brought a lot of joy for the mom character that has become my very personality)

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