If you delve deep into the recesses of my dark and cold soul, you’ll find that I have a profound appreciation for the contributions that Canada has made to global media over the years. Those contributions are mainly Degrassi and Degrassi alum Aubrey Graham. Drake. Sensitive Champagne Papi. Light of my life. Fire of my loins.
While I would love to go on about running through the 6 with my (pretend) woes, there are more important things to discuss. Let’s talk about those Canucks’ latest ploy to ice-skate their way into our hearts: the sci-fi drama Between on Netflix.
In Episode One, Between starts off as your typical Smallville-esque drama: wooden portrayals of everyday life are suddenly interrupted by something out of the ordinary. In this case, idyllic Pretty Lake is hit with a surprise plague that wipes out anyone over a certain age. No spoiler here; the whole premise is that adults die and kids must rise to the challenge of raising themselves. It’s your typical “the youth are our future” plot hook, with the added bonus of teenage pregnancy! I can smell the Biblical allegories from a mile away.
Some key points: the girl from iCarly is knocked up with some stranger’s baby. One of the lead characters is a brotha. There are a bunch of dudebro types who all start to look the same if you’re sleepy enough. There’s a jail scene (they have jails in Canada?) that is evidently laying the groundwork for later plot development. Or something.
As I continued watching this first episode, it became very clear that this title is not for those who prefer more science-heavy sci-fi dramas. I know this because I paused the episode for a solid 45 minutes while I binge-watched YouTube videos on how to do flat twists. I would rather stress myself out over doing my hair than watch a whole episode of Between straight through.
Don’t get me wrong: Jennette McCurdy’s portrayal of Wiley is funny and about as genuine as characters in these types of dramas get. There are a few times where the humor seems a bit forced, and her performance reflects that. The other leads are mainly sophomore actors or those geared more towards independent films and it shows. Their appearances are forgettable at best and terribly dull if you’re gonna be dramatic about it. There’s nothing particularly bad about these actors…it’s just that they don’t quite own their performances in the same way that veteran actors do. Everything seems forced and slightly cheesy, but I guess that’s the appeal of TV dramas?
But please don’t make me talk about the acting of the children. That’s not only rude; I’m pretty sure it’s bad mojo too.
Look, I can deal with a somewhat unoriginal plot point. And I don’t expect kids to be great actors. But Between is just boring. Maybe I shouldn’t dive into the first episode of a series and expect it to blow my mind. Perhaps I should be a little more patient and wait for things to work out in the next couple of episodes. But I am not patient. Instead, I am spiteful and petulant which is why I’ve decided to continue hate-watching this series in the hopes that it gets better.
In short, Between is like Degrassi with 90% more death. It’s like literary sci-fi, in that it’s not really sci-fi. I’m still sticking it out though, I guess.
alex is a nerd in that un-cute way, like the comic book guy in the simpsons. just don’t get her started on science fiction or nonfiction documentaries. otherwise, she enjoys things that require an acceptable amount of commitment such as web-series, role-playing games, and cats. @oawash_