Unfortunately, I have to agree with the overriding critical assessment that Between’s first episode, “School’s Out”, isn’t noteworthy. Jennette McCurdy isn’t bad as Wiley Day, and I expected more of a “hey, McCurdy was in iCarly and Sam & Cat” vibe than the Between reviews offer. That bodes well for McCurdy’s career outside of Nickelodeon. I don’t think she stands out as part of Between’s cast; the acting’s standard Canadian undersell.
I find Between’s first episode hangs in the ether. It’s not good, not bad – just there. “School’s Out” is an episode that wants to whip its premise out, establish that once townsfolk are twenty-two, they’re dead, and reveal Pretty Lake as an ironically-named town. Between doesn’t have much urgency to its first episode, to the point where the show almost makes the town quarantine – the element Between builds its world on – an afterthought. Serial debuts like Between are always, and I apologize in advance for this pun, death.
Even with the serial caveat in place, I’m not currently sold on Between. I remember The 100’s initial reviews, so I don’t write off Between, yet the first episode of a six-episode season should not make me feel I haven’t missed much. Hell, Between takes its entire first act to let the viewer know an epidemic looms, when the viewer gets the point after the second or third death. Between’s first episode also doesn’t need, as it is not 12 Monkeys and has a linear timeline, to establish that Pretty Lake’s death toll is initially zero.
I don’t like or hate Between. It’s actually the first show Gloryosky live-tweets that I don’t have a strong opinion on. I hope Between improves in subsequent weeks. I think it needs to. At least with six episodes, Between is a relatively quick commitment.
As an aside, The CW’s Containment might be good.
Episode 1.1 (“School’s Out”)
- Online Promotion | CBC Gem, Netflix January 2019 premieres - December 14, 2018
- Trailers | “The Macra Terror”, Doctor Who season sets - December 8, 2018
- Trailers | Letterkenny Season 6, Travelers Season 3 - December 5, 2018