Written by / 5/16/2015 / No comments / , , ,

LOOKING INTO THE WAYWARD PINES PILOT EPISODE

2015 Grade: C+
Matt Dillon stars in WAYWARD PINES, and how. There’s little left for any other character since his Secret Service Agent Ethan Burke is so desperately alone, and beyond LOST... No not on an island but an idyllic small town ala Norman Rockwell; a sort of Mayberry existing in THE TWILIGHT ZONE. And with genre producer M. Night Shyamalan at the helm, you would think a few surprise elements would appear out of the woodwork – but the twists in this adaptation of someone else’s novel are already built in from the get-go…

The Outsider
PINES has been compared to TWIN PEAKS since its very conception, but the Neo Noir aspect of David Lynch’s bizarre mystery is nowhere to be found, really, other than a guy in a stiff suit out of his element. Just a 45-minute setup where we met a few strange people – especially one particular nurse who provides the sole indication that M. Night is involved beyond the pilot’s meticulous direction: she could do a horror movie wonders, and Melissa Leo seems to be having a blast unveiling her creepy, campy, old fashion Alpha Female role.

The pilot WHERE PARADISE IS HOME cuts back and forth with an injured Dillon… involved in a car crash on the way to investigate missing Secret Service agents, waking up in a sparse hospital without a cell phone… to his hometown where a brooding son and perfect wife stress on the news, while the Agency tries locating his whereabouts, in vain…

But what only seems to matter, while a bleeding, bruised Dillon trudges around and finds no resources... except for Juliette Lewis's port in the storm... is the final establishing exterior shot that the show’s very own promotion and description already gave away, blunting any mystery that should still be lurking around every shady corner. For in a town as openly strange as WAYWARD PINES, where else is there to go? It almost feels like the magician revealed the trick too soon.
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