Netflix has been investing a lot in the YA genre. It is evident from series like ‘Sabrina’, ‘The Rain’, and even ‘Bonding’ — stories that put teenagers at the helm of some dark stories. ‘The Society’ is another in line, and it just might be the best of all. It follows the story of a bunch of teenagers who realize how the world works when you are at the helm of it. Being the only people around, without any adults to guide or restrain them, they have to figure out a way to survive from the dangers that mostly come from their own society. If you haven’t yet seen the show, I suggest you stop here and go watch it ASAP. There are some huge spoilers ahead!
Summary of the Plot
West Ham is a small town where everything is just as normal as it would be anywhere else. But there is a strange smell that bothers everyone. While the adults try to find a way to fix it, they decide it best to get the children out of town for a week. The teenagers are packed in four buses and sent off for the vacation. However, their trip is cut short when the driver announces that there is roadblock ahead and that they have been brought back home. In the middle of the night, the teenagers wait for their parents to come to pick them up, but no one answers any calls. Soon, they realise that everyone else in the town is gone. They are the only ones that remain.
Where Are They Now?
The way ‘The Society’ starts out, you might expect it to be a sci-fi drama. However, very quickly, it becomes crystal clear that the sci-fi and the mystery elements have only been infused to give some context to the story. The main purpose of the show lies in the exploration of human behaviour, what it means to form a society, and how easy it is for power to corrupt people. One of the reasons it stands out from its counterparts is that it allows itself to be mature about the things that teenagers should be mature about. It is more than just about break-ups and patch-ups and people bitching about each other. There is one small thing that needs to get out of the way before we plunge headfirst into that discussion. And that thing is the mystery that is rarely touched upon in the show — where are they now?
In the first episode, it becomes clear that these people are here to stay. Every way out of the town has been blocked. The roads, bridges, railroads, all of them are now obstructed by a thick cover of woods that stretch for miles and miles. They have obviously not returned to their hometown and they need to figure out what this place is. Had it been a show about adults, there would have been a science genius in the group who would brainstorm everything, mostly because they’d have been, at least partially, responsible for the current situation. The teens get their own version of genius in the form of Gordie, assisted by Bean. He is the brains of society. From an astronomer to a forensic expert to the one who runs the hospital, Gordie proves himself adept at everything. He might as well be the person who finds a way out of this place.