I was folding the washing this afternoon, and it was very hot outside, so I decided to watch something on Netflix. I’m not in the middle of anything in particular right now, so I decided to watch The I-Land.
From the very start, I could tell it wasn’t going to be a new favourite – quite the opposite actually – but it was like a train wreck, and I was unable to look away.
The opening scene sets up the premise: Lots of attractive people, dressed very similarly, washed up on the beach. One is clutching a shell. Within a few minutes, we understand that they have no idea who, or where they are, and that some of them aren’t going to get along.
What astounded me, right from the beginning, was the complete lack of emotional response written into the script. I mean, they have no idea who they actually are. They have no idea why they’re where they are, but no-one appears to be distraught, anguished, emotional, or even mildly disturbed. They do sit around reiterating that they don’t know who or where they are about every five minutes, however.
Anyway, if you’re invested in this show, or at least the first episode (and I think the beginning of the second – I was distracted and think I probably missed the bit where it went from one to the other), then be careful as you read on, because:
So, two go off looking for…whatever they can find, (fresh water and food) and there’s a random kiss after a discussion about whether they should share with the others, because, why not? This is followed by an attempted rape and they split up.
Back at the beach, one of them is sunbathing – because of course that’s what you do when you don’t know who you are or where you are – and then there’s mass swimming with the women wearing cheeky undies, also because we mustn’t miss a chance to objectify them.
A shark attack (incredibly predictable) happens, and apparently someone dies, but doesn’t really because they find him washed upon the beach later with teeth marks in his leg.
There is now a tiny bit of emotion happening, but not much, and only in a very stilted fashion.
Of course there is the ‘slated to be evil villain person’ who is aloof, fosters disharmony, and is mildly disturbed, while siding with the attempted rapist. Who is also sowing disharmony and being a leader.
Anyway, are you confused yet? I must have got distracted again, because some kind of meeting happened, which I didn’t take much notice of. (Undie folding is much more interesting, and the dog needed a pat.) Anyway, there was some kind of argument, and a female protagonist ended up with a cut foot at some point not long after.
I think that’s then where I missed the transition from episode one to episode two, because five minutes later when I went ‘back’ to cease watching in an attempt to preserve some brain matter, Netflix intimated that I was in episode 2.
Sometimes a second episode is better. (For example, I wasn’t really grabbed by the first episode of Orphan Black, but by the end of episode two I was completely hooked.) But in this case, episode two began with the woman with the bleeding foot deciding she needed to swim in shark infested waters towards a floating life raft, because, well, why not? Maybe she thought she was shark proof…and that’s when I decided not to proceed any further.
So, if you like watching wooden acting, with the emotional range of a teaspoon, a plot that is apparently completely nonsensical, but lots of eye candy and sharks, then this may well be the show for you.
Let me know if it improves. I’m not going to bother finding out.