Written by Megan LaBruna
Wrecked Plot Summary: Survivors of a plane crash work together to find a way home.
Wrecked, TBS’ newest comedy airs every Tuesday night. We’re going to examine the pilot episode to let you know if this series is worth your time.
In the pilot episode of Wrecked, audiences were treated to not one but two premiere episodes. If the title didn’t already give it away, the show is about the survivors of a tragic plane crash on a tropical island. Is this beginning to sound a lot like another show you may have already seen? Unlike Lost, Wrecked is only a half hour long and meant to be a comedy. I’m also fairly sure that viewers will never have to be wary of intricate storylines or convoluted scientific theories about polar bears and black smoke monsters.
This show focuses more on the fact that these survivors have basically zero survival skills. That is, except for Liam (James Scott), who has military training and manages to rally the survivors the first night. Unfortunately, in an attempt to locate the only GPS signaling device the plane still has intact, he manages to not only break the device, but also knock the nose of the plane loose out of tree. This reaction ultimately results in Liam’s demise, leaving Danny (Brian Sacca) and Owen (Zach Cregger) to step forward and try to unite and assuage the growing concerns of the survivors.
Danny, realizing that no one on the island knows who he is, lies about his profession and tells people that he is a cop. I have a feeling this little lie will end up screwing him over at some point. Luckily, despite the men being a bit of a mess, the women seem to be pretty fearless. Karen (Brooke Dillman) kills a boar with her bare hands. Emma (Ginger Gonzaga), a podiatrist, and her roommate Florence (Jessica Lowe) attempt to make contact with the outside world once a satellite phone with incredibly low battery is found among the wreck. Unfortunately, in a group of four people the only phone numbers they have memorized are that of a hospital and a drug dealer. It’s those funny situations that bring to light the ridiculous truths of our current reality. It made me realize that if I were in the same predicament there are a limited number of actual phone numbers I have memorized as well. It’s an interesting commentary on how dependent we’ve become to our gadgets.
The cast is a mix of comedians and actors, the most notable of which, for me, is Rhys Darby, who plays Steve, the overly nice guy who bonds with Todd (Will Greenberg), the resident asshole, over a miscommunication leading him to believe Todd lost a child in the crash. What Todd is really talking about is an expensive golf club which will probably cause the end of his seven year relationship with his “way too good for him” girlfriend, Jess (Ally Maki). As a pretty big fan of the Whitest Kids U Know, I was pretty excited to see Zach Cregger back on a television show in a seemingly predominant role. I also was extremely excited to see Eliza Coupe in the first few opening minutes of the pilot, however IMDb only has her listed as Rosa, the flight attendant, for one episode. However, I’m not going to lose hope, because we haven’t yet proved that she is, in fact, dead, so I’m secretly hoping the writers have left it open in case they want to bring her back every now and then.
As far as the plot, I have noticed several parallels to Lost. While I don’t think the writers’ intent is to continue to mock the former show, I do absolutely think they’ve intentionally imitated some of the first season. Specifically when they receive a signal for the satellite phone and ask Florence to translate Spanish. The response she gives about her time studying abroad was more about learning the culture than the language, is basically word for word what Shannon says when they ask her to translate French in Lost. Another obvious similarity is when Danny sees the apparition of his father in the plane when he is sent to clear out the deceased from a section of the plane for a memorial service. Had he never lied about being a cop he might not have been put in that situation, but alas that was the bed he made and now he has to lay those decomposing corpses in it. The idea to have a memorial service is sweet, however, as any promising comedy should do, they manage to take this sweet idea and absolutely destroy it. The fact that none of the survivors had enough forethought to realize that burning dead bodies might give off a terrible smell was one of the funniest scenes in the premiere. Here are a bunch of people trying to do one last nice thing for these strangers and they end up chain-reaction vomiting around the fire because of the awful smell.
While the series does need to gain a little more momentum, it wasn’t a bad start to a comedy about a tragic fear that many of us share. I can tell you a few things I hope to not see: a rogue polar bear in a tropical setting and/or any mention of the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42. I think if they can steer away from being labeled the comedic version of Lost, Wrecked might actually survive.
Rating: 6.5 out of 10