Between review: The world’s most boring apocalypse

Does the YA dystopian sci-fi make a dent in Netflix’s hall of fame?


Between’s concept is intriguing: a mysterious virus wreaks havoc on small town Pretty Lake, killing everyone aged 22 and over. With the town’s population of adults all dead, it’s up to the teenagers to take a stand and find out what the hell is going on.

It’s strange. The synopsis makes it seem like a Walking Dead version of The Muppet Babies (which sounds kind of awesome) but it’s really not. To start with, there are no zombies or horror aspect of any kind. When people die, they stay dead and nothing more is said about it. It’s got sci-fi in its core (we still don’t know why anything is happening) but it feels like a weighty drama, what with all the death, upturned family dynamics and teenage relationship angst. It’s well structured and the six-episode per season format means that every scene counts. But the bottom line is that it’s just boring.

It doesn’t have The Walking Dead’s excitement factor, and it could be the fact that it’s almost entirely led by a cast of teenage characters; teen conflicts usually just aren’t as interesting as adult ones. The teen conflicts in Between do often involve guns, but they are petty and childish rather than awesome and morally questionable, like you would want from a dystopian future shootout.

Except for perhaps two or three, the characters are pretty two-dimensional. It’s difficult to care about them – especially as a lot of them look, sound and act the same – which makes the whole thing seem a bit pointless. When a kid gets killed (which happens surprisingly frequently), sympathy becomes hard to come by and you start to think that it’s their own damn fault for acting so irresponsibly.

While most of the plot is dull, some of it is utterly ridiculous (there’s an escaped tiger storyline that you will either love or hate) and some is actually pretty climatic. Like most dystopian series, Between waits for the finale to give out a splurge of tasty information and, though the rest of the episodes might, the final one doesn’t disappoint.