I’m going to kick off my weekly TV Club coverage of Wrecked by admitting that I didn’t keep up with Lost. I can’t remember exactly when I bailed, but I know it was early on. I’m owning up to this now so that you’ll understand why some of the Lost-inspired jokes will be, well, lost on me.
So why exactly am I watching? Well, Rhys Darby’s worth the price of admission alone, but I also just enjoy watching shows about the breakdown of society. And vomit gags aside, that’s what the central premise of Wrecked looks like, one episode in. I’ve been reviewing Fear The Walking Dead, and the first few minutes of Wrecked are awfully reminiscent of FTWD’s companion webseries, Fear The Walking Dead: Flight 462.
The opening dialogue in Wrecked is more funny than ominous—two girlfriends pair their in-flight wine with sleeping pills, Steve (Darby) strains to get his nuts, and resident bro Todd (Will Greenberg) wants to put the “-er” in “drunker.” That is, until a flight attendant played by Eliza Coupe (don’t worry, I squealed, too) tells fellow flight attendant Owen (Zach Craggier) that he needs to connect with the passengers. She gives him this pep talk not long before the plane takes a nose dive. Then the false sense of security is gone, replaced by the wreckage and wounded passengers strewn across the beach.
As befits a comedy, most of the survivors are trying to look on the bright side of things. Danny (Brian Sacca) seizes the opportunity to reinvent himself as a police officer (because it’s what he thinks Brendan “Frazier” would do), and even finds an air marshal badge to complete his transformation. Owen and Pack (Asif Ali), a sports agent, don’t seem nearly as optimistic. That all changes when Jack Shepard—I mean, Liam (James Scott)—bursts onto the scene, putting out fires and saving lives.
Jack’s decisiveness and competence inspires the goofy trio to take action, too, with Owen helping the pill poppers Emma and Florence (Ginger Gonzaga and Jessica Lowe, respectively), and Danny trying to help Jess (Ally Maki) with her breathing while her boyfriend Todd’s away. Although he’s still whining about his lost bag, Pack tries to help Steve out from under a plane wing, an exchange which ends with this great line: “Form doesn’t matter when you’re trying to lift 10,000 pounds.” But once he sees his “man bag” trapped under the wreckage with Steve, Pack summons the kind of (anecdotal) superhuman strength deployed by mothers who are trying to rescue their children, and heaves the wing up, thereby freeing his phone and Steve.
So far, so good, right? Everybody appears to be working together, Liam’s abs are stunning, and Karen from Bing (the search engine, I assume, seeing as how she was ragging on Google in her pre-crash life) proves to be a natural hunter. (It’s not a Carol or Michonne-like transformation, but it’s early still). But Liam’s not just a pretty face (and abs)—as a former member of the British Special Forces, he knows to look for something called a ELT in the nose of the plane. This piece of equipment, he claims, will serve as some kind of beacon once it’s been activated, which means they’re just days away from being saved.
Liam’s prowess is sort of rubbing Danny the wrong way—as he tells Owen and Pack, he believes they’re all natural born leaders, and he wants them all to step up their game. Still, he advises cooperation instead of insurrection, as Liam is clearly the de facto leader of the group. There are no real villains yet, and who knows if there ever will be. Well, Todd could be, given that he’s already espousing a “survival of the fittest” philosophy. But one thing’s for sure in any kind of post-apocalyptic setting (no power grid, supplies, law enforcement—close enough): People are their own worst enemies.
The next day, the group heads deeper into the jungle to search for the ELT. Liam quickly finds it, much to Danny’s chagrin. But his glory is short-lived, as the life raft knocks the poor guy back, and he’s promptly flattened by the nose of the plane. But at least his sendoff evokes his inspiration’s last moments:
When Danny and the rest of the crew give the sad news to the larger group, everyone freaks out. Danny decides to act out his cop role, and fires his new handgun into the air to call for order. He gives a surprisingly rousing speech, and tells his fellow survivors that he believes “people are good and reasonable.” Owen joins him in buoying everyone’s spirits, which are soon truly lifted when someone finds the drink cart. Cue a Hangover-style drinking montage, which ends with Steve in a tree with his crutches.
When everyone comes to the next morning to assess the damage, they realize they now have no supplies. To celebrate defying the odds, they drank and ate all of their food and beverages. And just like that, they’re back to square one, only without someone like Liam to help them in any capacity. They’ve got Diane from Toledo, though, who I’m already eyeing as the next Governor. Just kidding—the next Governor is obviously Pack.
- Other lines that earned chuckles from me: “I’m glad to see you so enthusiastically robbing the dead,” and “I’m pretty sure he [Liam] killed Bin Laden.”
- I don’t remember much about Lost, but Florence could totally pass for Shannon Rutherford.
- Speaking of Rutherfords, that’s Steve’s last name!
- Wait, did Steve tell you that? Steve.