PANIC is a new Amazon Prime Video series that combines the genres of adventure and crime. There's also action, drama, and absolute terror for the characters. Yes, this is a Young Adult series, but that should not deter you from watching it. The characters are mostly understandable and relatable.
In essence, they grew up in a small Texas town with limited resources and opportunities. A tournament named "Panic" has begun in order to "assist" the children in their endeavors. No one knows how or when the winner will be chosen, but he or she will be given enough money to start anew somewhere else. It's easy to draw comparisons to The Hunger Games, but this is a very other beast.
The actual Panic competition is all about pushing personal boundaries. You can always just walk away and you won’t die from participating. Well, actually, you can die from any small accident or by pushing yourself too far, so while you won’t die from “playing along”, you can die.
We’re talking about all the usual phobias being challenged: Heights, small spaces, water, etc. Basically, it’s like an escape room, but the place they all want to escape from is the actual town of Carp, Texas.
The casting for Panic is pretty amazing all around. From the main protagonist, Heather Nill, to the smallest of supporting roles. As Heather Nill, we see Olivia Welch delivering a strong portrayal of a smart young woman, who knows she has to fight for whatever she wants. She’s real, relatable, and likable.
Olivia Welch was also in the Netflix series Unbelievable and will be in the upcoming Fear Street Netflix movie (part one that takes place in 1994).
Heather Nill’s best friend is Natalie Williams, who is portrayed with all the optimism and positivity necessary by Jessica Sula. You’ll recognize Jessica Sula from M. Night Shyamalan’s Split (2016) or maybe the Scream TV series or the Netflix mini-series Godless (2017).
There are many interesting characters but I do want to also mention Dodge Mason played by Mike Faist (Wildling). An outsider of sorts who will make an impact by the end of episode 1.
Also, you’ll see a somewhat familiar face in Ray Nicholson (Promising Young Woman). To me, his face is (so far) most familiar because he looks quite a lot like his dad, Jack Nicholson. Still, that takes nothing away from Ray Nicholson delivering an intriguing portrayal of the character Ray Hall.Watch season 1 of Panic on Amazon Prime Video!
Panic was created by Lauren Oliver who also wrote all the episodes and the book it’s based on. Whenever this is the case (that the book author is part of an adaption), I am immediately excited to watch it. Gillian Flynn has succeeded with this quite a few times and has even gone from book author to adapting other people’s work for the Utopia series.
An awesome series that only got one season and piss poor (pardon my very appropriate french) promotion from Amazon Prime Video. Hopefully, Panic will get a better chance at being a success.
Personally, I hope to see more series from Lauren Oliver who has a good grip on this medium. I do actually feel that both Panic and Utopia have one thing in common; Rather big casts full of wonderful performances and intriguing characters. Several awesome directors are also attached to this series – including Leigh Janiak who is the director of the three upcoming Fear Street movies.
You’re bound to find someone you root for (aside from the main protagonist). Just don’t get to attached since there can be only one winner of Panic.Panic has 10 episodes and they’re all out on Amazon Prime Video worldwide from May 28, 2021