Surviving on a mysterious island

Netflix releases another disappointing original series


Photo courtesy of Netflix

This picture shows the 10 islanders talking about what hey need to do to survive. This happens immediately after they wake up not having any memory or knowing anything about themselves. This scene pulls the viewer in and makes them want to know what is going on, so they keep watching.

Katelyn Hahn, Staff Reporter

“The I-Land”, an original thriller series released by Netflix, is a puzzling mess of twists and turns that makes the viewers confused and uncomfortable every episode. A number of the scenes look cheap and not well produced. 

The show follows 10 individuals waking up on a mysterious island and having no memory of their life. It mainly follows Chase (Natalie Martinez) and her journey throughout the show. After waking up, they see that they are all dressed in like ways with minimal supplies. They see that no one is injured and there are no signs of planes or boats that they could have crashed in. Also, no one remembers their own name or background. They have to figure out what is going on and how they will survive. It continues with various amounts of problems they have to solve. 

“The I-Land” came out on Sept. 12, 2019. It was created by Anthony Saller and produced by Neil LaBute, Chad Oakes and Mike Frislev. It was filmed in the Dominican Republic back in 2018. The thriller has received 8% Rotten Tomatoes and 4.4/10 stars. Many have not liked the series and told others to not spend time watching it. 

One significant problem with the show is that it was tremendously confusing. The plot would skip around and leave viewers extremely confused. In the first episode, the islanders are sleeping during their first night there and Chase appears on the screen. It then shows a quick picture of a woman that looks somewhat like Chase. That is all the audience sees. It then moves onto the next scene quickly, leaving the viewers without knowledge of who that woman is or what that scene meant. Many other scenes like this happened in every episode, leaving the viewers confused and waiting until the end.  

“The I-Land” is also extremely disturbing. Throughout, it shows mass shootings, domestic abuse, stalking and other issues in ways that make the audience feel uncomfortable. One example of this is Donovan (Anthony Lee Medina), one of the males on the island falls in love with and obsesses over one of the females on the island, Blair (Sibylla Deen). The viewers start to see the fixation after him proposing to her despite being with her for only a small period of time. The obsession continues and he even goes to the extent of killing. Personally, during this scene I felt extremely uncomfortable and it made me want to stop watching the show. That is because the scenes were pretty graphic and showed what could happen if one suffered with mental illness. It shows that these kind of crimes could happen to anyone. Many other scenes resembled this scene which also made me feel this way. 

Some characters in the series were favored over the others. When showing background about their lives later in the series, some got a very little amount of time and some others had multiple times where their lives were shown. Characters like Chase had coverage of her life many times throughout the series while others such as Donovan got around two minutes. Yes, Chase was one of the main characters but when having a show with 10 individuals going through the same problems, they should all get the same amount of time to show their background. 

Another issue with “The I-Land” is the production. Sets of the show are generic and appear cheap. Most of them even look like they’re filmed in front of a green screen. There was also an excessive amount of unneeded background music and sound effects. They were loud and nonstop. 

Although I did not like most parts of the series, it did spread awareness about many important issues. Topics such as mass shootings and other gun violence, sexual assault and corrupt government and jails were expressed throughout the show. These topics show up when the audience finds out background about the islanders’ lives. Some issues also occur on the island and others in other places. These matters are not something to take lightly and should be covered in the media. While scenes showing these issues made viewers uncomfortable, it’s admirable it was even shown in the first place. 

“The I-Land” comes to an abrupt ending that leaves the audience not knowing what happened to all of the characters. Some of the characters do not get their endings shown and the series stops before the viewers know what happened. As of now, there is not going to be a second season, so the show ends on a cliffhanger. 

Ultimately, “The I-Land” is a messy and confusing show that did not get to its full potential. Production was sloppy, characters were generic, the plot was confusing and it was extremely disturbing. I would not recommend spending your time on this series, but it is not completely unwatchable.