Panic: It’s All Fun and Games until Someone Loses a Life – Amazon Prime Review

Graduating seniors compete in a series of dares trying to win money. 

SUMMARY (Spoiler Free)

Carp, Texas, is a terrible place to live, but almost nobody ever seems to get out. However, there has long been a secret game played by the seniors of the local high school: PANIC. Each year, the mysterious organizers manage to come up with a series of challenges that test the physical and mental strength of the competitors. Challenges range from surviving a tightrope walk to breaking and entering. Among this year’s contestants are college-bound Heather Nill (Olivia Welch), “new guy” Dodge Mason (Mike Faist), Heather’s best friend Natalie (Jessica Sula), and brother of a former winner Ray Hall (Ray Nicholson). Bishop (Camron Jones), Heather’s other best friend, chooses to watch instead of compete. Unfortunately, due to the deaths of two competitors the previous year, the Sheriff of Carp, James Cortez (Enrique Murciano), is determined to shut it down, meaning that the competitors will not only be dodging the obstacles, but the police.

Everything is bad when teens are involved.

END SUMMARY

This show’s kind of the definition of “streamable.” It’s not mind-blowing, but the events of the game are entertaining and compelling enough that you kind of want to see how it turns out. Admittedly, many of them are very creative, in the sense of “stuff that would realistically be available to a small town in Texas.” The overarching questions of who the organizers are and whether or not the Sheriff will catch them is similarly interesting enough that you will keep the show going for a while. 

Heather, seen here in the traditional wind-blown hairstyle of a dramatic lead.

The main characters are likewise. Heather just wants to get out of Carp and gets screwed by her mother. It almost makes no sense because Heather hides the money in a place her mom can get to and her mother is a drug-using alcoholic. Heather wasn’t even supposed to be in the game, but joins at the last minute solely because she needs the money to go to school. This is as opposed to, say, taking out loans. She’s not going to Harvard or something like that, she could just pay for it like the rest of us. The show does a decent job of explaining why each of the other main competitors want to win, giving them some reasonable motivations, but they still mostly feel like stock characters rather than real people.

I would rather do this than pay my loans, admittedly.

Overall, not a bad show, but if you’ve got other stuff in your queue, keep it where it’s at.

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jokeronthesofa

I'm not giving my information to a machine. Nice try, Zuckerberg.

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