Show Review: Panic (2021)

a dark forest at night, text says 'show review'

I started this review in *checks notes* the summer? And then it ended up in my drafts and I totally forgot to post it. BUT that shouldn’t be indicative of my love of this show, because I did seriously enjoy it. And you know, I actually think it ended pretty much without a cliff hanger, so I’m not mad about the lack of a season two as such, because as much as I wanted more of these characters, I think the ending we got was good and more might have taken that away, so yeah. I think this is a really good show that can now be watched as a fun miniseries!

*spoiler warning*

I have a new favourite show and it is Panic. I wasn’t sold by the trailer, but I was bored and turned it on at random. And it’s so good, I was shocked by how much I loved it! I legit stayed up until four am watching it. If you liked Outer Banks, Friday Night Lights, Before I Fall, Ginny & Georgia or The OC, this is the show for you. I’d liken it most to Friday Night Lights in feel, romance and music. That said, it has nothing to do with sports!

Based on the book by Lauren Oliver, the show differs somewhat in plot and characters. In the show, Panic follows a group of high school graduates who embark in a competition of fear and dares in order to win $50,000. The main competitors are Heather, who dreams of getting out of Carp and going to college, which she can’t afford; Ray, the local bad boy and rebel; Dodge, a new kid who only showed up in the final year of high school and has a secret; Nat, who has money but butts heads with her father at every turn; and several others. There’s also Bishop, Heather and Nat’s best friend who watches the dares, but doesn’t compete. There’s also the sheriff and his deputies who are trying to shut down Panic after the deaths of two students the previous year.

The storyline itself is engaging and quick and filled with over-the-top stunts, but I adored the characters and the dynamics that were established. Heather is a terrific older sister, and her friendships with Bishop and Nat are great. Dodge is a great brother, as is Ray. Dodge and Nat’s relationship took me by surprise and was very well done, I thought. Mostly, though, I loved Heather and Ray. The pair of them were just so adorable and well developed throughout the series.

Hands down my favourite scene was Ray running back into the burning house to get Heather out. What a freaking hero. Very like Victor. I was really rooting for him and Heather throughout the show. Bishop was a great character, but I like his friendship with Heather more than them together. For the half a second we thought he was with Leela, I actually liked them, haha. I also don’t like how he treated Heather at times. The dynamic of him/Nat/Heather as friends was perfection. That said, I thought Dodge/Nat was perfect.

All in all, a really fun, thrilling show with strong friendships and a good central romance!

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