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Wilderness review: Prime Video drama delivers thrills with cutting social commentary

The series lands on Prime Video on Friday, 15 September

Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Jenna Coleman star  in Wilderness. (Prime Video)
Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Jenna Coleman star in Wilderness. (Prime Video)
  • 📺 Where to watch Wilderness: Premieres on Prime Video on Friday, 15 September

  • ⭐️ Our rating: 4/5

  • 🍿 Watch it if you liked: Thelma and Louise, Bad Sisters, Promising Young Woman.

  • 🎭 Who's in it?: Jenna Coleman, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Ashley Benson, Eric Balfour.

  • How long is it? 6 episodes, approximately an hour each.

  • 📖 What’s it about? Liv Taylor's life is turned upside down when she realises her husband Will is cheating on her and in her anger she decides to find a way to kill him and get away with it.

Liv Taylor (Jenna Coleman) has it all: the loyal husband, the nice apartment in New York City, and the time to write her book after she quit her job to go to the Big Apple with Will (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) for his job. Only her picture perfect life is anything but.

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Will, it turns out, is cheating on Liv and has been doing so for months despite his protestations that it was a one-time thing, so Liv decides to take action by coming up with a plan to kill him during their once-in-a-lifetime road trip across America.

Based on the book of the same name by B.E. Jones, Wilderness is a thrilling tale of love, revenge and — most importantly — female rage.

Jenna Coleman as Liv Taylor in Wilderness (Prime Video).
Jenna Coleman as Liv Taylor in Wilderness (Prime Video).

Wilderness is unafraid to show all sides of Liv. We are with her when she's angry, when she's sad, when she's an emotional mess and sprawled out on the floor after tearing up her hotel room with Will.

It's refreshing to see a female character be depicted in this way without judgement. Too often women aren't allowed to be seen as messy or capable of extreme emotions when this is true in reality. Women don't have to be perfectly behaved, they shouldn't have to be either.

Creator and writer Marnie Dickens and director So Yong Kim have created a compelling story that, from the first two episodes provided to press at least, will keep viewers on the edge of their seats as they play bystander to Liv's actions.

Jenna Coleman, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Ashley Benson, and Eric Balfour star in Wilderness. (Prime Video)
Jenna Coleman, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Ashley Benson, and Eric Balfour star in Wilderness. (Prime Video)

Coleman portrays the character with great nuance, helping viewers to side with Liv even as her actions make them question her and proves it is possible to support a character even when you don't agree with her methods.

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While the actor does a fantastic job of bringing Liv to life there is one thing that does take away from her performance — her accent.

Liv is Welsh, and Coleman does her best to use the accent but often loses it, with the undeniable Welsh tone only returning in her more emotionally charged scenes. It is distracting, but doesn't completely detract from her performance.

Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Will Taylor and Jenna Coleman as Liv Taylor in Wilderness (Prime Video).
Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Will Taylor and Jenna Coleman as Liv Taylor in Wilderness (Prime Video).

Jackson-Cohen is suitably unnerving as Will who spouts lies with abandon and regularly manipulates the narrative to make Liv feel like she's crazy; a phenomenon that is all to real for many women out there.

Dickens has approached the story with a clever wit that both challenges expectations of women while also having fun with a character like Liv, delivering a cutting commentary on society and its failings that will make Wilderness stick in viewers minds long after it's over.

Wilderness premieres on Prime Video on Friday, 15 September.

Watch the trailer for Wilderness: