Working in a slow paced office can stir up some interesting conversation with your coworkers. That’s exactly how I found out about Wayward Pines. Knowing it had some horror concepts behind it, I knew I had to give it a go. The best way I can describe it without giving too much away is: take The Descent, mix it with AMC’s The Walking Dead, and add a dash of The Truman Show (yes the Jim Carry movie). Then you’ll get something very similar to FOX’s hit television show Wayward Pines.

A book turned mini series; Wayward Pines takes a unique and original approach towards the post-apocalyptic subgenre. The story is centered around Ethan Burkes, who similar to other Wayward Pines residents, wakes up from an accident to find himself in this white picket fence, picture perfect town. Driven by the mysteries hidden in the walls of Wayward Pines, Ethan unravels the terrifying truth behind what lies behind the electrifying gates that surround the town. The first few episodes are a bit confusing, but with each episode the story untangles effortlessly. The series was only ten episodes long, and I have to give big kudos to the creators and writers for not having long, pointless filler episodes just to elongate its time on air. I do have a minor complaint though.There are some rather large plot holes here and there, and while it was extremely rewarding to eventually put the pieces together, it would have been nice to have some sort of proof to back up my thesis.

This review would not be complete without me giving big brownie points to the the cinematography team. The whole point of the story is that these people live in a perfect prison that they’re trying to escape, and the cinematography team does a wonderful job of setting up that mood for the audience. When watching Wayward Pines, I sometimes forgot I was watching just another TV show; it felt more like a big budget Hollywood film instead.

Speaking of big budget movies – Wayward Pines has some serious star power. Names such as Matt Dillon, Carla Gugino, Juliet Lewis, and Terrence Howard round out the cast. With big names like that, it’s unnecessary for me to say that the acting is on point. Unfortunately, the talent of the younger actors in the show doesn’t match the more established roster. However, it’s never so bad that it detracts from the story. It was also nice to see their characters evolve. The people that we’re introduced to in the beginning of the show are completely different at the end. Some good characters turn evil, and some characters that are thought to be terrible end up being saviors. It’s a wild ride.

While the show introduces some classic horror topics, let me warn you, if you’re an avid horror movie watcher, then the horror aspects will be extremely light for you. Don’t let this stop you from watching, though. The story is still fantastic, and there are a few episodes where you do get to see some twisted and disturbing things. There’s also a little bit of gore (my favorite) involved – which I was shocked to see since this is on prime time TV.

What the future holds for Wayward Pines is uncertain. Some say it’s just a mini series, while others state that people are hopeful for a second season. The finale is definitely presented in a way where there is room for a second season. Either way, what you get here is an extremely gratifying piece of television that can be enjoyed on its own, or tied into something greater. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.