Wilds Producers on Balancing Teen Survivor Stories in Season 2

Prime Video’s “The Wilds” returns for a second season of danger, island survival, and a social experiment none of the teenage girls signed up for. This time around, however, we won’t just be following the stories of Toni, Shelby, Martha, Rachel, Leah, and Dot. As we learned at the end of Season 1, Gretchen Klein is having the exact same experiment with a group of teenagers, leading to an expanded world in Season 2.

“I know a lot of people were worried that we were leaving the girls behind. It’s not 100% happening,” executive producer Amy B. Harris told TheWrap. “We’re going to explore some of the boys’ stories, not all of them, some of them in tandem with each other, so we can really split the – we really want to be with the girls and with the boys half and half and what was so important to us about the boys when we brought them in, and we know some of our fans weren’t as excited to see this new band coming, is that Gretchen really uses them as a counterpoint to its main group. So even when we look at the boys, it’s like, ‘Oh, we look at them in relation to how the girls found water or how the girls built their shelter.’

She continued, “Even when we are with the boys, we feel very strongly that the girls are still kind of informing that experience. We are therefore delighted to invest in both groups equally. And I think that’s very valid – the coming-of-age stories – of these two castaway islands.

And it seems Gretchen (Rachel Griffiths), the woman running the experiment on unsuspecting teenagers, has a stake in one of the races. The boys are the control group “she doesn’t want to pass,” Harris said, noting, however, that Gretchen “won’t necessarily get her hands on that ladder.”

“I think the audience is kind of on this journey,” Harris added.

As the Season 2 trailer showed, at some point in the show’s post-island rescue timeline, Gretchen’s compound, where the teenagers are interrogated by her team (who get pass as representatives of the American government), Leah will make contact with one of the boys. That should be a game changer.

“She becomes someone who goes on the offensive in this post-rescue complex,” said executive producer and show creator Sarah Streicher, noting that Leah has gone “stealthy” since her island experience.

“And I think we were really excited about her colliding with somebody else from this other island who might be the peanut butter chocolate, kind of like, ‘That’s what I need. It’s what you bring. We’re putting it together and now we’re actively tackling something here,” she added.

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With so many stories and timelines (before the island, on the plane, on the island, and in the “rescue” compound), plus a new group of teenagers, it was definitely a tough task for the show’s writing team as they headed into season 2, but Harris said they had guides.

“Yes, we have maps. We have deadlines that help us remember where we are. And then it’s just about remembering over and over again, like where we are emotionally in each of the stories? And that motivates us,” she said.

“So there are a lot of Jenga puzzle pieces that you pop in and out at the same time, which also makes it fun,” she added.

Season 2 of “The Wilds” is available to stream on Prime Video.

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