YouTube Premium Series: WAYNE (2019)

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I've never had the ability to passively like anything – I'm either full-scale Single White Female level obsessed or I avoid it like the plague. Over the years, I've grown to worship the finer things in life – Violent coming-of-age tales, classic American muscle cars, and '70s vigilante films. I am beyond elated to report that WAYNE serves as an amalgamation of my aforementioned holy trinity, and then some.

Centralizing around a sixteen year old boy of the same name, the series follows him in his quest to seek out a stolen heirloom intended for him by his recently deceased father – A golden, '78 Pontiac Trans Am. Knowing only that the car is located somewhere in Ocala, Florida, he hits the road with his adorable counterpart and crush, Del.

My interest was sparked immediately upon reading a plot summarization in which it described the series as being 'John Wick via John Hughes'. It wasn't hard to draw the comparison to John Wick due to the high volumes of brutality, however to conjure up the connection to John Hughes you have to dig a little deeper past the surface. WAYNE, much like beloved Hughes films such as The Breakfast Club, is a fascinating, artistic endeavour hyper-focusing on the development of quirky, unforgettable characters. I'm a sucker for extreme violence, sure, but what hooked me early on was how invested I became in both Wayne and Del. I wanted to learn what had crafted them into what they've become, which can be described simply as two misguided youths with intentions fueled by compassion.

Wayne pandered to my deep adoration for vigilantes, as he felt like a teenage idealization of genre greats such as Charles Bronson and Clint Eastwood brought to fruition. With a good heart driving him to extreme measures, he displays a level of violence on par with that of which has become trademarked in the works of Quentin Tarantino. Not only naturally unusual in juxtaposing a young boy with excessive physical violence, he engages in enthralling, creative acts of brutality that I have never seen on screen prior.

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Del, not entirely unlike Wayne, is visibly frayed at the seams. Contrasting Wayne's inability to lie, we have a fifteen year old girl who knows nothing about honesty. Their one shared value is righting wrongs – Helping people in need, although their means of accomplishing such is undoubtedly questionable. Their relationship exemplifying the principle of yin and yang, the pairing learns much from each other as their romance blossoms.

Evading the cops as if they were Mickey and Mallory in Natural Born Killers, the duo consistently find themselves in bizarre situations as they traipse across America. Being a total sucker for roadside Americana, seedy motels, diners, you name it – I felt so incredibly satiated throughout. Pairing this with the first introduction to Florida being an alligator on a leash, which I'm praying is named Elvis as a homage to my beloved Miami Vice, my deepest affections were won over with ease.

Like every other genre fan, I adored Stranger Things and felt a deep void upon concluding the second season. Not only did WAYNE fill that void, but I truthfully found that I enjoyed this series even more so. Unlike anything on television I have seen as of late, I was personally refreshed by experiencing a coming-of-age concept that didn't feel like a bunch of rehashed ideas, in turn defying a trend that has gained momentum in recent years. I am entirely on board with this endeavor, and I cannot wait to witness the conclusion to this dangerous, tantalizing journey.

Breanna Whipple

All episodes of WAYNE will premiere on YouTube Premium January 16, 2019