I’m steeling myself for the response this next statement is going to get: I don’t hate M. Night Shyamalan. Has he made some bad movies? Sure. So has Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen, Ridley Scott, Peter Jackson, Wes Anderson, Oliver Stone, and pretty much every director out there. It’s just easier to pinpoint a director like Shyamalan’s idiosyncrasies and morph them into a running joke when his movies aren’t good. It’s also easy to forget that The Sixth Sense is more than just its memorable twist; that film along with Unbreakable and Signs are unique and thoughtful examinations on old genres. Whether all of their pieces add up is a matter of opinion, but to say that they aren’t risk-taking movies is wrong.
Unfortunately, Shyamalan’s risks have outweighed his rewards as time has gone on, but if you examine his methods of storytelling and structure, you start to realize that feature films might not have been the best avenue for his particular brand. The guy is obviously a fan of Rod Serling’s school of creativity, and no film in his repertoire exemplifies this more than Devil (which he has a story credit on). If that film had been an episode of television, I think it would have been fantastic.
That’s why I’m going against the tidal wave of negativity and hoping for the best out of Wayward Pines. It’s certainly wearing its influences on its sleeve (The Prisoner and Twin Peaks), but the cast is great and the premise has me intrigued. Will it be able to sustain itself over the course of ten episodes and deliver a satisfying ending? We’ll all have to tune in starting May 14th to find out.