TV Review: ‘Wrecked’

TV Review: 'Wrecked' from TBS is
Courtesy TBS

It’s not a bad idea to pay homage to one of the greatest TV dramas of all time by re-envisioning it as a half-hour comedy. That’s the thinking behind “Wrecked,” a new half-hour that tries to be the sitcom version of “Lost.” But that ABC drama had what the new TBS program lacks — engaging characters and more than a few laughs.

While “Lost” was more concerned with depicting the adventures, as well as the moral and personal setbacks, of the survivors of a plane crash on (and off) the remote island near which their plane went down, there were usually very funny one-liners and witty observations mixed into every script. And almost every one of those jokes was delivered by a character that fans came to care about.

That kind of audience engagement is unlikely to accompany “Wrecked,” which also follows a group of survivors whose plane goes down in the Pacific. No rescue appears to be in the offing for the band of travelers who set up camp near a beach and very quickly begin to squabble over food, resources and who gets to make the decisions. There are specific call-outs to “Lost,” in the form of a square-jawed hero who serves as a leader (a la Jack), men and women who pretend to be something they’re not (a la Sawyer), and a couple who begin to squabble the minute they get over the shock of the crash (not unlike Sun and Jin).

The problem isn’t that “Wrecked” is so obvious about the ways in which it attempts to pay tribute. Its downfall lies in the fact that very little of what transpires is funny. Goofing on “Lost’s” sillier aspects could have been part of “Wrecked’s” charm, but it needs its own reasons to exist, and none were discernible after watching four episodes.

A number of the characters are actively annoying, and the show’s tendency to have people shout at each other in lieu of supplying briskly paced storytelling or well-crafted jokes becomes wearying. A running gag in one episode about one man’s inability to move his bowels on the island drags on forever, without any comedic payoff.

There’s an earnest side to “Wrecked,” in that the characters often lie about themselves and their pasts in ways that say a lot about their aspirations and fears. Of course, the truth has a way of catching up with them as their quest to survive evolves into a long-term project. Yet the show ultimately squanders the appreciable talents of performers like Rhys Darby and Ginger Gonzaga in a sea of jokes about airplane pretzels and sex toys found in suitcases.

All things considered, if a group of TV lovers were stranded on a desert island and could choose only one show to bring with them, pack “Lost” and ditch this pretender.

TV Review: 'Wrecked'

(Series; TBS, Tues., June 14, 10 p.m.)

Production

Filmed in Puerto Rico by TBS.

Crew

Executive producers, Justin Shipley, Jordan Shipley, James Griffiths, Moses Port; director, Griffiths; writers, Justin Shipley, Jordan Shipley; camera, Scott Kevan; production designer, Robb Wilson King; editor, Jeff Seibenick; music, Matthew Margeson; costume designer, Kate Healy; casting, Julie Ashton-Barson, Patricia Alonso. 30 MIN.

Cast

Ally Maki, Asif Ali, Brian Sacca, Brooke Dillman, Ginger Gonzaga, Jessica Lowe, Rhys Darby, Will Greenberg, Zach Cregger

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  1. Creep me you not says:

    I never watched lost, it kind of was a weak and uninteresting. The story that had already been done to death in the 90’s with a million land of the lost tv series rip-offs and they had dinosaurs. Didn’t Lost end with a cop-out ending like it was just a dream? Anyways, Wrecked has an adult sense of humour and that could be why the reviewer was unable to grasp it. You have to have matured a little to laugh at the jokes between the fart and poo ones the network executives put in to help the kids at variety feel like they were the target audience. Stick what you know Twilight, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Game of Thrones, they got “ACTION FIGURES” you can collect. You need more DOLLIES!!!

  2. Lance Olsen says:

    whoever reviewed this show MUST have been asleep before it came on & did not see or they are just haters on anything that isn’t “Lost”. This show (especially Javier & the gang) is one of the only bright spots in a “sea” of cop, medical, and retiree shows that populate what passes for broadcast television. If a person or better yet a “castaway” wants to be depressed by serious and downer pseudo reality than continue to live your life and the TV in it, but if you want to laugh (belly) and be “rescued” from the doldrums of life than watch this show!!!!!!! Funnier than anything else currently on the air!!!

  3. Incorrect.. it is funny. It definitely grows on you as the season progresses. Glad its getting a second season, and I’m thinking you judged too early… OR, gods forbid, its not your style of humor

  4. SandiBeach says:

    I could not agree more. I am presently watching lost & viewed one Episode of “Wrecked” I found it a spoof of “Lost” without the real organization………& a lot of yelling. I can’t see “Wrecked” lasting 6 seasons…let alone one

  5. I thought it was funny. Then again, after the crazy and sometimes silly writing from “LOST” that we were supposed to take seriously, it was easy for me to see the humor in “WRECKED”.

  6. A. Everest says:

    I’m a huge Lost fan but of coarse no show can or ever could be amazing as Lost so it’s pointless to compare. I’ve given Wrecked benefit of doubt… I watched both episodes when it pre’premiered June 14… and again when it crashed June 14. I continue to watch because I think it’s a fun show, somewhat laughable. Of coarse they killed off possibly it’s strongest character Liam…and to mention he’s looks draw in audience as movies now a days are… more eye candy than talent. Moving on… I hope Wrecked has some twist and turns with the two cheeseballs that anointed themselves heroes. Just maybe more strong characters are found deep in the island that helps support the worth the watch. Still it’s a fun show.

  7. deborah says:

    this show is NOT funny ! Appears to be written by 14 year old boys. bad writing, bad acting and foul mouthed too

  8. ANGELA SANCH says:

    I DONT THINK ANYTHING IS FUNNY ABOUT A PLANE CRASH SHOWING PEOPLE INJURED AND BLOODIED, AND ALSO SHOWING PEOPLE SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD STILL STRAPED IN THEIR SEATS ALL BLUE AND PURPLE, OTHER PEOPLE FACE DOWN ON THE GROUND DEAD ALSO. SO MANY PEOPLE IN REAL LIFE HAVE SUFFERED THE LOSS OF LOVED ONES IN PLANE CRASHES RECENTLY AND TO SEE SCENES LIKE THIS MUST BE VERY DISTURBING THINKING THAT THEIR LOVED ONES MUST LOOK LIKE THAT.

  9. Watched it last night – it was lame but sometimes lame is all you need. Big mistake to kill off Liam he was the best of the show! Could watch him in a show all the live long day! I don’t think I will be tuning in again since they killed off the Liam!

  10. Marco Piazzo says:

    So, it’s Gilligan’s Island where everyone is Gilligan. Wow that sounds as funny as a root canal.

  11. Margot says:

    Completely disagree–this show is light, funny and doesn’t take itself seriously and is ENJOYABLE. Is it a masterpiece? No. But it is it fun and worth watching? Yep.

  12. stevenkovacs says:

    Diversity is nice except in this laugh-less tripe.

    • Sean Brodrick says:

      I agree with Margot. In fact, my whole family agrees with Margot. This is a funny, zany comedy, and we plan to tune in next week.

  13. Joyce says:

    Really disappointed. The only reason I watched was because James Scott was in it, and they killed him off! Won’t be watching again. Stupid and not really very funny.

  14. Sara D says:

    What a waste. Ten minutes into Wrecked and I was through with the shallow attempts at humor. At the second use of GD, not even bleeped out, I am definitly done wirh this foul mess. Guess the network and producers lost their moral compass and good-show potential in the crash.

  15. walt s says:

    wrecked is a great premise has a great location and a huge cast. For a comedy it would help if it were at least a bit funny. It must take a lot of effort to transform a natural winning theme to a dull failed attempt at juvenile snot humor.

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