The nine-episode first season of the teen drama debuted on Netflix back in October. Created by Katie Cappiello, the series was loosely based on Cappiello’s 2013 work “Slut: The Play.”
The show followed five students at the largest public high school in Brooklyn as they take on a chaotic world and fight to succeed, survive, wild out, break free and seize the future. The cast was led by Odessa A’zion as Joey Del Marco, Odley Jean as Dominique Pierre, Amir Bageria as Siddhartha Pakam, Maliq Johnson as Jayson Jackson, Amalia Yoo as Leila Kwan Zimmer, Alphonso Romero Jones II as John Ellis, Brittany Adebumola as Tamika Jones, and Crystal Sha’re Nelson as Tor Sampson.
In addition to having created the series, Capiello served as an executive producer along with Joshua Donen, Beau Willimon, Jordan Tappis, Nicolette Donen, and Elizabeth Kling.
The show received mostly positive reviews upon its release, holding a 71% critical approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Reviewers in particular praised the show’s young cast. In her review for Variety, LaToya Ferguson wrote that the cast was “extremely talented” and “drives its stories forward in a way that makes it worth watching the full season.” She also said, however:
“‘Grand Army’ doesn’t exactly offer anything new to the teen genre at this point. Not in its depiction of sexual assault, not in its depiction of teenage slut-shaming and cyberbullying, not in its depiction of a ‘seemingly normal’ high school student being capable of horrifying things, not in its depiction of a closeted gay teen story, and especially not in its depiction of the struggles (upon struggles, upon struggles) of Black students.”