Panic Review – Suspenseful, A Binge-Worthy, Summer Series

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PANIC, an original Amazon Prime limited series, brings to the screen an exciting, suspenseful summer series which follows a group of teens as they undertake a dangerous post-high school graduation ritual which holds the keys to freedom.

The series is set in a small Texas town, Carp, a dusty, empty, limited town with few possibilities and for our graduating class of high schoolers, the one sign they are anticipating putting in the rear view.

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During episode one we meet the hopefuls, Heather Nill, played by Olivia Welch, who has saved nearly every penny of her meager after school job to pay for college tuition to follow her dreams of writing only to have it taken by her mother, Sherri, played by Rachel Bay Jones, to pay for automobile repairs.

Her dire financial situation and crushed dreams forces her into a sudden life or death decision, and she chooses to enter the Panic competition, which offers a grand prize of 50,000 and the hope to reinvent herself anywhere outside of this nowheresville town.

She is counseled against joining by Bishop, played by Camron Jones, who as the son of the town's judge has his future fixed and in place with no hiccups allowed and as we see his father views Heather as a hiccup to avoid.

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Her competitors include her best friend Natalie Williams, played by Jessica Sula, the daughter of a an overly protective Deputy John Williams, played by Todd Williams, who has done his best to keep a tight rein on her aspirations of moving to Hollywood to follow her acting aspiration.

The fearless Ray Hall, played by Ray Nicholson, the town stoner who lives in the shadow of his name and family legacy, unable to shake the deep roots that grab at his every step to keep him in enslaved.

And the mysterious newcomer, Dodge Mason, played by Mike Eaisl, who also fights against the harsh hand life has dealt himself, his mother, Jessica, played by Nancy Mckeon, and his wheelchair bound sister, Dayna, played by Madison Ferris.

As the first episode exposes the lives each of our characters have lived and the desperation to escape the lifetime of torture and the refusal to allow this town to suffocate the dreams and hope from them.

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The dangerous challenges, which increase with each episode to weed out the fearful are haunted by the deaths of two of the town's best and brightest, Jimmy Cortez, the son of the local Sherriff, played by Enrique Murciano and his girlfriend.

The campfire horror stories of never making it past Russian roulette or the blindfold walk across a busy highway, the final hurdle to the grand prize haunts each as the challenges. But this year, the rules have changed, the pot of money is larger, and the game has become even more dangerous.

As the game becomes the center of an investigation, Sgt. Christine Langley, played by Lee Eddy and her partner, Deputy Williams, uncover the small town's hidden secrets including gambling debts, drug distribution networks, exotic and dangerous animals, parents suffering from PSTD as their children grab at this game in desperation to escape the boundaries the town stamps on them.

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Set up like individual escape rooms, the players confront their deepest, darkest fears and are forced to decide what they are willing to risk in order to win. The game and challenges are set by the judges, each of whom are anonymous.

PANIC, an exciting and thrilling limited series, entices as each of the characters face the dangerous challenges seeing it as the destiny, they fight against in order to free themselves from the lives they have come to loathe.

Riveting, suspenseful, a binge-worthy gripping thriller. PANIC premiers on Amazon Prime Memorial Day, May 28, 2021. See it.


County: USA

Runtime: Ten episodes/60 minutes.

Writer: Lauren Olivier based on the novel of the same name.

Producer: Amazon Studios.

Executive Producer: Lauren Oliver, Joe Roth, Jeff Kirschenbaum, Adam Schroeder, Lynley Bird, Alyssa Altman.

Cast: Olivia Welch, Mike Faist, Jessica Sula, Camron Jones, Ray Nicholson, Enrique Murciano, Nancy McKeon, Todd Williams, Lee Eddy, David W. Thompson, Karina Karhu, Moria Kelly, Rachel Bay Jones, Madison Ferris and Bonnie Bedelia.

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