Coming-of-age tales set in a post-apocalyptic world have threatened to become a played-out concept, but that doesn't mean the sub-genre is devoid of quality. In its earliest minutes, Netflix's The Rain definitely has a vibe like it's going to be like everything else out there, but by the first episode's end, viewers will know the streaming service's first Danish series is a cut above the rest.
With its tale set in a world where heavy rains carried a deadly virus throughout Scandinavia and wiped out the human population, The Rain is better than most teen dystopian thrillers in many ways, and is definitely worth a binge-watch for anyone recently fatigued by dystopian flicks where random 16-year-olds are purported to be humanity's saviors. Need proof? Let's hash it out.
Survival Is Put Above The Teenage Experience
One of the most frustrating tropes of heightened teen dramas is the way both normal and overwrought teenage emotions are shoe-horned into post-apocalyptic situations. Sure, teens are horny and angry and emotional all the time, but would anyone in a real life-or-death situation be focused on such everyday notions? The Rain definitely tackles these types of issues in its first episodes, which helps to build up these limited personalities, but at the end of the day, each and every character is far more concerned about surviving the damned outbreak than by "finding their meaning in the world," or anything like that.
Hormones are unavoidable, sure, but it's hard to argue that teenagers that spent six years in hardcore isolation are bound to be different than whatever teens are watching the program on Netflix. The show balances that aspect better than most, yet definitely finds appropriate way to work the teenage experience into the story. And all without Instagram and trite poetry.
The Rain Is Much Darker Than Typical YA Thrillers
The Rain is listed as a young-adult thriller, but The Hunger Games and Divergent fans should expect a far darker narrative. Those squeamish about the sight of dead bodies will have to suck it up during the eight-episode season, because this version of Scandinavia is littered with them. Men, women, and even children will be seen in various states of decay throughout the series, which really helps depict the level of devastation caused by the viral outbreak.
As for the living survivors, six years of desperately avoiding infections, as well as fighting for scraps, has created some particularly violent people, and The Rain doesn't shield audiences from some disturbing and gruesome scenes. Bottom line, there's definitely more emphasis on the "adult," than "young," when it comes to this show, although that's not a bad thing for everyone of age.