Children turning savage in the absence of adults: William Golding first introduced the concept 65 years ago with his critically-acclaimed novel Lord of the Flies. Netflix re-introduces the idea with its new action-comedy original series, Daybreak.
After an atomic bomb goes off, wiping out the entire adult population, the kids must learn to fend for themselves. Sticking to what they know best — cliques — rather than working together to survive, the teens resort to their animal instincts, creating an even more hostile environment.
Focusing mainly on the life of “Just Josh,” audiences get to watch him morph into a completely new person. No longer average and boring, Josh (Colin Ford), takes risks, kicks butt and searches for the girl he loves — Sam (Sophie Simnett).
Deciding to survive on his own, Josh avoids contact with his former classmates as much as possible. Like most movies or shows, however, the antagonist finds the perfect rag-tag group of friends to compensate for the survival skills he lacks.
While at times ridiculous, all of the characters give wonderful performances. No performance is over-the-top, each one fitting the essence of their character throughout the season. Yes, Turbo Bro Jock (Cody Kearsley) can be dramatic, at times confusing, but that is expected. Some characters are straight-up annoying, but they’re meant to antagonize the likes of Josh and his new friends.
At first, it takes some time to adjust to the almost cringy breaking of the fourth wall, but over time, this creative choice grows on you. With most of the external interactions being quite violent and vulgar, it’s refreshing listening to the internal rational thoughts of the show’s protagonist. As the show progresses, the show develops a more omniscient perspective, allowing the thoughts of more than just Josh to be shared with audiences.
While the show can at times forget to address important points, such as, “what happened to the babies?” or “what happens when the children become adults later on?”
Most important questions are answered early on. However, maybe it was best some plot holes were left during the development of the show in order to preserve the mostly-humorous tone.
Most television series these days do a pretty decent job of developing unpredictable plot reveals. This was not the case in Daybreak. From the first episode, it was very clear who was behind the mask of the season’s main villain, Baron Triumph. Whether this was a creative choice made by team, or just the work of sloppy writing, this was a very forgivable mistake. What makes the show so great isn’t the fact that it’s a well-written mystery, or an emotional drama.
Daybreak strictly takes advantage of the sense of humor possessed by most young-adults these days. It’s an easy watch with decent dialogue and character development. Daybreak isn’t a bad show in the slightest because it accomplishes what it set out to do perfectly — entertain its viewers.
Despite the few romantic or emotional scenes, the show focuses on what matters most. There are no silly sub-plots to distract from the overall action. There is a wonderful balance that many teen shows have failed to find.