By the end of the first episode of Netflix's teen sci-fi drama Between, a mysterious illness has killed everyone over the age of 22 in the fictional town of Pretty Lake. By the end of the season-one finale, the U.S. government is systematically executing children. Now, season two of the series—which debuted on Netflix last week—presents an even more grim assessment of our dear leaders.
I don't want to give too much away, but on occasion after occasion Between gives us government officials (and those who take orders from them) so callously indifferent to human life, so committed to preserving their own asses above all else, and so utterly devoid of anything like empathy or compassion that they make Dick Cheney or Tom Cotton look like the West Wing's President Bartlet. My fellow libertarians, if you've been looking for a show that dislikes and distrusts the government as much you do, this is it. (It even portrays a survivalist cult as prescient and wise.)
Which isn't to say that Between is a great show, or even a good show. It is probably, objectively speaking, a bad show—the dialogue is often clunky, the subplots soap opera-esque, the acting a bipolar mix of melodramatic and wooden. The main characters are mainly given archetypes—minister's daughter gone bad, poor little rich boy, ex-con with a heart of gold—rather than personalities. But if you're a sucker for conspiracy-theory, doomsday, dystopian scenarios (and I am), Between can be quite fun.
With each season only six episodes long, Between is also perfect for summer binge watching, the streaming-TV equivalent of a paperback crime novel or cheesy-catchy pop song.
And if you're still hungry for pop-anti-authoritarianism afterward, might I recommend Containment? The CW network show (also available on Hulu Plus) starts from a somewhat similar premises as Between: an area overcome by a mysterious illness, a government-mandated cordon. An unraveling realization that government powers are, if not responsible for the epidemic, at least more concerned with optics than saving lives.
Also like Between, Containment features no slick cinematography, no especially witty dialogue, no standout characters—this is pure low-brow, guilty-pleasure viewing. But if you like your summer escapist entertainment with a side of smashing the state, you're likely to dig both Containment and Between.