TV Review - The I-Land
Natalie Martinez (Under the Dome and CSI: NY) stars as Chase, a woman who wakes up on the beach of a deserted island, probably a tropical island. She has no memory of who she is and how she got on the island. All she knows is that a seashell was next to her where she woke up. She meets another girl who is dressed like her and also has no memory of how she got on the beach. Chase meets eight other people also dressed like her with amnesia of who they are and how they got there. She starts to explore the island and she starts getting clues that something strange is happening, but no one believes her.
Kate Bosworth (Superman Returns and Blue Crush) co-stars as KC, a woman who also wakes up on the beach of the same deserted island as Chase. She wakes up with a knife next to her. She's very confrontational toward Chase. She seems to not like her or trust her for some reason. Otherwise, she doesn't really engage with any of the other eight people on the island. When she does get her memory back and she remembers what she did that landed her here, it still makes no sense as to why she behaves toward Chase the way that she does. She seems to be a rival toward Chase for no reason.
Spoiler alert! Spoiler alert! Spoiler alert!
It's also revealed that they're all convicted criminals in Texas and the reason they're in the VR simulation is because the State of Texas is testing a program to see if criminals can be redeemed or rehabilitated. The series then suggests that it's about that same idea, of testing if criminals can be redeemed or rehabilitated, which is an interesting concept, but the twists in the plot undermine that theme and the exploration that could come from it.
Yes, the series dives into Chase and KC's pasts. Chase is used just as a plot-device to expose what could be corruption in the criminal justice system. She's also used to expose biases and prejudices with regard to people in prison. KC's character is set up for a redemptive arc. More than anyone else, KC confronts her past. The series just doesn't do anything to have her reckon with it in the present or on the island as it were.
Running Time: 1 hr. / 7 eps.
Available on Netflix.