REVIEW: ‘The A List’ is Netflix’s new B-list show

‘Mean Girls’ meets ‘Lost’ on Peregrine Island


Screenshot via Netflix

Jonah Salazar

This review contains spoilers for Netflix’s “The A List”

If you have a soft spot for corny teen dramas, are intrigued by supernatural powers or have a love for our friends across the pond, then “The A List” should land a spot in your queue of shows to binge through soon.

“The A List” starts off with a simple premise as the two main characters, Mia and Amber, fight for “Queen Bee” status at the sleepaway camp on Peregrine Island that they will be staying at for the summer. 

However, the plot takes a hard turn early on as Mia starts to suspect that Amber is using supernatural elements to steal her friends away and cause other problems around the camp.

Story continues below trailer.

When the credits rolled after the first episode, I honestly did not feel as interested in the show as I wanted to be — the drama felt contrived, the stakes were low, and it was hard for me to feel any empathy for Mia as she began losing her friends. 

I am happy to say that my opinion changed quickly as I became more invested in Mia’s character and curious about what magic was taking place on this island.

The writers do a good job of transitioning Mia from a spoiled, snobby, child into a cunning and emotional character. As Mia’s friends begin to turn against her, she ends up having to adapt to Amber’s hostilities and figure out a way to break them free from her spell and find a safe way off  the island. 

My only real complaints about the show are how the plot felt predictable early on, and the dialogue was cheesy and uninteresting at times. 

With the plot essentially being a modern retelling of “Lost” with younger characters, it was easy to draw parallels between the two shows in the form of underground bunkers in the woods, suspicious characters having magical powers, and the island itself having its own role to play in the chaos. 

At times it felt as if I was watching “Lost” in an alternate reality where they fired all but one writer and gave him two weeks to figure out the first season.

There is nothing wrong with borrowing ideas from other shows and movies — in fact, it happens a lot more often as less original media is being made — but when the plot follows the same patterns as another show it’s going to feel stale and expected.

The show definitely benefits from Netflix’s format of dropping the entire season at once, because the story was definitely lacking something that would keep me invested over a 10 to 12 week period.

That being said, “The A List” still manages to be captivating during crucial moments and it kept me curious enough to finish the series over a two-day period. 

The final episode did leave me feeling somewhat curious as to what is going to happen next, and I will be sticking around if they decide to produce a second season to find out what happens after the massive, and literal, cliff-hanger ending.