Quibi’s Wireless is billed as a “survival thriller” but there’s nothing “thrilling” about it. The plot revolves around a college student named Andy (played by Tye Sheridan) who gets stuck in a blizzard whilst on his way to a party… whoop-de-doo. Writer-directors Jack Seidman and Zach Wechter have some very lame ideas of peril; a missed New Year’s party, a breakup, a dead dad, some alcoholism, beer pong, it’s all very middle-class and mundane. Getting a sprained ankle after skidding your father’s 4×4 off the road because you’re texting is hardly the set-up to Alive. Oh no he’s lost his drivers license, oh sob, he’s deleted his ex’s contact from his smartphone. Oh woe betied!
The best part of Wireless is the episode titles: “100%”, “90%”, “80%” etc. but in a 10-episode show, it’s only in episode 8 (“30%”) that the lead character finally faces some real issues. An avalanche is actual peril but once it occurs, it’s sorted out very quickly. The rest of the show is us watching a moron obsessed with his phone… on our phone. For some unknown reason, Tye’s character keeps using unnecessary apps and draining the vehicle battery by using the car radio! Err, that’s not how you “survive”. Most of the issues Andy faces are of his own doing so there’s not much sympathy from the audience… “Siri, remind me not to be such a twat”. And hey, if you’re gonna prat about on your iPhone, stay on the line with the rescue service, turn off that crappy Brockhampton playlist and check the 141 unread emails. Maybe there’s a message from A.A.A. offering a deal on your renewal quote, or an email from A.A. with info on how to get sober.
Because the setup is so irritating (a character doing everything wrong in any given situation) as an audience member you stop caring what happens to him. Because it’s impossible to feel compassion for an idiot, you begin to see potentially serious issues as anything but. Andy having “a drinking problem” for instance, reminded me of Airplane! 😆
Andie MacDowell plays Andy’s mother and unfortunately, she’s not that good at voice acting. After appearing in the classic Groundhog Day, I wonder if MacDowell has some kind of affinity with snow? Sadly for her, this snow-set shit-fest is not a classic.
Like most of Quibi shows, Wireless is basically a movie masquerading as a short-form series. At 86 minutes 23 seconds long, it’s almost a film, albeit a crap one. With all the teething problems Quibi has had, this latest “series” is hardly going to mend their broken brand. Quibi’s added gimmick of course, is being able to rotate your phone to see “more”, and in Wireless‘ case, in portrait mode you see Andy’s phone screen, but since the director keeps intermittently cutting to the smartphone, there’s not much point in rotating away from landscape.
Tye Sheridan is a decent actor but there’s lots wrong here. Andy has an extremely annoying friend Jake who does bugger-all when his bestie needs help. There’s also a very odd finale with Tye’s ripped torso on show as he rescues a female character who was supposed to rescue him… wow, look at Cyclops‘ superhero muscles! Why the fuck can’t Shannon push open a car door under a few inches of snow? Because she’s a woman?
Ironically or aptly, my Wi-Fi began playing-up during the last few episodes (either that or Quibi’s servers are shite). This could have added to the atmosphere but since Wireless is a below-average thriller, there’s no real mood to add to. As a screen-based creation, Wireless is less Searching and more Unfriended.
This is surely the worst thing to ever happen to the Ford Bronco.