Why Class Of ’07 Is More Than Just The ‘Lord Of The Flies With Cocktail Dresses’

Image courtesy of Amazon Prime Video
Emily Browning and Megan Smart in Class Of '07
Mild spoilers for Class of '07 ahead. It may be touted as 'Lord Of The Flies in cocktail dresses', but don't assume that Class of '07 is merely a one-dimensional girlie take on the cult classic.
Using comedy as a tool to explore friendship intricacies, power dynamics, mental health and trauma, the eight-episode Amazon Prime Video series sets itself apart from any other post-apocalyptic show.
"It always starts with the writing," actor Caitlin Stasey says of what drew her to the project. "If it's well written, then you can see it and you can feel it ahead of shooting. And it's rare that you get to read something that really hits you immediately."
The former Neighbours star portrays the strong-headed Saskia, a 'girlboss' who's founded her own philanthropic company since graduating from high school. In Class of '07, she once again becomes the leader of the pack when she and her former classmates are left stranded after an apocalyptic tidal wave hits during their 10-year high school reunion.
It's there that she, Zoe (Emily Browning) and Amelia (Megan Smart) try to reconcile their differences from the past while reviving their old bonds, learning of the intricacies of female friendship on the school grounds and beyond.
Stasey tells Refinery29 Australia that one of the biggest strengths of Class of '07 is its elevation of strong, female bonds, adding that the connections that evolve on the show don't mirror her real-life experiences.
"I just love that it's in vogue to be a girl's girl now," she says. "I could've really done with that growing up, but unfortunately, it was just not really the case [for me].
"[When I was growing up], even though we were at an all-girls' school, we were competitive over boys and we were vicious to each other. There were a lot of moments of solidarity and kinship and kindness, and I'm sure other people's experiences are different from mine. But I wish so badly that I'd had that [positive] belief about women."
Now in her 30s, Stasey says her "main focus...is committing to the women in my life".
Image courtesy of Amazon Prime Video
Caitlin Stasey in Class Of '07
As Stasey's character, Saskia, naturally falls back into her old leadership position after the apocalypse, Browning and Smart's characters — Zoe and Amelia — also revert back to their old selves in order to survive. But Smart says the show also teaches us that we can gradually move forward and evolve, and don't always have to be the person we once were.
"When you're in trauma, you often revert to that base person or base level. I think that's a reflection not just on women, but humans," says Smart.
"But the show's also giving the message that you you can move past that. You are not the same person and you can better yourself and grow."
For Browning — who's recognisable to many for her 2004 performance in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events — trying her hand at comedy was a newfound and refreshing experience.
She opens episode 1 with an incredibly familiar scenario to reality TV buffs, playing a dating show contestant who's been given the edit of the unhinged, jilted woman, who then becomes a viral meme and is forced into hiding.
"I watched The Bachelorette in Australia to prepare for that scene," Browning reveals, but admits she's not a usual viewer of The Bachelor franchise.
"I like the really, really trashy reality shows like Ex On The Beach and FBOY Island," she laughs.
Playing Zoe was a departure from some of her more serious roles, and she enjoyed embracing a fun and vulnerable side of her character. "I relate to Zoe in a lot of ways, in terms of how she is with her female friends, but I think she's a little different to me," says Browning. "She's very openly clingy, whereas I think I have a tendency to want to be clingy, but I am too afraid of rejection."
Ultimately, all three actors don't want audiences to take things too seriously. Yes, there are important lessons to be learned about the complexities of (and the beauty of) female friendships. But this show is also about having a chuckle and embracing 2000's nostalgia. As Smart says, "Just watch it if you want to have a good time."
Class of 07 releases on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, April 17.
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