How far would you go to live the life you desired? In Amazon Prime Video's new YA series Panic, high school seniors risk their lives for the chance to break free from their small Texas town.
Based on Lauren Oliver’s bestselling novel of the same name, Panic tells the story of Heather Nill (Olivia Welch), a recent high school graduate living in a town with a very specific and dangerous tradition: every summer, graduating seniors compete for a cash prize in a series of challenges called "Panic." Heather never intended to play the high-stakes game, especially since two seniors died during Panic the year before. But when life at home becomes untenable and the winnings are higher than they've ever been, she realises that entering is the only way she'll be able to live a better life.
"It's about conquering fears but also being wrong about which fears that you have to conquer," Oliver told EW of the show. "And also about being wrong in some way about how to conquer those fears. It seems, in some ways, courageous to play the game, but it becomes very clear that the game is a false trap, and the things that people are afraid of are the ones that can't be placed into a challenge. And in a way even being willing to play the game is representative of a very, very deep terror that all of the kids have in different ways about how much their lives are worth."
The first trailer for the hour-long drama series mixes the risky challenges of The Hunger Games with the gritty, Southern teen vibe of Outer Banks. What seems to make matters worse for Heather is that she's facing tough competition, but also is going up against her best friend Natalie Williams (Jessica Sula). And we're not just talking potato sack races and climbing obstacles — we're talking escaping buried coffins, jumping off cliffs, and hiding from an actual tiger. Panic's challenges are no joke. However, as Heather starts to look into the mysterious circumstances that launched the game, as well as the unknown people who organise it, she starts to get the sense that her town harbours more deep secrets than anyone realises.
All 10 episodes of Panic will be available on Amazon Prime Video on May 28.