Have you heard of the new YouTube red series Wayne? Probably not, I have YouTube Red and just happened to find it. I've seen no advertisement for it, no talk about it, and yet..it's kinda' fantastic. Wayne is a pulpy story about a 17 year old bad ass. The plot reminds me of a graphic novel but to my knowledge, it isn't based on one. The director very obviously wanted people to thing the style was grindhouse, but other than the old fashioned ratings guide at the beginning, it really doesn't feel like grindhouse.
Instead it is an action romantic comedy about a teen who feels obligated to right wrongs with his fists when he sees them. The other students in his school respect and fear him. His mother left when he was a toddler and his father is dies of cancer in the first episode. Wayne decides to go on a road trip with his new girlfriend Del, to get back his fathers stolen '78 Pontiac Trans Am. Del's father and brothers are hot on their trail to get Del back. Wayne;s best friend and the principal of the school are following in an attempt to get them back before they get into trouble and a very odd and funny sheriff are trying to reach Wayne to offer him one last chance.
The series feels more like a road trip movie and once you start watching the half hour episodes you wont be able to stop till you reach episode ten. If the series has a problematic area, it would be that there seems to be an awful lot of adults randomly beating up minors in this series Even more characters that don't seem to be particularly worried about getting in trouble with the police. I also think the show tried really hard to be extremely violent, but grindhouse is still far more bloody than this.
The best part of Wayne is undoubtedly the writing. When is the last time you could say that about a series or film? Your probably going to have to think back pretty far. Each thirty minute episode is fresh, fast paced and straight forward. There is no slow burn, no waiting for the story to get going. Nope it starts out with a bang, and the story is told in a fairy sensible straight forward manner,
Mark Mckenna, who plays Wayne, is a remarkable actor. He has that whole dirty Harry as a teenager down pat. Mark knows just the right places to break the toughness or show juvenile enthusiasm, despite playing a mostly quite vigilante type. Its important to remember that Wayne is just mostly a man, he still wants someone to love him. He still has daydreams and reads comics. He is in the middle of becoming a man, but his character isn't all the way there yet. Normally I dislike high school television series, but in this case, the story of Wayne learning to become a man with very little guidance and only a strong moral compass to guide him, is quite compelling.
The series is equal parts action, comedy and romance. Imagine Deadpool if the leading character didn't have superhero abilities and let everyone else do the talking. I can honestly say its the best thing out to stream right now. The first episode is free on YouTube. After that you will have to subscribe to Youtube red in order to watch the rest of the series, but honestly, Wayne is worth the subscription cost.