Wayne, a 16 year-old Dirty Harry with a heart of gold, sets out on a small two stroke road bike from Boston to Florida with his new friend Del to get back the shit-hot 79' Trans-Am that was stolen from his father before he died.
Wayne Season 1 Review
by Ashley Hobley
Wayne is dark, violent, funny and at times crazy but also delivers sweet and heartfelt moments. There are a ton of creative violent moments that I should been expecting in a show from the writers of Deadpool but I found myself constantly surprised. Whether it was someone destroying a guy’s bike with a bat while the guy was locked to a pole with a bike lock around his neck, freeing illegal immigrants from a boss who was taking advantage of them by nail gunning him to his van or seeing a bunch of high school students coming out of their school dance to beat up a middle aged man and his sons set to Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles”, this show constantly made me ask “what I was watching?” but in a good way.
The latest Youtube Original series follows the titular character of Wayne (Mark McKenna), a young man who has a violent tendency that he puts to good use, often defending or getting revenge for people who have been wronged or mistreated. When his father dies he sets off to claim a car that he’s father hoped to pass down to him but has stolen by Wayne’s mother when she left his father for another man.
Joining Wayne on his quest is Del (Ciara Bravo), a young woman Wayne asked to be his girlfriend while she was trying to sell him Girl Scout cookies despite not being a girl scout. Del eagerly agrees to leave her alcoholic father (Dean Winters) and idiot twin brothers Carl and Teddy (Jon & Jamie Champagne) and after Wayne fights her family, jumps on his dirt bike and heads to Florida, getting into misadventures along the way.
Mark McKenna and Ciara Bravo do an amazing job as the two leads. Wayne is very quiet, stoic and often speaks more through his actions than words. But that means that the moments he does show emotion or gives a lengthy speech are very impactful. With Wayne being so quiet, Del has to make up for his side of the conversation, something she does with ease. The episode “Chapter Five: Del” sees Bravo give a really strong performance as we flashback to before her mother died, an event that sets her father down his alcoholic road and changes her drastically. Wayne’s sudden interest in Del feels a bit out of nowhere at the start of the season but as the season plays out, I felt it was earned in retrospect.
It is difficult to watch this and not think of another recent show featuring a young pair of runaways, End of the F*cking World. That show didn’t draw me into it in the same way Wayne has and I stopped watching after a few episodes. The reasons I found Wayne more compelling are that the leads have a clearly set goal, giving the show a bit of direction, and it has a much more fleshed and varied supporting cast. A number of factions are trying to get to Wayne either to hurt him, like Del’s father and brothers, like his high school principal Cole (Mike O'Malley) and friend/protectee Orlando (Joshua J. Williams) or the two cops assigned to Del’s “kidnapping”. The banter between each of the groups in fun to watch, particularly the brothers Carl and Teddy who just when you think you’ve had enough of their schtick, you come around and find it funny again, particularly with their strong Boston accents.
I also have to single out Francesco Antonio as Reggie, the current owner of the car Wayne is after, who is captivating whenever he is on screen as a weasley, greasy, violent force of nature on a collision course with Wayne. Their final confrontation was well worth the wait and a fitting encounter.
While the violence and wacky situations are what might get you into this show, it is the heart and sweetness at the core of it that will keep you around. I couldn’t help but fall for Del and Wayne and want them to be happy together. Hopefully we get a season 2 but if we don’t at least we were lucky enough to get this much.
Directors: Iain B. MacDonald, Steve Pink, Tessa Hoffe, Stephanie Laing, Michael Patrick Jann
Writers: Shawn Simmons, Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Sarah Jane Cunningham, Suzie V. Freeman, Lauren Hoseman, Sophie Pustil, Paul Jaffe, Spencer Sloan, Greg Coolidge, Kirk Ward
Cast: Mark McKenna, Ciara Bravo, Joshua J. Williams, Dean Winters, Stephen Kearin, James Earl, Jon Champagne, Jamie Champagne, Mike O'Malley, Francesco Antonio
Season 1 Air Date: 17/01/2019
Wayne is currently available on Youtube Premium. Episode 1 is free here.