'The A List' teen drama is the millenial version of 'Lost' and brings together multiple pop culture references in a coming-of-age spectacle

'The A List' teen drama is the millenial version of 'Lost' and brings together multiple pop culture references in a coming-of-age spectacle

A group of teenagers arrive at an island for what appears to be an idyllic summer camp. Mia (Lisa Ambalavanar) is sent by her parents and is the popular girl until Amber (Ellie Duckles) shows up and the two battle it out to become the queen bee. But everything is not as it seems. Amber is revealed to be dangerous and manipulative and will do whatever it takes for her to emerge victorious. When Mia's followers slowly shift to Amber's side, the former begins suspecting Amber of devious doings. 

'The A List' is set to air on Netflix on August 30. The supernatural teen drama has been created by Dan Berlinka ('Hollyoaks') and Nina Metivier ('Doctor Who'). While the drama originally aired on BBC's streaming service, iPlayer, in October 2018, Netflix acquired the rights for the drama in July this year.

The writers for the show have clearly been influenced by the current shows on air targeting teenagers today like 'Riverdale' and 'Stranger Things'. Berlinka, in an interview with Den of Geek, said that he thinks of the show as 'Mean Girls' meets 'Lost'. While he said that the show gets darker with each episode, it does have its funny moments. 



With the addition of a fantasy element into the mix, viewers can hope for a tinge of 'Stranger Things' vibes as well in the show. The similarities in the trailer are so apparent in fact, that the characters of 'The A List' could have been plucked from any of the previously mentioned shows.

Even Jacob Dudman, who plays Dev (who is involved in a love triangle with Mia and Amber) thinks that his character is a dead-on lookalike for Harvey (played by Ross Lynch) from 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina'.

But while the show will offer up many references to pop culture (a la 'Stranger Things'), the 13-episode series will prove to be enjoyable for young people as well as an older audience who will no doubt catch all the references made on screen.


One of the most interesting aspects of the show is the diversity in its cast. Lisa Ambalavanar said to the BBC that the "cast is very diverse and representative of today's youth but without stereotyping, and that is so important".

This is in complete credit to the production company, Kindle Entertainment. Anne Brogan, co-director of Kindle Entertainment, made sure the head writers were told from the beginning that "for a teen show it's important the characters you see on screen connect with you powerfully", according to the BBC.


Ellie Duckles as Amber in a still from 'The A List' (BBC/Kindle Entertainment)

And while 'The A List' is being marketed as a teen drama, it has elements of different genres as well — horror, science-fiction, and romance. The show was shot in remote locations in Scotland, offering up magnificent views that accompany the psychological tension. For Netflix users who are done binging on 'Riverdale', 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina', and 'Stranger Things', a trip across the Atlantic Ocean offers the perfect replacement while they wait for new episodes.


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