Daybreak Fails to shine amongst other teen dramas

What would happen if the world was ravaged by a biochemical nuclear war, leaving behind only teenagers to survive? Daybreak answers this in a very unconventional and jumbled way.  

The Netflix original series, based on the graphic novel by Brian Ralph, was released on October 24th, 2019, and consisted of 10 episodes. A nuclear war between the world’s countries kickstarted the apocalypse, destroying cities and wiping out populations. All adults were either killed in the blast or they mutated into “ghoulies”, a brainwashed zombie-like being, by the biochemical agent in the bombs. With all leading adults gone, most teens banded into their social groups, such as the jocks, the cheerleaders, the rich kids, and the nerds, with the acceptation of a few solo survivors. 

 The storyline follows Josh Wheeler (Colin Ford), one of the few solo warriors left alive, on his journey to find his girlfriend who went missing on the day the apocalypse happened. Wheeler befriends an old bully, Wesley Fists, and a young girl he babysat, Angelica Green on his journey. The trio face challenges and drama, resulting in the face off with the cannibalistic outlaw Baron Triumph. While this plotline sounds innovative and original, it fails to reach its full potential, focusing more on its spiritless acting and lackluster humor 

Daybreak, while the cons heavily outweigh the pros, there are some redeeming factors of the show. The editing style, like the bold writings and coloring on the screen, can be distracting and too bold at points but it is original and bright, and adds a much-needed element of humor to the somewhat dull points. Another benefit to the show was the character development of Angelica and Eli.  

While it has a promising cast list, most of the character writing and development was dry and tasteless. Angelica and Eli’s characters were different, theyre writing felt more personal and thought out. The evolution and development from Angelica, the bratty nuisance, to the passionate brain of the team. Eli, went from a cruel, self- obsessed annoyance, to a scenestealer you love to see. These two characters added a reallife element, back by the sublime acting from both Alyvia Alyn Lin (Angelica Green) and Gregory Kasyan (Eli Cardashyn). 

With a very little amount of promising aspects, there is bound to be an array of negatives about Daybreak. The show tries to be funny and creative with its writing style, but it falls incredibly flat and childish. Some language fits the TV-MA rating, but a majority sound like they came from an unfortunate childish tv show, reminiscent of Victorious’ inappropriate word substitutions. The humor is deadpan and forced, as if it needs a laugh track to seem humorous. The writing style tries too hard to be the next Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, that it comes off awkward and contrived.  

The plot, while full of potential, is riddled with inconsistencies and plot holes, in particular, Ms. Crumble’s storyline, that in the end makes the show nearly unbearable to watch. The stale dialogue and mundane acting contribute to the overall cringey and disappointing that the promising premise was wasted on an unfortunate cast and script.  

The characters like Turbo Bro Jock (Cody Kearsley), Principal Burr (Michael Brodrick), and Ms. Crumble (Krysta Rodriguez) are nowhere near developed enough to add anything intriguing to the story that makes viewers want to stay and watch. These characters are around for a few humorous quips and then you almost forget they’re in the show. 

The show had potential, and with the right cast and production team and maybe even a more child appropriate approach, would allow this show to shine. It fails to capitalize on the interesting plot and leaves the viewers with a cliché ending.