pop culture brain — Wayne, whose one season is now on Amazon Prime, is…

Wayne, whose one season is now on Amazon Prime, is kind of like an American End of the F**king World. Two damaged teens from broken homes head out a crime-laden road trip, find themselves, and find each other. It’s also kind of like if John Hughes wrote Dirty Harry and mixed in Bonnie and Clyde, but instead of suburban Chicago, everything is very Boston. It’s also produced by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the writers of Deadpool and Zombieland.

I bring up all of these cultural touch points to give you an idea of the brash yet charming tone you’ll find in this dark comedy. Creator Shawn Simmons (as well as Reese and Wernick) draw on some great inspirations, build out a specific and detailed world with relatable, lovable characters, and then have them all participate in over-the-top violence and hijinks.

Mark McKenna (Sing Street) is pitch perfect as the stoic title character bent on revenge and filled with silent bile, but it’s Ciara Bravo’s turn as heroine Del that will have you glued to the screen. Bravo is eminently watchable, mixing New England toughness with heartbreaking vulnerability. The fifth episode, which features her backstory, is a series highlight and also gives us a memorable turn from Abigail Spencer (Rectify, Timeless) as Del’s mom. Dean Winters, Mike O’Malley, and Michaela Watkins deserve some special shout outs for their work across the series as well.

Wayne was originally produced for YouTube Premium in 2018 and was later cancelled by the service after the one season. Amazon has since picked up the existing 10 episodes for distribution. While it’s unclear whether Amazon plans to make more, this is one 5-hour ride worth strapping in for.

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