‘Wayne’ Review: It’s ‘The End of the F***ing World,’ But This YouTube Original Is Better Than Fine

IndieWire | 1/17/2019 | Staff
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“‘Bonnie and Clyde’ for the younger generation” must be a hot pitch around Hollywood. After Netflix struck cult-classic gold with “The End of the **** World” in early 2018, YouTube has another rebellious-teen/road-trip romance to rev up the new year. And unlike so many inadvertent entertainment twins, where one entry dwarfs the other, “Wayne” is worth watching.

Created by Shawn Simmons (“School of Rock”) and produced by the “Deadpool” team of Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the half-hour black comedy follows Wayne (Mark McKenna of “Sing Street”) as he takes and doles out beatings, each delegated by his sense of duty. The 15-year-old tough guy has quite a reputation around his southeastern Massachusetts hometown, and most kids run when they hear, “Wayne’s comin’!” But his vengeance stems from pain: Wayne’s mother up and left, while his father (Ray McKinnon) is dying from workplace illness.

Absent - School - Stretches - Aimless - Life

Absent from school for long stretches and aimless in his young life, Wayne’s plans crystalize ever so slightly when he meets Del (Ciara Bravo), a young woman selling Girl Scout cookies to support her upcoming mayoral campaign — you know, in five-plus years, when she’s eligible. The reason she’s eager for political capital is so she can run the town that’s been taking advantage of her: Del’s father (a wonderfully sleazy Dean Winters) and brothers are jerks, and no one else is making up for their shortcomings. What little time she gets to herself is taken right back by her oppressive would-be, should-be caretakers.

Ciara Bravo in “Wayne”

Choice - Circumstances - Pilot - Mission - Florida

The two are bonded by choice, as circumstances (revealed in the pilot) send them on a redemptive mission to Florida. Waiting there are Wayne’s wayward mother, a ’78 Trans Am that’s rightfully his, and everything that Brockton, Mass. is not. Though the show is mostly grounded in Wayne’s perspective, future episodes flash...
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