This piece initially ran on Advocate.com. Read the original here.
Amazon's young adult survival drama The Wilds is bidding farewell, after just two seasons.
The beloved series, which first stole hearts in 2020, has been officially canceled, Deadline reports. It centers on a group of teenage girls stranded on an island, navigating survival as the subjects of a social experiment. Season two added a new group of survivors into the equation — that time, all boys.
The news of the cancelation comes nearly three months after the second season premiered, making it a surprise to many, with cast and crew members “just told about the decision,” according to Deadline.
The show tackled a slew of timely issues that continue to shape Gen Z culture– ie gender roles and toxic masculinity– while also highlighting POC and queer characters like Toni (Erana James) and Shelby (Mia Healey). (The couple quickly became the sapphic love story of 2020 following the show’s release.)
"I felt so lucky to tell that story. It’s not a story of someone coming out or coming to terms with their identity, but more that she fiercely knows who she is and she’s proud of that,” James told The Advocate following the premiere in 2020. “She knows herself. And she’s not going to apologize for it.”
Healey shared with The Advocate earlier this year about what it meant to be part of that love story and to be part of viewers' lives because of that.
“I had no idea that playing this character would open up so many doors for people to have open conversations about their queer experience. The fact that people could see themselves in Shelby and be at peace knowing that they're not alone in this, that has been such an honor for me,” Healey said. “I’m so happy that this character could give that to someone.”
The Wilds was created by Sarah Streicher and developed and produced by Amy Harris, Dylan Clark, and the late and great TV executive Jamie Tarses, making it one of her final projects prior to her passing in 2021.
The series starred Helena Howard, Reign Edwards, Sophia Ali, Jenna Clause, Sarah Pidgeon, Shannon Berry, in addition to James and Healey. In season two, it added Zack Calderon,Tanner Ray Rook, Alex Fitzalan, Aidan Laprete, Charles Alexander, Miles Gutierrez-Riley, Nicholas Coombe and Reed Shannon.