The CW, you know, the network everyone forgets is still a thing, just stepped up and bought a teen drama with one of the better concepts we’ve come across in a while. What if we lived in a world where teens had to be kept in quarantine because adults are allergic to them? That is the basic premise behind Sick, a spec title the network just purchased.
Deadline reports that the script, from Trey Hallaway (CSI: New York) and Sean Hood (Conan the Barbarian), is “ a provocative cross between Contagion and The Hunger Games.” Normally you could chalk the Hunger Games reference up to the fact that everyone everywhere is trying to hook their wagon to that particular star in order to sell stuff to teens. In this case, however, it actually sounds like an appropriate comparison.
The story centers on a group of teens that breaks out of their containment and have to head underground and go on the run from the Man. In addition to The Hunger Games, this also sounds quite a bit like Dark Angel, and maybe those of us who mourn the loss of that show have something to look forward to. I also like the teens-as-plague conceit of this setup.
This isn’t the first futuristic kids-in-peril series the CW has toyed with in recent days. Last summer there were rumors that they wanted to adapt Koushun Takami’s ultra-violent dystopian novel, Battle Royale (rumors which were soundly quashed). And last month, the network picked up a show where futuristic hooligan children are sent back to an abandoned version of Earth to see if it can be settled again. That sounds kind of like a sci-fi, teen-centric retelling of the colonization of Australia.
Whatever else the CW has going on, they’re looking to get in on the kids-in-life-or-death-situations market in a big way. This is the kind of thing I would have appreciated as a youngster, stories where kids are the heroes, where they have to rely on their own resourcefulness, and where parents or other adults can’t swoop in at the last minute and save the day. That’s what makes Red Dawn and The Goonies go great. We’ll see what happens with any of these shows.