Updated: Jan 21, 2019
Author: Hannah Robbins
On Sept. 27 I had the privilege of attending the “Light as a Feather” premiere party at AwesomenessTV headquarters. “Light as a Feather,” premiering Oct. 12, is a new Hulu and Awesomeness Productions series that follows a group of friends after a Halloween night ritual gone wrong. After hearing the show was adapted from a Wattpad novel, I did not expect much from the show. For those not familiar with Wattpad, it is an online website where anyone can write a novel. As a former fanfiction aficionado and a victim of the movie they made out of the “Kissing Booth,” I didn’t really know what to expect when I entered the screening. That’s why it shocked me so much when I walked out thinking of all the ways I could convince my parents to get Hulu so I could binge the rest of the series.
It’s uncommon for me to get so worked up about a show based on a Wattpad novel There’s a simple answer: “Light as a Feather” can only be described as great. The show chronicles a group of teenage girls in a small town during their senior year.They go to parties, hang out with boys, get in fights with their parents; all pretty normal stuff. However, on Halloween night the girls go to the local cemetery to play some games before a party. The new girl, Violet, suggests that they play “Light as a Feather,” but her version has a twist. The others reluctantly agree. Then, all of a sudden, the girls begin dying. The show makes it hard to guess who dies first, keeping you on the edge of your seat. In addition, the show makes it unclear what role Violet plays in this game of death. As the episodes continue, more information is revealed.
I specifically loved the cinematography, which carries a beautiful and haunting undertone that fits perfectly with the theme of the show. Artful camera sweeps, seamless scene shifts and a variety of angles all work together to create an eerie vibe. It complements the direction, which foreshadows much of the show through symbols. These symbols range anywhere from a motif of flying crows to wordless revelations about characters, to even a well-placed, severed arm. They conveyed a sense of unease throughout the entire show that everyone in the screening room felt.
These expertly shot symbols conveyed a lot of the nuance of the show without using too much clunky dialogue. As a matter of fact, the show contained no awkward dialogue at all. The script portrayed teen conversation more correctly than any of the other teen shows know of. Perhaps this comes from the fact that a teen authored the novel, or perhaps they just hired exceptionally great writers, but the show curbed a lot of the awkward, abbreviation filled conversation that adults in the movie business seem to think teens find relatable.
Actors Peyton List, Liana Liberato, Ajiona Alexus, Haley Ramm, Brianne Tju, Dylan Sprayberry and Jordan Rodrigues all had compelling performances that amplified the cinematography, direction and script. List proved fully capable of breaking out of her role on the Disney show “Jessie” for which she is most recognized. I found her performance extremely realistic and the most emotionally captivating. She portrayed the different layers of her character (ruthless popular girl, heartbroken teen, scared kid) extremely clearly. Although I thought that all characters played their parts very well, another standout was the chemistry between love interests, specifically between Liberato’s and Sprayberry’s characters. Rodrigues, best known in the U.S. for his role in Ladybird, had the least amount of screen time of all the characters. However, the first two episodes set up such an interesting plot line for his character that I am excited to see how it plays out.
I think that I made it pretty clear that “Light as a Feather” is better than the average Wattpad adaptation. With its an evolved plot, talented actors, intelligent dialogue and beautiful attention to directional detail, it manages to hold on to many of the things that make a story from Wattpad unique.
However, I found the diversity shaped up as the best thing carried from the open-minded, youth-centered, culture of Wattpad. The platform mostly has young users, and this group brings a fresh perspective to the ordinarily undiverse world of literature. “Light as a Feather” follows this trend. The show is very diverse, but not for the sake of adding diversity. No character’s main plotline is their race or sexuality. The show weaves a refreshing breath of real life into its script. It served as just another way that the show felt like an authentic depiction of teenagehood in the 21st century.
The best part about this show was that it incorporated all the assets mentioned above while still remaining a great horror show. The show had everything you would expect: jump scares, twists, eerie foreshadowing and nail-biting cliffhangers at the end of each episode. My heart beat fast as I left the screening room and entered the party, I could feel the adrenaline in my veins. At the party, which contained as much attention to detail as the show did with card readers, fog machines, levitation stations and tasteful Halloween decorations, I saw how proud everyone was. The actors ran around happily, while the producers laughed and thanked everyone for their support. I could see how much love went into the production of this show, and that made the finished product even more beautiful.
This Oct. 12, I entreat you to carve out some time to watch “Light as a Feather.” If you go in with more of an open mind than I did, I promise that you will not be disappointed. The show is a good scary time, perfect for any spooky sleepover, Halloween marathon or cozy October night.
Our staffer, Hannah Robbins at the "Light as a Feather" premiere. Photo Courtesy of Hannah Robbins//Pressing the Future