Hulu released its new original mini-series based off of the John Green novel of the same name, “Looking for Alaska,” on Friday. The show was created by Josh Schwartz, known for being a co-creator and executive producer on “Gossip Girl” and “Runaways,” and the adaptation remains faithful to its source material.
The story follows Miles Halter (Charlie Plummer), a teen obsessed with the last words of famous people, who leaves Florida to attend his father’s alma mater, Culver Creek Academy, in Alabama. He immediately befriends his roommate Chip (Denny Love), known as The Colonel, and a cool and mysterious girl named Alaska (Kristine Froseth), who Miles develops feelings for. Despite having a boyfriend, this subtle romance that pervades the show is one of the central plot elements to the story. Aside from this, other important plot elements are the feud between Miles’ group of friends and the rich kids of the school and a car crash that each episode periodically alludes to but isn’t revealed until the very end.
In the book, time tends to skip around and it can be a bit difficult to follow the story. Even though there is a lot of material that wasn’t originally in the book, the show does a great job of creating scenes that would make sense and bridge the gap between spaces of time within the world of the book.
Hulu’s “Looking for Alaska” has a great cast that fits each and every character pretty well, even though there are moments where the acting may seem exaggerated or even cringy. Then again, the show is a teen drama and likely directed towards an audience that is in the younger end of their teenage years. The writing of the characters and their dialogue mirrors that of the book which helps accurately convey character and plot development. From a few scenes, viewers can tell where exactly characters fall in line in the story and what the character’s relationships are with one another as a result of straightforward writing.
The show’s score, by Siddhartha Khosla (“This Is Us”), helps transport viewers back to 2006 with its soundtrack that features lots of radio favorites. Songs like Gorillaz’s “Feel Good Inc.” and The White Stripes’ “Blue Orchid” help bring back the nostalgia.
Some of the characters can be insufferable because, simply put, they’re high school students. Sometimes their portrayal can be exaggerated or annoying because as young teens searching for meaning in their lives, they try to act highly-intellectual and more mature than they really are, which is probably something we can all relate to since we were all young, confused teens at some point.
For fans of the original book, Hulu’s “Looking for Alaska” is a worthy adaptation that brings back the same tragic story that we all fell in love with and had our hearts broken by when we read it for the first time. Each episode clocks in closer to an hour so it may be a long, but worthwhile, watch.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Thumbnail photo courtesy of @alaskaonhulu Instagram
Brandon Barzola is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.