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REVIEW: 'Between'

Netflix looks to court young viewers with its new sci-fi/horror original series Between.

The six-episode series stars Jennette McCurdy (iCarly) as a pregnant teen in the small town of Pretty Lake, which is suffering from a mysterious plague that is killing everyone in the town over 22 years old.

The pilot’s opening scene sets a very ominous tone for the series as a young male looks to leave the beleaguered town — which is enclosed in barbwire and patrolled by armed military forces — only to be discovered and fi red at for approaching the gate.

The episode then flashes back a few days before the plague beings to take its toll on the town. At the time, McCurdy’s biggest worry is whether to keep her child or give her away to an unidentified party (the child’s father is also a mystery). Once adults start dropping dead for no identifiable reason — a bloody discharge from the mouth is the only tell-tale sign that the end is near — McCurdy teams with a high school friend who’s a computer hacker to try to better understand the unexplained deaths and to consider whether there are more insidious forces behind the mysterious plague.

Other characters and relationships introduced in the pilot will likely get worked out in future episodes as the town ultimately devolves into chaos include two outlaw high school-age brothers who tangle with a rich classmate and his no-nonsense father, as well as young male prisoner and a female guard who find themselves virtually on their own in a prison.

Between hints at an Under The Dome type of scenario that could turn very fluid in future episodes. Netflix subscribers, however, will not be able to binge view Between as they do other original series on the streaming service since episodes from the Canadian-produced series will roll out on a week-to-week basis. That factor alone could either heighten or dampen viewer enthusiasm for the series.


R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.