Looking for Alaska (Series) REVIEW

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Looking for Alaska (Series) REVIEW

Olivia Knerr, Staff Editor

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Spoilers ahead!

The streaming service, Hulu, recently released an eight part series based on the book by John Green, Looking for Alaska. The book was first published in March of 2005. It has been 14 years and within that time making it into a movie was brought up and shut down many times. Eventually, it was decided that Hulu would take the opportunity to transform the book into a series. 

Looking for Alaska is a book told from the perspective of Miles (Pudge) Halter, who is fascinated and memorizes last words of dead people. He goes to a boarding school in search of “the great perhaps”. There he meets Alaska, a young girl with whom he falls in love. In trying to learn about Alaska, Pudge learns more about himself and the great perhaps. 

I first read this book when I was in my sophomore year of high school. My older sister told me to read it when I was old enough to comprehend everything behind it, that’s exactly what I did. It changed my life and became my favorite book of all time. 

The series was released on October 18th, 2019. It was highly anticipated among John Green fans and met and exceeded my expectations. The first episode, Famous Last Words, opens on Pudge (played by Charlie Plummer) throwing a going away party in which no one attends because Pudge doesn’t have friends in Florida. It flips to Alaska (played by Kristine Froseth) at Culver Creek in Alabama with her friend/roommate Marya going to illegally buy alcohol for the start of school. When Miles goes to Culver Creek he gets his nickname, Pudge, by his roommate, The Colonel, for being so skinny. Miles makes a deal with Alaska Young that will change his life.

Episode two, Tell Them I Said Something, is when an expulsion starts the prank war at Culver Creek while trying to search for “the rat”. Episode three and four are about Alaska setting Miles up on a triple and a half date where he ends up in the hospital after getting hit in the head with a basketball and Miles staying at Culver Creek for Thanksgiving. Episode five is about Alaska, Takumi, Colonel and Miles getting revenge on the Weekday Warriors (the rich kids) for ruining Alaska’s Life Library. They write the rich kids essays to Duke and give them laxative so they cannot escort Colonel’s girlfriend into womanhood. 

Episode six is when the Colonel faces expulsion and criminal charges because of his actions unless he tells The Falcon who he did the prank with. Unfortunately this is the episode when Alaska finally makes her move on Pudge but she gets in the driver’s seat, drunk, and gets into a car wreck in which she didn’t even try to avoid. Episode seven and eight follow Alaska’s death, I genuinely believe that they captured her death and the emotions everyone felt in the right way in these episodes. Her funeral, the conversation with her ex, Jake, and one date that may have led Alaska to her death all put this group into a mystery they felt they needed to solve.

Episode eight reveals that the answers to why Alaska left pulled the group apart but Alaska had a prank she’d always wanted to pull at school that helped to put the group back together to execute it perfectly, to memorialize Alaska Young.

I don’t know if I’m biased because this was my favorite book turned to series but I would give this series a 10 out of 10. It put me through all the emotions I felt when I first read the book. Kristine Froseth was a capital choice of casting; she really aced the essence of who and what Alaska Young truly is and represents: a feminist with strong morals and a good heart who got a bad hand dealt to her. The series made it more of Pudge and Alaska’s story as opposed to just Miles’s. I recommend this series and suggest you watch it!

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