• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 16, 2018
Wild Wild Country Image
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 47 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: An Indian guru's plans to build a 64,000-acre utopia in a small Oregon town in 1981 that eventually escalated into a bio-terror attack in 1984 is the subject of the Duplass brothers-produced documentary series from Chapman and Maclain Way.
  • Genre(s): Documentary
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Reviewed by: Ben Travers
    Mar 16, 2018
    100
    It’s a challenging piece that requires the viewer to acknowledge their own reactions and then question them. In that, Wild Wild Country may be even more vital to a divided nation. It demands you see the other side.
  2. Reviewed by: Nick Allen
    Mar 16, 2018
    90
    After the six-plus hours of Wild Wild Country flies by, you won't want an approach to this story any different or shorter than what the Ways do. ... By handling this story so intelligently and by opening its heart to a very complicated idea of good and evil, Wild Wild Country has a profound, mesmerizing power itself.
  3. Reviewed by: Dan Fienberg
    Jan 25, 2018
    80
    Screened at the Sundance Film Festival in one exhausting, gripping gulp, it's a slice of partially forgotten history in which real life just keeps getting more and more outlandish and implausible. ... Wild Wild Country a worthwhile thought experiment in addition to a yarn that is, as the title promises, doubly wild.
  4. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Mar 16, 2018
    80
    A highly pleasurable new documentary series.
  5. Reviewed by: Katie Rife
    Mar 16, 2018
    75
    Wild Wild Country ends up being a character study, an attempt to suss out whether Bhagwan and Sheela really bought what they were selling to white spiritual seekers, making millions in the process. ... That being said, the filmmakers’ tendency to skim over the more unseemly aspects of a story with many unseemly aspects to it may leave viewers wanting to know more about the wilder aspects of the case.
  6. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Mar 12, 2018
    70
    In an effort to provide both sides of the story, the directors--especially in late, slow-motion-drenched elegiac passages full of uplifting and/or mournful music—buy too much of the pap being sold by the sannyasins. ... As a portrait of militant zeal and religious conflict, Wild Wild Country is a fascinating glimpse at the perils of fanaticism-run-amok and the contentious intersection between faith and freedom.
  7. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Mar 16, 2018
    70
    [Chapman and Maclain Way] haven’t given it much of a shape or a perspective--they go from one mind-blowing event and image to the next, and seem to just adopt the point of view of whoever’s talking at the moment, reinforcing it with correspondingly bright or sad or triumphant music (which becomes increasingly intrusive). Their own attitude, as far as it can be divined, appears to be a credulous sentimentality. But it is a great story, even if you just turn on the camera and let it roll.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 16
  2. Negative: 4 out of 16
  1. Mar 22, 2018
    10
    As documentaries go, Wild Wild Country is aces. A thoroughly detailed and gripping recount of one of the largest, most bizarre cultAs documentaries go, Wild Wild Country is aces. A thoroughly detailed and gripping recount of one of the largest, most bizarre cult communities in the world, settled in a vast American landscape. The cinematography is terrific and the footage and interviews must have taken years to amass. What makes it truly great are the details of the stories that came out of the era all perfectly backed up by the major players and interesting sub-players who were involved. They tell their stories intensely, with uncanny detail, without holding back a single secret. As a story it stands astounding on its own. As it relates to real life, as always, the history rhymes with other megalomaniacal figures and organizations. Expand
  2. Apr 4, 2018
    10
    A remarkable and amazing story. It's interesting to see how hate was met with hate, anger with anger, violence with violence, and the wholeA remarkable and amazing story. It's interesting to see how hate was met with hate, anger with anger, violence with violence, and the whole thing came tumbling down. Antelope residents got their town back, but it wasn't the same anymore.

    Compare this story to the story of Fairfield, Iowa where many of the same kind of emotions and devotion were present, in this case toward Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of Maharishi University of Management that was once Parsons College. The difference was that in Fairfield, the "Ru's" (short for "gurus") as the TM people were called, met hate with love, anger with acceptance, and chose to participate with the original Fairfield residents in creating a better community. As a result, the violence and hatred that was present in the early days in Fairfield has disappeared. The Mayor is a "Ru" who has served nine terms and been re-elected by both non-TMers as well as devoted TM practitioners.

    For whatever reasons, Osho did not culture that quality of love and acceptance among his followers and so Rajneeshpuram became a Christian country club for teenagers rather than a monument to the power of his teachings.

    Seems to me there's a lesson there for all of us. How will we choose to respond to those who criticize us or oppose us?
    Expand
  3. Mar 26, 2018
    9
    The degree to which federal prosecutors stretch our legal system in response to a legitimately effective and oftentimes unexpectedlyThe degree to which federal prosecutors stretch our legal system in response to a legitimately effective and oftentimes unexpectedly compelling religious minority pulls you in both directions. I don't know how I knew nothing of this before.

    Excellent documentary series.
    Expand
  4. Apr 13, 2018
    7
    What I like about this documentary series is that it doesn't take sides and show a lot of people involved, even in crimes. The clash betweenWhat I like about this documentary series is that it doesn't take sides and show a lot of people involved, even in crimes. The clash between cultures is well shown and they let you make your own conclusions Expand
  5. Jul 14, 2018
    7
    The series is longer than it needs to be - 4 episodes could have done it. While it is balanced, it could have used more neutral perspectivesThe series is longer than it needs to be - 4 episodes could have done it. While it is balanced, it could have used more neutral perspectives than just from the main players who were mostly self serving. It did try to show that we as a country then believed in religious freedom as long as it was not some weird foreign religion (aka cult). (We still do, perhaps more so.) It also showed the zeal of law enforcement to go after a frail guru who was not a murderous criminal from all the gathered evidence. Lesson for all of us is if you stray from the narrow path of the mainstream, you are kind of on your own. Expand
  6. Jul 18, 2018
    3
    Honestly, I found this really boring. The documentary seems to assume a lot of knowledge, and it could really have used a narrator to talk youHonestly, I found this really boring. The documentary seems to assume a lot of knowledge, and it could really have used a narrator to talk you through the events/timeline. It just zips from interview to interview and expects you to know what they're talking about. Disappointing. Expand
  7. Mar 21, 2018
    0
    The lowlife, christian(supposedly), scum should sit down and read the US Constitution. These people were not bothering anyone. They shouldThe lowlife, christian(supposedly), scum should sit down and read the US Constitution. These people were not bothering anyone. They should have been left alone. Didn't the same thing happen to the Mormons? They started Utah. It is good to see nothing changed, I am disgusted with these so called americans. Expand

See all 16 User Reviews

Related Articles

  1. The 20 Best New TV Shows of 2018 (So Far)

    The 20 Best New TV Shows of 2018 (So Far) Image
    Published: June 27, 2018
    We rank the best new television series (and miniseries) of 2018 at midyear.
  2. Spring TV Preview: 30 Shows to Look For

    Spring TV Preview: 30 Shows to Look For Image
    Published: March 7, 2018
    Find details on all of the notable TV premieres coming this spring, from returning favorites like The Handmaid's Tale, Westworld, The Americans, and Legion to newcomers such as Trust, Krypton, The Terror, and Barry.