Based on a novel of the same name, written by John Green, “Looking for Alaska,” released in October of 2019, is a captivating Hulu mini-series that follows the life of Miles Halter and his urge to seek “The Great Perhaps.”
The show’s protagonist, Miles Halter, is a teenage boy enthralled by the last words of famous people and has a burning desire to seek “The Great Perhaps,” an idea derived from the last words of a poet named Francois Rabelais. This desire leads him to Culver Creek Boarding School in Alabama, which happens to be the same school that his dad went to.
During his first moments there, Miles meets his roommate, Chip “The Colonel” Martin, Chip’s friend Takumi Hikohito, and the mysterious Alaska Young. He immediately develops an innocent crush on Alaska, which the title of the film and novel allude to.
Chip Martin is an eccentric and sympathetic character in the series. He makes the audience feel for him, as he is the only black boy at a boarding school in Alabama that is supposed to be for the white and wealthy. He goes through drama with the Weekday Warriors (the rich kids that get to go home on the weekends), because they think that he is the “rat” that got them in trouble.
While the film is centered around Halter’s life at Culver Creek, there is also a concern about who the “rat” is. All the students are snitching on each other and getting in trouble with “The Eagle,” the principal of the academy.
This is a classic teen film including a big dance, alcohol, cigarettes, truth or dare, pranks, the awkwardness and a rude administrator that no one likes. The film is actually, in my opinion, just like the novel. The actors completely embody the characters that they are playing, and bring them to life.
The important scenes in the show are just like the book, and I am very grateful for that. Many film and TV adaptations of popular novels often miss their mark, but “Looking for Alaska” hit the bullseye.
The accident foreshadowed in the show’s opening scene happens towards the end of the series when all things seem to be going well. The group had just gotten back together after an altercation that splits them apart.
The accident isn’t really clear. Yes, Alaska was killed in a car accident, but was it intentional or an accident? I enjoy the mystery that is Alaska Young and the fact that this series is based on Green’s time at a boarding school in Birmingham.
Overall, this adaptation of “Looking for Alaska” gave me a sense of nostalgia and reminded me of what I love about the book itself and coming-of-age stories. I remember reading the book in high school and being completely awestruck, and watching “Looking for Alaska,” makes me want to read the book over and over again.