Keep Breathing

Keep Breathing s1





Marsella Evans

TV Series Review

Imagine you are in a remote forest. There is nothing man made as far as the eye can see. Listen as a river runs past you. Now slow your breathing to a steady rhythm.

Liv used to listen to breathing exercises like this to steady herself. Now she is trapped in one, and she must force herself to keep breathing.

Seeing the Forest for the Trees

This big-city lawyer ended up in the middle of nowhere because she didn’t want to face her pregnancy. Now, thanks to a plane crash, she has no choice but to deal with it—along with dozens of other more pressing problems.

Short flashbacks tell her story—and how small moments led to this big, remote forest. And we learn that Liv’s afraid to be a parent—a fear brought on by her own traumatic experiences in a deeply broken family. When she’s come from such a flawed family herself, how can she expect to be a good mother to someone else?

Keep Breathing emphasizes Liv’s emotions, and the show’s beautiful cinematography helps the audience identity with them. By seeing what she sees, we’re better able to feel what she feels. The slow pace of this survival show also gives us time to understand Liv better. Keep Breathing feels more like a drama than a thriller, as Liv tries to stay alive and force herself to keep moving. Many times, the show pauses as the main character has to develop mental resilience. Liv hallucinates in the woods that her loved ones are there, and they comfort and encourage her.

But Keep Breathing comes with some content concerns, too. In lashbacks, we see Liv sleep with a boyfriend, drink and cuss. She also swears a lot in intense situations and through injuries as she struggles to survive.

Episode Reviews

Jul. 28, 2022—S1, Ep1: “Arrivals”

After her original flight is cancelled, Liv convinces some men to take her with them. They quickly encounter problems and end up crashing into the water next to the Canadian wilderness. Liv drags the surviving man onto the shore and tries to keep him alive and find cell service.

The plane hits the water hard and flips so Liv and the two men hang upside down as the water rises around them. The pilot’s leg is stuck, and he drowns underwater while coughing up blood. After struggling to shore, Liv finds a piece of metal in the surviving man’s leg and has to make a tourniquet.

In flashback, Liv plays darts with a man named Danny in a bar where several drinks are shown. She makes out with him, and we see them in shadow in bed together. Danny’s bare back is shown as he kisses her.

The surviving man, named Sam, wakes up in pain after the plane crash. He’s severely bruised and, we’re told, bleeding internally. He stays alive just long enough to tell Liv that he lied about his reason for flying and that no flight plan was logged—which means no hope of rescue. She then finds an ultrasound floating in the water, which starts to reveal her story to the audience.

The s-word is said several times, the f-word is said over five times, and Liv screams it at the woods when she realizes she is stuck.

Jul. 28, 2022—S1, Ep6: “You are Home”

The plotline bounces between three parts of Liv’s life: Her life before the plane crash; her final efforts to survive; and finally, her life after she’s healed from her experience. . Liv faces and comes to terms with her broken relationship with her mother and grieves the end of her father’s life.

Liv is shown falling from a really tall tree. Her shirt rips on a branch, and she hits the ground hard with blood on her back. She screams in pain on the ground (and wears a revealing tank top). She clearly has internal bleeding (we can see the bruises on her stomach) and a severely damaged ankle. Visions of her loved ones help her push through the pain and keep walking, bleeding all over the trees.

When she is back from the woods, the doctor tells her she can be active and that she should do breathing exercises. The doctor also tells her that she will make a good mom. This all upsets her and she yells at the doctor for assuming that she would be a good mom. Claims the doctor doesn’t know if she even wants the kid, and she calls the unborn baby a “thing.”

She then imagines herself at her dad’s bedside as he dies, and they have a deep talk about their relationship. Danny appears in another vision with encouraging things today about her pregnancy, and they discuss what will make her a good parent. In another vision, she confronts her dad about not giving her letters that her mother was writing to her in secret.

Liv comes to terms with her identity and the pain she felt in her family relationships. She then imagines herself having her child and holding it lovingly with Danny.

In the wilderness, Liv jumps into a river. Before she’s rescued, we see a montage of her life to that point, which includes scenes of  drinking and having sex (though nothing critical is shown).

The word a– along with the f-word and s-word are said.

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Marsella Evans 2022 intern
Marsella Evans

Marsella Evans is the Plugged In intern for Summer 2022.

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