“Killing is easy. High school is hard.”
Granted that it’s generally not really a good idea to endorse a series that advertises the idea of high school assassin (especially something that uses the quote seen above), but when it is done as well as Aim High, you sort of have to roll with it. A web series equipped with comedy, stunts, and a little bit of teenage melodrama, Aim High does in a fraction of the time what so many television shows failed to do…entertain.
Jackson Rathbone (Twilight Series) is Nick Greene, a sixteen-year-old junior in high school with typical high school junior issues: term papers, the pending SAT’s, and crushing on rocker chick Amanda Miles (Aimee Teegarden, Friday Night Lights). In most ways Nick is just like any other high school teenager except one: he’s a trained assassin, part of a covert government program codenamed D.E.P.P. (Department of Education Pilot Program). Recruited in seventh grade after winning a fitness competition, Nick is at first seems well adjusted to his current situation. That all begins to change almost immediately; soon the pressure of leading a double life begins to take its toll as he finds himself torn between trying to maintain some semblance of a life and his duty to his country. As if high school wasn’t hard enough, before long Nick’s two worlds collide, and he is forced to come face to face with who he really is.
The story is told in a narration form by Nick in his bedroom; at first I believed that it was your standard breaking-the-fourth-wall technique; however in the final episode you come to find out that he is actually conversing with someone else in the room (to find out how, you’ll just have to watch).
Action-wise, every episode features at least one fight scene, and they are impeccably done, top tier in my opinion. The comedy is spread out well, each member of the cast earning an opportunity to stand in the spotlight. Socially, Aim High features all the themes you would expect to find in a high school environment such as teen pregnancy, bullying, and the desire to fit in, and it’s all done in a light and tasteful way.
Truth be told, I pretty much dig Jackson Rathbone in pretty much everything he does (yes that means that I am a Twihard, don’t judge me), and in this series he continues to excel. He fits so well into his character’s role that you may find yourself wondering if this program could be a real thing. Jackson isn’t the only one that owns his role; Aimee Teegarden is just as great as the punk-rocker chick of Nick’s dreams, and their chemistry together is excellent.
Rounding out the rest of the cast is Greg Germann as Vice Principal Ockenhocker, Nick’s embittered handler, Johnny Pemberton as Marcus Anderson, Nick’s unpopular best friend who is the only civilian who knows his secret, and Rebecca Mader as Ms. Walker, Nick’s extremely sexy physics teacher who he’s convinced has the hots for him.
Normally in my reviews I try to be objective; I try to give the good and the bad. However the only bad thing I can come up with about Aim High is I’m sorry there wasn’t more of it. Unfortunately the series only has six episodes that all together only accumulate up to 57 minutes, but alas that is the nature of web series, they always leave you wanting more (lucky for us both, due to its popularity the second season is in production right now).