New Percy Jackson Series Review: Captures (Most) of Riordan’s Magic
At its core, the recent adaptation of “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” into a television series attempts to bring to life the rich world of Rick Riordan’s beloved books. Where previous cinematic attempts have faltered, this series, with Riordan’s involvement, promised a more faithful rendering of the Percy Jackson universe. The result is a mixed bag, a delight in some aspects and a letdown in others, much like the unpredictable nature of the gods of Olympus themselves.
Firstly, casting younger actors to portray the key characters – Percy, Annabeth, and Grover – feels like the right choice, aligning better with the source material and adding a layer of authenticity to the narrative. Walker Scobell, in particular, shines as Percy, embodying the character’s bravery, vulnerability, and humor with a natural flair. His portrayal brings to life the internal struggles and external challenges of a young demigod in a way that resonates, and the dynamics between the characters, especially the growing bond and camaraderie, are depicted with a finesse that is both heartwarming and exciting to watch.
But where it all falls is with the writing, specifically how episodes are paced. The attempt to cram substantial book details into an eight-episode format leads to a somewhat erratic narrative flow. Early episodes, particularly the pilot, are burdened with expository dialogue, which, while necessary for world-building, sometimes stunts the storytelling. This aspect of the series reflects a teething problem common in adaptations, where the balance between staying true to the source and creating a compelling screen narrative is a tightrope walk.
As for its look, the mythological elements’ portrayal, the creatures’ design, and the overall setting are impressive. The special effects, while occasionally uneven, mostly succeed in bringing the story’s fantastical elements to life. Though not as elaborate as in some other high-budget series, the action sequences are engaging and well-executed, capturing the essence of the young heroes’ journey. It all makes the world of Percy Jackson more immersive and believable.
“Percy Jackson and the Olympians” stands as a noteworthy attempt to translate a popular book series to the screen, where the films missed the mark. It’s a series with heart, humor, and a genuine respect for its source material, even if it occasionally falters in execution.
RATING: 3.5 out of 5.0
Percy Jackson and the Olympians is now streaming on Disney+.