Is Disney’s decision to launch a series based on the Percy Jackson books from Rick Riordan after the moderately received films a wise one? Based on what I’ve watched thus far they may get the response they were hoping for… from book fans in the least.
One of my kids is an AVID Percy Jackson reader. Having read all the books I leveraged her knowledge when reviewing this series, and her responses have been mixed. Her biggest complaint is they stripped the majority of the humour which made the books so enjoyable. The series keeps a more serious tone leading to a more dramatic outing.
She does, however, like the majority of the changes Rick and the showrunners have made while keeping the core of the story flowing. Keeping spoilers in mind, her biggest complaints have been the humour and some of the elements like a bus blowing up, or a giant bathtub, and few other things she connected with in the books.
One thing we both thought was a neat touch was that the episodes are named after book chapters. If you’ve read the books you know what to expect as this series aligns MUCH closer than the movies ever did.
When things headed in the direction of the book a giant smile spread across her face and when they diverted too far from the book loud NOs were screamed forcing me to hit pause so she could articulate why she was displeased.
Not having read the books myself I’ve enjoyed the series so far. I am a smidge disappointed with performances overall. I was excited to see Walker Scobel in the lead after his great performance in The Adam Project, however, they all came across as flat with barely any emotion, except Ares (played by WWE’s Edge) who was a bit over the top, but a lot of fun. It is a big load for the young cast to carry. Leah Sava Jeffries and Aryan Simhadri do a fine job, but they may maybe too serious based on the source material.
Despite these complaints, there is a lot to cheer for in this show. Monsters, gods, evil people, a more drawn-out story. The show does have a lot of exciting moments strewn throughout which made us both smile, laugh or give that look to each other when something exciting happens.
As I’m yet to dive into the books I won’t break down the differences between the series and them in this review, but hope if a second season is greenlit they inject more comedy and let the actors have more fun than what appeared on the screen.