Percy Jackson Show: Percy Jackson And The Olympians Review, The Kind Of Easy Family Viewing You Don’t Get From The MCU

Percy Jackson Show: The landscape of YA adaptations is littered with unfulfilled franchises. For every The Hunger Games and Twilight there is an axed Artemis Fowl, Eragon or City of Ember. Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series was off to a promising start, with Home Alone and Harry Potter director Chris Columbus taking the wheel for 2010’s Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, but its follow-up, 2013’s Percy Jackson:

Sea of Monsters, was underwhelming at the box office and to critics, and the franchise came to a sudden halt, despite four additional books being unadapted.

Percy Jackson Show, But all hope is not lost for fans of the teenage demigods story. Disney+ is rebooting the series, tentatively planning on adapting one book a season, and this new adaptation is an encouraging start. The delightful newcomer Walker Scobell takes the role of Perseus “Percy” Jackson, an awkward and unpopular 12-year-old who discovers he is a demigod. We first meet him while he is being bullied at school, but finding some respite in the tales of Greek mythology his mother encourages him to explore.

Percy Jackson Show: Percy Jackson And The Olympians Review

Percy Jackson Show

Percy Jackson Show, He eventually makes a friend in the form of Grover (an equally delightful Aryan Simhadri), who shares his interests in the ancient world. The bond between the two is adorable, with Percy earnestly explaining: “Something changed when I met Grover. We had a lot in common, and not just because we were both at the bottom of the food chain.”

Percy Jackson Show, Still, young Percy has more to face than just school hierarchies. When his powers first unveil themselves, flinging a girl who is attacking his beloved pal Grover into a fountain, he alerts a cavalcade of Greek mythological figures to his presence and is hunted down by Furies and Minotaurs. His mother (Virginia Kull) then has to explain to Percy that his absent father is, in fact, a god, leading to the expertly delivered zinger:

“You fell in love with God? Like as in Jesus?!”. Then it is down to Grover (who is revealed to be a satyr) and teacher Mr Brunner (who, it transpires, is the legendary centaur Chiron) to whisk him away from harm to the problematically named “Camp Half-Blood” where he will spend the summer among others like him.

Percy Jackson Show, Strong performances from our central duo aside, the show has plenty of charm. The visuals of Percy’s native New York and the idyllic summer camp far surpass much of the sludgy CGI nonsense of recent action fare. Jason Mantzoukas is deliciously cast as Dionysus, the god of wine, who has been banned from booze and resentfully sips on a diet cola as he tries to manipulate Percy into fetching him a bottle of 1985 Château Haut-Brion.

While Glynn Turman’s Chiron does at times slip into “magical negro” territory, using his powers to selflessly care for our young white protagonist, Turman has a Shakespearean heft that keeps things dignified.

Percy Jackson Show

Percy Jackson Show, What lets the show down is how familiar it all seems: not only has it already been adapted into a relatively recent film, but the characters fall into neat tropes, and the premise of a sweet underdog who learns he’s actually very special is a tried and tested one. Still, this is undoubtedly an improvement on Percy’s prior screen outings.

Families with access to a Disney+ subscription are likely to have many lovely evenings curling up in front of Percy’s latest incarnation, enjoying quippy one-liners and bloodless PG action – without having to remember the complicated history and links between the platform’s many MCU properties. Anyone who has attempted to explain the rules of a multiverse to a child will glide through breaking down a little Ancient Greek mythology between episodes.

Percy Jackson Show, Whether or not Percy will fulfil his heroic potential – and whether this adaptation will make it all the way through Riordan’s source material – remains to be seen. After the brilliant YA adaptation Lockwood and Co got cancelled after one season and with very little heard about a second season of the star-studded American Born Chinese, this show will be fighting to survive in challenging terrain. But in the two episodes provided for review, at least, we’re off to an encouraging start.

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