Summary: Two teenagers from very different backgrounds find themselves burdened and awakened to newly acquired superpowers while falling in love (I mean that’s up in the air lol).
I saw a promo for this show on Facebook or something. I’ve heard of Cloak and Dagger before, but I knew nothing about them because they’re kind of secondary or even tertiary characters in the Marvel universe. So, with all the popular ones, I just never really knew about them. But the promo was cool, and I was like “hey it’s that girl from that Disney show”, that my younger brother loved to watch and would get excited when I would sit and watch it with him Kickin’ It or something like that. Some time went by because the promo was like a year in advance. Soooo then my friend and I watched Marvel’s Runaways on Hulu which I also loved, and then I decided to read the Runaways comics and they had a run in with Cloak and Dagger and I was like “Oh wow!” So, then I remembered the show. Then I started seeing way more promos, especially on Instagram and I was getting hype, the promos all looked so good! Then the show premiered, and I was hooked from the first five minutes.
I’ve been trying to do this review for so long but for some reason, I kept putting it off. Season two has started and now I really needed to get this out! Plus, I just rewatched season 1 so I am reinvigorated!
There will be spoilers ahead. You have been warned.
Cast and Character.
Olivia Holt as Tandy Bowen / Dagger. She is a teenager and street thief. Tandy is connected to Ty through a shared childhood tragedy and she can emit light daggers. She also can see people’s hopes and later learns to steal them to give her some kind of high. Tandy is interesting because her character is very cynical and almost world-weary due to the way the death of her father tore her family apart. She lives in an abandoned church and makes her way by stealing from rich kids. She worked alongside Liam who clearly was in love with her and they did their thing for a while. I think it’s funny that Tandy is so pessimistic, but her powers allow her to see people’s hopes and the best in them (outside of Scarborough). I love that kind of juxtaposition of her character and personality. I don’t think she’s hard to like, I just think she’s a bit hard to get a grasp on because she’s so guarded. I like Olivia Holt in the role, I think she manages to make Tandy likable, perhaps if it wasn’t her, I wouldn’t like her. At least not this version of her. I like how smart she is and that she thinks quick on her feet and while she and Ty work best together, she does know how to get things done on her own. She has a hard time trusting people and tends to run away from her problems, but she grows through the show by learning how to face her problems head on. Tandy seems to have an addictive personality shown by how quickly she reverts to feeling numb through drugs. She’s like a viper. She curls in on herself but has no problem lunging out to attack you if need be. Olivia Holt is good here. She does do this thing where she’s like breathless in between each line of dialogue, she inhales really hard. Just me who noticed? Otherwise, I do think she’s the better actor out of the two but she’s also more experienced. I like her facial expressions and I can’t wait to see her not be so hopeless in season two.
Aubrey Joseph as Tyrone Johnson / Cloak. He is my favorite character in the show. He is connected to Tandy through their shared childhood tragedy. He can teleport, later he develops the ability to engulf others in darkness and transport them to the Dark force dimension. That happens in the last episode and it’s AWESOME! I totally freaked out because I’d been waiting for him to use that power. I guess he really had to get over his personal fears of the man who killed his brother and ruined his life before he could tap into that. He is also able to witness people’s fears as he’s lived in a world of fear since his brother’s death. I love that he’s able to see that he’s not the only one who is afraid. When we first meet him, he’s kind of coasting through his life. He’s very quiet, almost like he’s shy but he has a sense of justice. When he realizes that he was right as a child about the man who killed his brother, he makes it his mission to bring that guy down. He really starts to come out of his shell as his mission continues, but also as he hangs around Tandy and spends time with Evita. I like Ty’s growth because his journey is very similar to a lot of black people. Fear because of what they witnessed or of what happened to them. He deals with a lot of anger, anger he probably would never have let out before this moment and I love watching his idea of justice and how he feels even worse once he gets what he wants. I do believe Aubrey Joseph is a newcomer, but I think he does very well in the show. He’s a natural and I think he’s very likable in the role, though I think Ty would be likable regardless. I think his eyes are very expressive, which is good because a lot of Ty’s emotional moments are through his eyes. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for his character!
Supporting Characters. Obviously, we have our supporting “main characters” like their parents who I’ll kind of mention but not going into super detail about. I just need to mention them, as well as Evita who isn’t a regular but reoccurring.
Gloria Reuben as Adina Johnson. Tyrone’s mother and Roxxon employee who invests heavily in making sure her son has a good life. Ty’s mother spends a lot of the time emotional as she is constantly thinking of the men in her life, especially Tyrone. She’s already lost one son and her biggest fear is losing Tyrone as well. I’ve only seen her in Mr. Robot, but she is so good with her emotional scenes. Every time she talks to Tyrone, I just feel all her emotions.
Miles Mussenden as Otis Johnson. Tyrone’s working-class father who tries to provide for his family and is also an associate of the Wild Red Hawks. He’s like any good father, worried for his black son and wanting him to own up to his problems. He takes Tyrone to his old stomping grounds, so he can see where he came from, while also showing him where Billy might have been going if he wasn’t killed. He’s also the reason why Ty found his cloak. I like his dad, he’s trying to be a good man and he admires his wife for pulling them out of where they were and her strength. He talks about it a lot. It’s nice to see that.
Andrea Roth as Melissa Bowen. Tandy’s drug and alcohol-addicted yet optimistic mother. She’s going through a lot, I mean a lot, she still wants to get justice for her husband, but she is still unable to really push past her issues with drugs and alcohol. She meets this man who seems to be a good man, he’s helpful. She does work on getting better later and it’s clear that she wants Tandy to come home but on her own terms. She has some great emotional moments and you really kind of pity her in the first few episodes.
D. Evermore as Connors. An intimidating scar-faced detective of the New Orleans Police Department’s vice squad with a secret. Legit, Billy’s death was an accident and I don’t condone him being so jumpy that an explosion caused him to shoot Billy, but the real problem comes when he uses his Uncle’s position and his own in the police force to cover it up. Not to mention, he gets away with this murder, involuntary or not, and then goes on to do things that make him a dirty cop. I mean really? Besides, the way he treats Tyrone later… oooo boy. I wonder if we’ll see more of him later.
Carl Lundstedt as Liam Walsh. Tandy’s partner in crime and ex-boyfriend. I like Liam and I don’t think he’ll return, at least not as a regular. This boy looooooves Tandy. No matter what she may think, he loves her. He does anything he can for her. He gets into some trouble and Tandy for a long time doesn’t come through for him. It’s argued that she didn’t care, at least not enough for it outweigh her own issues. But later, she does come through and he basically repays the favor by stealing all the money she acquired. It was kind of funny. You feel bad for him because you know he’s in love with her and it’s hard to say if she feels the same. He was a very likable character though.
Emma Lahana as Brigid O’Reilly. A detective from Harlem with hardened New York sensibilities who believes no one is above the law, including other cops. She works hard to figure out what happened with Tandy in her encounter with the rich kid, but when that’s pushed under the rug, she meets Tyrone and makes it her mission to help him receive justice for his brother. She’s cool and I like how she manages to understand both Tyrone and Tandy and doesn’t judge them for what they want to do. Besides, she’s from New York, she knows Misty Knight and I’m sure she knows all about The Avengers and is hardly phased by anything she sees. I like her. I’m interested to see how things go with her in season 2.
Noëlle Renée Bercy as Evita Fusilier. A friend and love interest of Tyrone’s. Bercy, who is from New Orleans, was familiar with the voodoo culture of the city, and was able to speak to people regarding it for her part. I quite like Evita. It was a little weird at first because she did seem to pop out of nowhere at certain times and she came off a little pushy at first. However, when she and Tyrone started to really get close, I was like “Aww, I like this” and I do. I just hope that they don’t do something to her and their relationship to make Tyrone and Tandy get together. I just hope that Evita doesn’t die or become a crazy person… or something stupid. I like how she cares about Ty and she understands him and introduces him to things that help him understand himself on a deeper level. I also like that she’s smart and has her own thing going on. I like her! Don’t do anything crazy to her now!
Character Chemistry. Tandy and Ty have their first meeting in the first episode, but they don’t really come together again until episode four. The end of a powerful episode three ended with Tyrone going to Tandy’s church and then we get to finally see them talk and interact with each other. I don’t think I have ever seen such great on-screen chemistry in a long time. You have shows that want to force people together that don’t have any chemistry (looking at you Game of Thrones, Pretty Little Liars. Sorry not sorry.) and then you have shows where the characters have no romantic link (at least not yet) and have chemistry that pops off the charts. In the comics, Tandy and Tyrone have many relationships depending on the writer. Mostly it’s one where they depend on each other regardless if it’s a brother/sister or romantic one. Personally, I prefer the romantic relationship because it makes it less weird lol, but I love the idea of making them become really trusting friends. Olivia Holt and Aubrey Joseph just light up together on-screen. It’s amazing. It really shows in later episodes when they’re really spending time together. I also think Aubrey Joseph and Noelle Renee Bercy (Evita) also have great chemistry, which makes sense as they are dating, and I like them together actually. It was a little cringe at first lol, but it grew on me and they’re sweet. Olivia Holt and Carl Lundstedt also have good chemistry in their scenes.
Slow Burn. I love things that are slow burn because it takes its time to get to such big moments, which makes the payoff more satisfying. Yeah, it can be slow sometimes, but I think it worked in this show’s favor because we learned a lot about both Tyrone and Tandy that I feel like I know them intimately. Almost. I love how it took so long for the two of them really have the chance to have a real conversation because life doesn’t work that way. People don’t meet, have a magical reaction to each other and then put their lives on hold to find and talk to each other. Life moves on. I liked that the show wanted to make sure we as the audience knew and understood Tandy and Ty on their own before pushing them together. Evita and her auntie are integral to the voodoo and spiritual part of the show as Ty and Tandy are part of something bigger.
Storytelling Aspect. I loved the way the show told their story. In all the promos, they always had them doing things in their life at the same time through a split screen. They do things like that a lot in the show without the split screen. We see them in their separate lives and sometimes the lighting is different, sometimes the music is different depending on who we were spending time with. I loved those little details.
Strong story. Of course, with it being an origin story, we must have a lot of set up for things and while the “villains/Roxxon/Connors” operate in the shadows most of the time, the main villain, I thought was Tandy and Tyrone themselves and being slaves to their feelings of revenge for what happened to his brother and her father. It was a season about facing your own demons more than a physical villain. I like it when shows or even books/films do that. It makes the journey more personal. This goes hand in hand with episode 9 “Back Breaker” where Father Delgado gives a nice monologue about heroes and their journey. It was to be a backdrop for what was going on with Tyrone, Tandy and O’Reilly as they all fall from “hero” status to a darker place. Such a great episode. It’s moments like that that really stand out. Also, in episode 3 “Stained Glass” which is my favorite episode of the season, we see Tandy in a spiritual vision watch Ty, get his revenge but he never is victorious, something always happened. We see Ty watch Tandy run away from her fears and get stuck each time. They help each other in these visions and it was so powerful. I watched that episode three times in a row because Freeform played in three times in a row that night lol. But while they had their bigger reasons, the smaller ones, I thought, were much more powerful.
Steeped in New Orleans History. Being honest, I don’t know a lot about New Orleans history and the show wasn’t a crash course in it either, but I think it was cool how they used the history and connection of voodoo. It’s not the way it’s normally shows like this evil kind of thing, but something that’s important to the spirituality of black people. Evita and her auntie are integral to the voodoo and spiritual part of the show as Ty and Tandy are part of something bigger. Not to mention, how Ty found out about the cloak, and the group his father used to be part of which is how he found the cloak in the first place. I hope we continue to see more about New Orleans and that they continue to make it be its own character, the same way some of the Marvel movies make New York its own character. That’s important.
The Cloak and The Daggers.
So, in this promo picture, we get to see Tandy’s daggers and something Ty is using as a cloak. It looks like a sheet which is what he has when we first see him use his powers, but it could also be the hoodie. Now in the comics, his cloak has a very specific look to it. I’ve seen it in a few different ways but the most common way I’ve seen it is this picture below.
Very kind of textured looking, with the black lines on a long purple cloak and a very distinct hood. It is exciting is when he gets the cloak. I wondered how they were going to incorporate that very particular look without it looking cheesy and too comic booky, but I thought they managed to do a really good job. Ty’s cloak in the show looked awesome and I loved how they managed to bring it into the show by having it be tied to a New Orleans’ tradition and belong to his older brother the same way the hoodie he wore as a kid also belonged to his older brother.
Also, the way it moved whenever he used it was amazing. Good job show! *round of applause* However, before he gets the cloak, he would accidentally teleport using other things that were black and flowy. The first time he teleported it was with the sheet from his bed, there was also a black curtain, some black tarp… and it was cool each time. I loved that they had smoke be the way of which he would appear and disappear. I’m glad it wasn’t just the cloak that made him teleport but a way for him to control it or to use to make it easier to concentrate. He does end up losing the cloak in the finale, so I hope he makes another one because that thing is iconic and awesome.
As for Tandy, she doesn’t have a costume, at least not yet, I’m curious to see what they’ll use for her white jumpsuit down the line. It might be interesting if she takes ballet up again (according to the promo for season two she does! Look at me predicting stuff before it happens lol) and makes her suit from a leotard or something. I don’t want them to make it like the classic Dagger suit with the major cutouts because she’s 16 lol, make it more like the animated version.
It would just make more sense and be more realistic. I’m sure they’ll find some way to make her first suit be something that makes sense. Anyways, about her daggers, they seemed to appear whenever she needed help, like when that rich boy tried to attack her, and she stabbed him unknowingly of course. Later, she can control it better after she saves herself after she tried to drown herself. After that she was able to summon them more often. It wasn’t until they got stuck in the mind of Ivan Hess and she stayed behind that she got good at throwing them (Ty was also pretty good at teleporting at this point). I loved how they looked like pure light and energy and that they fit perfectly in her hand and of course were super sharp. It’s interesting that her power is active while Ty’s is passive (until we see the one he develops later which I spazzed out when he got to use it). Her daggers looked real and not just fake things she was supposed to use.
Powerful Dialogue. I really noticed this the second time watching it. I noticed it before and thought it was great but rewatching, I often would go “That’s so good”. In Tyrone and Tandy’s first conversation, they talk about their powers, their lives and it turns into a conversation about privilege. After she mentions she’s thought about killing herself, he says “it can’t be that bad”. Now, I know that conversations about suicide should not be taken lightly in any situation, but I don’t think this conversation, with Tyrone said, was meant seriously. At least not in the way I saw people on Tumblr talking about it. But anyway, she asks him where he lives, what his family is like because she’s alluding to the fact that he has it good because he lives in a nice house, goes to a prep school and has both of his parents in his life. He needs to “check his privilege” before he starts judging her. He then retorts what it’s like to be a black boy in America. Even though he lives in a nice place now, he spent most of his childhood in the hood. He can’t walk down the street and not worry that someone thinks he’s a threat, or he can’t just walk around with his hood over his head (even in the promos, he walked with his hood up, and when he came past police, he lowered it). Tandy then retorts that she’s had to steal everything she has, and he says, “because you can!” It was such a great moment. I totally get Tandy. I’m not saying that she hasn’t had it hard, she has. However, she can get away with the things she’s gotten away with because of her skin color. I mean, that girl is smart and she’s able to get around some obstacles that if she was a person of color, she probably wouldn’t have been able to. She can do things that Ty couldn’t get away with doing. Just by walking into a store, Ty would be considered a threat and probably watched throughout the store. It shows a lot of their pain and their roles in society no matter where they are in the social classes. I thought it was a great piece of dialogue. Also, the scene with Tyrone and Duane in episode 6 “Funhouse Mirrors” where they talk about justice. Then a great scene between Tyrone and his mom in “Ghost Stories”, episode 8 about her fear when it comes to her son. Ugh, I teared up. Also, in “Lotus Eaters”, Tyrone has some great lines when he’s trying to get through to Tandy… listen, the dialogue is good. Sometimes it can be cheesy, but I think most times it’s good when they’re talking about real life stuff.
Future Possibilities. There are a lot of directions this show could go in and I’m excited to see what they’re going to do. Cloak and Dagger have a lot of stories to pull from, and one of them I hope is a crossover with The Runaways. I feel like Ty and Alex would be friends in this moment in their lives (they both need some friends honestly). I know they can’t really crossover with Spider-Man/Peter Parker since he’s in the big leagues in the movies, but it’d be cool to maybe spin it and throw in Miles Morales. That would diversify the show even more and put into place that he exists but make him younger since he started out with his powers at like 12 (maybe not 12) but you get the idea. There’s also the whole thing with the X-men (which since the Disney/Fox merger, not sure what that means for that show The Gifted) where they (and by they, I mean Tandy) wondered if they were mutants, there are ways around that lol and then the whole thing with Mr. Negative…. I just hope we don’t get watered down plots since the first season was so strong in the storytelling aspect. So many options! OH, before I forget, Tandy and Ty technically meet because they ran away from home and got involved with Roxxon who experimented on them with drugs… they become very against drugs because of that… curious to see what happens in the future with them and Roxxon. I don’t think that fight is over.
Shaky Camera. A big pet peeve I have while watching movies and TV shows is the shaky camera. It’s annoying when something emotional is happening on-screen and the camera isn’t still, or if there’s action and the camera is shaking like someone is running behind the actor with a camera attached to their chest. It should be steady. In some instances, it can work to show the intensity of a moment but when it’s ALL THE TIME that’s a problem. It was literally all the time in the show to the point where I would always notice it and while the show itself is basically a masterpiece, the technicality of it was annoying. The only time there should have been shaky cam (preferably never) could have been in the finale and in episode three. That’s it. NO SHAKY CAM NEXT SEASON PLEASE! It’s not cute.
Teenagers So Dramatic. Overall, I like both Tandy and Tyrone but they’re teenagers so there are moments where I’m like “y’all need to sit down somewhere”. Sometimes Tyrone gets smart with his parents and I’m just surprised at their reactions because if it was me, I’d be ready to hit him upside his head like ‘who are you talking too?’ While I rewatched, being that he lives with his parents, Tyrone answers to them, (whereas Tandy only answers to herself), he reacts in the way a teenager would. He keeps secrets, he lies (like with the bolt cutters), he has his outbursts. He told his mom “enough!” he got smart with his dad, I was like boooyyy. I kind of give him a pass because he’s a teenager but I wish the parents stood firm more. They did later as things got more intense, but I hope moving forward, if he shows back up, they’re more involved and they don’t allow him to just do his own thing. I mean, he just be out and about and I’m like “I know he can teleport, but do they know he’s not home??” lol. I hope we get to see more of them because Gloria Reuben is so good as his mom.
Slow Pacing. So, I mentioned the slow burn aspect which I liked, but I do think the show has an issue with pacing. Sometimes, it lingers on things for too long when it needs to keep it moving. It’s like transitions have a hard time transitioning. I think all of Marvel’s shows has this problem (especially Daredevil, my goodness lol). I think this is most prevalent in the first few episodes, while I loved episode 3, it was almost jarring whenever we switched back and forth between the two. As Tyrone and Tandy only met that one time at the party and jump started their powers, they didn’t really meet again so the show would bounce back and forth between their stories. I liked it because we could see their lives apart, but it also made progress feel slow.
Overall, I adore this show. This is my favorite Marvel show. It just feels so raw and genuine and it’s not trying to get you to the superhero stuff so quickly but for you to feel these characters and understand them. I think that’s what’s important when you’re making an origin story. I love Tyrone and Tandy as people, they’re so layered and interesting and Olivia Holt and Aubrey Joseph do such a great job at maintaining who their characters are throughout the show, while showing us their fall from grace at some points in the show. They also have fantastic chemistry with each other. The show rides on them working. The supporting characters and cast are also all very good in their roles, no matter how small. The dialogue has been handled very well, with some moments and monologues standing out more than others. There are political messages there but they’re not overwhelming. The slow burn of the show, while the pacing isn’t great, allows for the characters to grow. The use of their powers is handled extremely well, I think they have translated Cloak and Dagger’s abilities that they look realistic. I mostly dislike the shaky camera. It’s like in a constant state of shock which I hope it stops that in season two. Of course, they’re teenagers but sometimes it’s like “y’all are children, parents tell your kids to shut up!” lol plus, I hope the parents are more involved. I also hope the pacing of the show improves in season two. Listen, I think this show is great. I can’t wait to see what they continue to do with these characters. I truly hope we see a lot of power and character growth and that we start tapping into some comic reserves of story lines and villains. I like the contained feel and I hope it doesn’t lose that because that’s what makes it so great. It’s intimate and it works.
Rating: 4.8 out 5 stars.
Have you watched Cloak and Dagger Season 1? If not, what’s wrong with you!? Give it a try, especially if you’ve watched Marvel’s Runaways. Let me know your thoughts below if you have watched it, I would love to hear other people’s thoughts.
Summary: A disbanded group of superheroes reunites after their adoptive father, who trained them to save the world, dies.
READ the graphic novel. Your local library probably has it. If you have access to Hoopla Digital then it’s free through your library. It’s really good and funny. Illustration is a little odd but it grew on me. That is all.
Cast and Characters. So, we have our main six characters with some minor main characters throughout the show. I don’t think there’s really anyone I dislike dislike. In the comic, I really only liked Five. But Five and Klaus are my favorites in the show but the others I actually like as well.
Tom Hopper as Luther Hargreeves / Number One. So, we meet Luther, he’s living on the moon for reasons we find out later. He’s lived there for four years as a mission from his father. He would be considered “the good son” as he’s the only one who did not leave the team nor moved out of their house. During a mission he was severely injured and Reginald saved him with science. I won’t go into it further because it’s a nice reveal. Luther is a bit naive in that he hasn’t lived in the real world so he doesn’t really know how to handle certain things. He’s supposed to be the leader and he really tries to act like one, but he is really self-conscious about not only his appearance but I think of his skills as a leader. He’s “number one” which is something he says often but he doesn’t always act like one. I think that’s from a general thing of not really knowing his family anymore or knowing how to handle this world he was never really part of. For a while, it bugged me because I knew the actor looked familiar, I figured it out though, he was in Game of Thrones as Sam Tarly’s younger brother. He’s fine in the role. I mean, he’s tall and broad and a boy scout ultimately. He kind of reminds me someone, or like he was trying to channel Chris Evans as Captain America or something… but he’s fine. He had nice chemistry with the other actors.
David Castañeda as Diego Hargreeves / Number Two. He’s the one I probably like the least (both in the show and the comic, especially the comic). He’s a rebellious and he can curve the trajectory of anything he throws, his weapon of choice is knives. He’s the typical “angry one” of the family. The one who holds the grudges, who is the loudest when he doesn’t agree with something, and the one who always runs off to be a vigilante. He’s almost like an unlikable Raphael (TMNT). He did have a nice relationship with their mom which was probably the heart of his character, mom and Patch but things happen lol. I do like that he’s pretty much down for anything though, if it has something that allows him to throw his knives or bust through doors… he’s down. I recognized the actor from Switched at Birth and I wish he had a bit more charisma in general. He’s also fine in the role and some of the emotional moments are probably his best acting but I think he’s the weakest actor out of the main characters.
Emmy Raver-Lampman as Allison Hargreeves / Number Three. She’s from Hamilton! It was driving me crazy because I knew I knew her. She also reminds me of Kylie Bunbury. She has the ability to manipulate reality by lying with the phrase “I heard a rumor…”. Now that she’s an adult, she doesn’t use her power much anymore because she’s used it in situations that had consequences. She is also an actress. Allison is determined and her relationship she tries to save and foster with Vanya, I thought was a really strong part of the show. She was the only girl on the team and along with Vanya, the only sisters. She feels connected to Vanya and really tries to strengthen their relationship and in some instances, I think she succeeds. I like Allison. I like that she speaks her mind and doesn’t back down just because she’s outnumbered by her brothers. I do wish she had a bit more character though and maybe in the second season we’ll see her be fleshed out a bit more. I like Emmy Raver-Lampman. She was also fine in her role, I liked her clothes, her energy was always good and I thought she stood out among the guys. I think the last two episodes were her strongest.
Robert Sheehan as Klaus Hargreeves / Number Four. Definitely one of my favorite characters. He’s flamboyant and just lives his best life. However, he is a drug addict which dulls his ability to communicate with the dead. He’s afraid of his powers so he drinks and does drugs to make it stop. However, there is one ghost who is always around no matter what. I quite like their relationship but I don’t want to spoil it. Klaus does his own thing but it’s clear he also likes to tag along with his siblings because whenever they’re going, he wants to be with them. Now at first it might have been because he wanted to get money to pay for drugs but as the show goes on, I think it’s because he wants to be included. He even says at one point “I’m the one person in that house who no one would notice is missing” which is true and a shame. He is the heart of the show and I really loved him. I’ve seen Robert Sheehan in one movie I think but he’s so good in this role. I liked Klaus enough in the comic but I LOVE him in the show and that’s a tribute to Robert Sheehan and what he did with this character. His quirks, his reactions to things and just the energy he had. I can’t wait to see more of him.
Aidan Gallagher as Number Five / The Boy. Now HE’S my favorite. I liked him the most in the comic and I love him in the show. He has the ability to jump through space and time. He is the catalyst for the plot of the show as his appearance kicks everything off. He traveled to the future and ended up in a post-apocalyptic world and got stuck. He managed to survive for years on his own before doing lots of things and then returning. We learn a LOT about him so I can’t give anything away. He’s soooo interesting and entertaining. This kid is so good in this role as he is playing a 58-year-old man in a 13-year old’s body. His mannerisms and facial expressions, even the way he talks just works so well for him. I liked him a lot in the comic, he was the one who made me laugh the most because it’s so crazy but I liked him even more in the show. He’s condescending, really smart and just does things because he’s the only one who gets shit done. Sure, it doesn’t always work out but at least he’ll do it and not sit on his hands talking about it forever. I think Aidan Gallagher does a great job! Like I said, the way he moves, plus the way he uses his powers is super cool. I just liked his character. I hope we continue to see more of him and that they don’t age him up because I’m not interested in that.
Ellen Page as Vanya Hargreeves / Number Seven. She is a meek and insecure violinist with no supernatural abilities which has alienated her a bit from her siblings. Vanya is around a lot when the siblings get together but more often, she is by herself or with the guy she meets. I don’t dislike Vanya but she is super annoying because she’s dumb. Like, I get that they all have their issues since their dad was pretty abusive in ways but be smart girl. Anyway, her and Allison have a lot of great scenes and I think Ellen Page has great chemistry with Emmy Raver-Lampman.
Mary J. Blige as Cha-Cha. She is part of a duo of ruthless assassins. She is the more brutal of the two it seems and one of the best in her field. She’s there to do her job and follow protocol because that’s what she’s supposed to do. We do see some interesting growth from her though. MJB is fine overall. Some of the action stuff is pretty cool. I really loved her suit.
Cameron Britton as Hazel. He is Cha-Cha’s partner and the milder of the two. He seems to be losing interest more and more in his job and he’s pretty likable. He and Cha-Cha both. He has a nice little side story line as well. I’m not sure how invested I was in it, but I thought it was cute. I like this guy, he has likability about him.
John Magaro as Leonard Peabody. He’s learning violin from Vanya and without spoiling anything, he is kind of important to Vanya’s storyline. He’s annoying though and I did not like him. Also, his voice is super annoying but I guess he’s fine.
Jordan Claire Robbins as Grace. She is their mom for all intents and purposes. She’s really sweet and very attentive to their child. I think she’s very likable and her relationship with everyone is really nice, especially the one she has with Diego. Sometimes her smile is a little creepy though lol. Jordan Claire Robbins is good in the role.
Adam Godley as Pogo. A chimpanzee and Reginald’s closest assistant. He’s like an old sage who knows a lot of Reginald’s secrets and slowly reveals things to the kids. I see why people have mixed reactions to him but I think he thought what he was doing was right. The CGI on him is very good and Adam Godley has a great voice for the role.
Colm Feore as Sir Reginald Hargreeves. The Umbrella Academy’s adoptive father. He manages to get seven of the 43 kids who were born on the same day and he raises them to be superheroes. He was very distant from them though and they all pretty much hate him, though I think they also secretly love him because he’s the only father they knew. Anyway, the flashback moments we have of him are so interesting and we don’t know what his real deal is. He does have a great scene later in the series and I wonder how he felt for his children. How did he feel when Five never returned? He did erect a giant portrait of him. He erected a statue after Ben’s (Number 6) death so I wonder his true feelings. I didn’t realize Colm Feore was in many things I’ve seen but he’s good here and the pompous like voice he puts on fits this role.
Use of Powers. Throughout the show the only person whose powers we really get to see on a regular basis is Five’s since he has his own thing going on. He seems to have the most use for his. I mean, Diego has this whole vigilante thing going on but his knife throwing power (skills really) are more like cool than something I would be like “oh yeah his power is dope”. Klaus has his thing but we don’t really see him accept it and get into until towards the end. Luther is strong so sure and Allison doesn’t use her powers. I like that we got to see some flashbacks of them as kids using their powers and I just hope in the second season they show us the Eiffel Tower mission because that’s the first one we see in the comic and we really can see them use their powers more. So ultimately, I like how Five uses his abilities and the last two or three episodes definitely has some cool power stuff going on.
The Action Scenes. Y’all these action scenes are well choreographed and the music is paired so well with them. In the first episode we get this awesome diner scene with Five, then in episode two we get another action scene with Five in a department store. The fight scene in the house was pretty good. Oh! The fight scene with Five in a later episode that I don’t want to spoil is also really good, quick but good. I wish we saw a little more but perhaps in season two they’ll give us more action scenes to great music.
Very humorous. I’m currently watching it a second time and I still find certain things funny and I even laugh at things I might have missed in my first watch. I think it’s a very funny show. Klaus and Five have a lot of great moments. Hazel and Cha-Cha are also really funny, especially when they’re together and mostly in the first two or three episodes they are in. Some of the humor can be dark, some of it like dirty humor. I laughed quite a bit. One of my favorite funny parts is when Five goes to this lab trying to find something and he jacks this guy up who calls him “Young man” lol and then later in that same lab with Klaus. Plus, the bowling scene with that mom and her kid going up to Five. HAHA I die every time. It’s some great stuff.
Interesting Story. It differs a little from the comics but it’s still an interesting story. Their “father” has died and there is a mystery around his death. Then Five returns and he’s raving about the end of the world and he has his mission and it takes a little while before the others put stock in what he’s talking about. Then you have Hazel and Cha-Cha who are after Five so you don’t know what they’re going to do lol. Then Allison has her plot with her family and her trying to connect to Vanya… I mean there’s a lot going on and I think the shows handles each story line well. I think everything manages to get the same amount of attention enough to make you care about what that character has going on.
Sisterhood.So, I think the crux of the story is the relationship between Vanya and Allison. We see flashbacks here and there of their childhood but we didn’t see them really interact so we don’t know if Vanya’s solitude was from them directly or indirectly through their father. It’s implied but ya know. Allison really tries to connect with Vanya because it’s just the two of them in a sea of their brothers who have a lot going on. I really like it and I hope we get to see more of it in season two because regardless of what you think of Allison or even Vanya, Allison was really trying to be a sister to Vanya and she may not have always gone about it in the right way (but who’s to say ‘the right way’) but she always tried. Especially towards the end, they share this smile that I thought was super sweet and, in the end, Allison is the one who might have made the best decision for their family.
Emotional Moments.There are a few in the show and I think they are handled extremely well. Some of the ones that stick out to me is the one with Allison and Luther in the phone booth. I actually teared up a little bit. It was emotional but the acting from both actors was really good in those moments, especially Emmy Raver-Lampman. Klaus has a few moments in the latter half of the series. He goes to a bar after something big happens and just the quiet moments… wow. Diego has one with his mom in the middle of the series where he makes a choice to do something and the acting was good between both actors in that scene as well. Towards the end, Vanya and Allison have a great moment in a cabin and that is all but such a great scene and well-acted by both actresses.
The Soundtrack. This show uses music so well that anytime it came on, it didn’t feel out of place. There was of course musical score but they also had a lot of songs integrated into the show as well. The very first fight scene with Five in the diner has a song “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” and I don’t know why but it totally fits the scene. In the second or third episode, there’s another scene with Five in a clothing store and Hazel and Cha-Cha have caught up with him, that song fit that scene so well too. There’s ANOTHER fight scene in the mansion with the siblings and Hazel and Cha-Cha that also had great music. Also, one of my favorite scenes is when Five leaves the mansion in episode two, this is when he is actually 13 and the song “Run Boy Run” comes on as he is walking down the street and going through time… it was so good. Listen, the music is used so well here, it rivals Guardians the Galaxyof best use of music lol.
Broken Records.BRUUUHHH if I heard Luther say “I’m Number One” one more time, I’m going to punch him. There are TOO many times in this show where characters repeat themselves like we didn’t just hear you say that last episode. Your dad was a jerk, okay great, you’re number one… super. You don’t rumor people anymore, awesome. You were told you were ordinary all of your life. Great. Awww, you believe in her when no one else does… fantastic. I mean sheesh. All the time! Shut up! The audience is not stupid, we do not have to be reminded of that kind of stuff all the time. We get it. Trust your audience to know what was said last time. Trust that we’re keeping up and if someone isn’t, that’s not your fault, they can re-watch the show.
Overly-Dramatic. So, I like that these are people who happen to have superpowers, that’s cool that them being super isn’t the main thing about them or the show. However, sometimes it just feel like their problems are extra and they need to get over it and move on. Probably because they spend so much time talking and talking and talking about it all the time… all the time that it becomes annoying. Luther and the whole thing with being on the moon and not feeling like he’s important boooyyy, Diego and trying to compete with Luther (even if he tries to act like he’s not) and this whole brooding thing. Allison with Patrick and Claire and Vanya with her whole. Honestly, I was with Five in that whole “you have no idea what’s important”. I’m not discounting their problems but SHEESH.
Slow Pacing. There are a few times, mostly in episodes 6 and 7 and the scenes with Vanya and Leonard that I thought were really slow. There are parts of 6 and 7 that are really good but overall, they slow down compared to the rest of the show. I mean 8-10 picks up the pace and never lets up until the show ends. So, it kind of sucks that you have the first episode which is slow and then it picks up for a while and then slows back down. I can imagine some people having a hard time really finishing the show because of that.
Acting Abilities. While I think everyone is overall fine in the show, there are some who stand out against others who aren’t as good, at least all the time. I think Robert Sheehan, Ellen Page and Aidan Gallagher were really good in their roles and their characters had nice quirks because of them. Emmy Raver-Lampman was mostly good, there was a few times I was like meeehhh. Tom Hopper seemed to me like he was trying to channel Chris Evans’ Captain America and I couldn’t help but to think that the entire show and it kind of irritated me. I don’t know if that was intentional or just him… but I didn’t like it. Stop it Tom. David Castenada is probably the weakest to me acting wise out of the siblings, he’s not like the worst ever but compared to the others he does stand out in his abilities. Maybe it’s just his character but outside of the emotional scenes I’m like ehhhh. Also, I enjoyed Mary J. Blige as Cha-Cha but she’s also not that great either. I don’t think she was as good as she probably needed to be for this role because there were some moments with Cha-Cha towards the end where I feel like she couldn’t pull of the “introspective” thing or “vengeful murdery woman” as well as she should.
Overall, I really liked The Umbrella Academy. I think it’s worth the watch for anyone who is into superhero materials or comic books. As I didn’t really like any of the characters in the comic, I think it’s a great service that I liked them for the most part in the show. Number Five and Klaus were my favorites in the show. I think all of the characters though are interesting in their own rights, whether or not we got to see everything to know them. The music was well chosen and utilized in the show, especially in the first two episodes with all of Five’s scenes. It’s a very funny show and even on the second watch, it’s still funny. I liked the emotional moments, particularly the phone booth scene and the scene with Diego and Grace. One of the strongest aspects of the show is the sisterhood between Allison and Vanya. It starts off rocky but we watch it grow and we watch how Allison really tries to connect with Vanya and this relationship comes full circle towards the end of the show. As for the negative, I think the characters can be very whiny and overly dramatic with their issues. They are also broken records! SHUT UP! I do think the show has pacing issues particularly in episodes 6 and 7. Lastly, all of the acting isn’t the greatest. Anyways, Five is still my favorite followed by Klaus so watch the show if anything FOR THEM and the MUSIC lol. It’s a good show though lol.
Rating: 4 out 5 stars.
Have you seen The Umbrella Academyon Netflix yet? What are your thoughts on it? Who is your favorite character? Least favorite? Do you have a favorite episode? What are you looking forward to see in the second season?
Let me know your thoughts down below! Thanks for reading!
Summary: Series of adventures, war, and evil that occur throughout the history of the Four Lands.
The interesting thing with this show is that when it first came out, I wanted to watch it. I knew it was on MTV, but I had no idea when it came on, so I never caught it. I was interested because I like high fantasy shows like this and it was accessible being on regular TV instead of something you had to pay extra for, plus I liked Austin Butler enough from Switched at Birth (read that review here) that I wanted to follow him to be a leading man on his own show.
I forgot about it for ages and picked it up recently on Netflix once I watched The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (review here) and wanted to watch something else. I watched the first episode at work and then I fell down the rabbit hole of the show. So interesting thing, once I finished, I wondered why it was cancelled after two seasons, in ways I kind of get it but after researching it, I see, but I still want it to continue. I feel like Netflix should just pick it up, or Amazon since both Networks have their own “fantasy” like shows and being that their streaming, it would help the show’s viewership. It needs at least a third season to finish what was started in the Season 2 finale. IT’S NOT RIGHT TO END ON A CLIFF HANGER! STOP CANCELLING SHOWS WITHOUT MAKING SURE THEY HAVE A PROPER FRIGGIN ENDING!
Anyways, on with the review and there will be some spoilers because I have a lot of feelings and thoughts on the show, but I don’t know if I can get it all out in this review. Oh yeah, get to use the word “consistently” because I’ll be using it a lot.
Cast and Characters. I think it’s important that I say this. I didn’t dislike any of the main characters at least not consistently, they annoyed me sometimes but what character doesn’t. I feel like they all had the potential to be interesting and I think they were but also stupid and… well anyway lol while I have this in the pros, I’ll probably mention cons too just because I’m talking about the characters.
Austin Butler as Wil Ohmsford. He is a half-human/half-elf who is the last of the bloodline of the ancient Shannara family. He is destined to help save the Four Lands from demons. He possesses three Elfstones, which belonged to his late father, Shea Ohmsford. So, Wil is basically a farm boy, who grew up in a small town, used to people treating him like crap because he is half elf, which shows in his ears, even if they are short tips. When his mother dies, she tells him of his destiny and he ends up being thrown into something he never thought he would be a part of. The usual hero trope, reluctant and all that. He’s awkward, passionate, stubborn, determined but also reluctant. I like Wil overall, I think the show could have done better with his characterization because there are times where he does things that makes me roll my eyes because I think he’s being extra and it’s dumb. I like his snarky and sarcastic comments about certain things, he does play the role of the audience sometimes where he says what we might be thinking but that comes and goes, it’s not consistent and I think it should have been for him throughout. If there’s a chance for a third season to come about, I hope his stint in the Forbidding (which is where I think he is after his wonderful sacrifice in the finale) kind of helps his personality. I feel like Wil could have been extremely annoying if Austin Butler wasn’t playing him. I don’t know what it is about Austin Butler but not only is he physically dreamy, but I love every character he’s played, and I feel like those characters aren’t always meant to be likable. I think he looks like an elf lol, and I think he makes some of the best facial expressions and he’s always so smirky. I like smirky. I feel like he’s the reason why I enjoyed Wil because if it wasn’t him, I can’t say I would like him as much.
Poppy Drayton as Amberle Elessedil. She is the Elven Princess and the first female to be accepted as one of the Chosen, a group of elves responsible for protecting and caring for the Ellcrys tree. In the beginning I was like “oh yeah, here’s Amberle making new moves for female Elves” because she was the first in a lot of things in her kingdom. She remains as such mostly, she is determined to save the Four Lands and wants to protect the people she loves. She’s a bit wise and tries to be smart when it comes to dealing with people. I like that she knows how to fight and that she has this big destiny that she must choose or choose love. I mean, it’s also a little meh because really, choose love or duty… but I liked how it was handled. It was a choice but at the same time, you know throughout the show there might not really be another option for her because of what she wants. I’ve never seen Poppy Drayton in anything when I saw the show but she’s likable and a good “reacting” actress. She makes some crazy faces sometimes but tis just her face… can’t be helped lol. I thought she had nice chemistry with both Austin Butler (which means a lot) and Ivana Bacquero for the friendship that develops.
Ivana Baquero as Eretria. She is a human who is raised by Rovers, a band of thieves. We meet her when she saves Wil from a troll and she basically doesn’t leave a good impression because she flirts, lies, drugs and then steals from him lol. She’s untrustworthy for a while in the first season but ends up becoming an ally. I think it’s clear that she grows romantic feelings for Wil and I think that even lasts into the second season even though she’s in the relationship with Princess Lyria. I had a little hard time liking her until probably midway through the season. I thought she was trying too hard and maybe that was part of the character, but it was a bit annoying to me. BUT when she started to truly show up for her comrades, I was like yasss girl! Ivana Bacquero is cool in the role, I like her badassery and she does well with emotional moments.
Manu Bennett as Allanon. He is the last druid who has been in a Druid Sleep for the last 300 years. He awakens and sets out to find Wil. He becomes a guide and a mentor for the group. Allanon has a lot of secrets and it really becomes his downfall in later episodes but it’s clear he cares for Wil just like he cared and befriended Wil’s father. Allanon is the type of character who you’re not sure if you like because of their off-putting nature. He always seems a bit indifferent as well when it’s like “dude! Show some emotion!” but it’s usually being shown in his eyes. We learn a ton more about him in the second season with his connections to Mareth and what he feels about certain things. I’ve seen Manu Bennett in Arrow and he was like Allanon when we first meet him on the island which I was like “oh hey look at you” lol. I think the old wise man thing he does well, and he also later plays the villain in the second season (not Allanon but a different character) and he was okay in that role, I get why they did it, but I wish it was someone else.
Aaron Jakubenko as Ander Elessedil. He’s the youngest son of King Eventine who has a reputation for being irresponsible. He blames himself for his brother’s death Aine (Amberle’s father) and he really takes her under his wing and encourages her in everything she does. He ends up having to take on a more responsible role and I really grew to like him as the show went on. I liked him so much that I am still upset with what happened in season two. I’ve never seen Aaron Jakubenko in anything but he’s a likable guy.
Marcus Vanco as Bandon. An Elven boy with the gift of a seer, meaning that he can see possible futures when he touches someone. When we meet Bandon, it’s sad because he’s chained up in the barn, but I never really trusted him. I thought something was up with him from the beginning. He is afraid of his ability because he was taught to by his parents (or the people who raised him) but Allanon tries to take him under his wing to help him and it becomes a huge mess. In the second season, he goes down a dark path and I think what ends up happening to him was either a cop out or it was just lame. I feel like he wasn’t as much as a threat as they wanted him to be and I was a little annoyed by him and his naivety. Marcus Vanco did a great job though whenever Bandon was going through his emotional states. The indifferent scary thing though was kind of meh for me lol.
Malese Jow as Mareth Ravenlock. A half-human/half-elf searching for Wil in season two. She has magic and basically becomes his partner in crime. She has her own reasons as to why she wants to help him, and I don’t really want to reveal it, so I won’t but it’s an interesting development. I just think the casting was an interesting choice but sure it works. I like Mareth, she’s strong in her own way and determined to do what it takes but you also understand her position. I recognized her from The Vampire Diaries and I was like ‘oh lord, will she be whining here too’ and she did a few times, but I liked her overall because while Mareth had things she was going through, she played it up on her face. Plus, I thought she had nice chemistry with Austin Butler and I really thought she had her time to shine in the last two or three episodes.
Vanessa Morgan as Lyria. She is human who is in a romantic relationship with Eretria. I mean she plays her role, but I don’t think we really get to know her or anything to really care about her. You care about her because you care about Eretria, she also brings in some diversity, but I was kind of meh on her. I wanted to include her here because she’s likable and I think Vanessa Morgan is fun to watch sometimes but otherwise sure.
Gentry White as Garet Jax. He is a bounty hunter who starts out looking for Lyria for her mother. I was a bit unsure about him in the beginning because I thought he was basically going to play the role that Eretria played in the first season, which he kind of did but I enjoyed him. He not only brought in some much-needed diversity, he was one of the few people on screen who could fight lol. I liked Jax overall and I thought Gentry White played his role, he was cool, sympathetic when he needed to be and quite badass when it came to any physical stunts. I just wish we saw more of him and that towards the end he was a bit smarter, he was too trusting too easily.
Special Effects. I was a bit surprised to see how good the effects in the show were for where it started on MTV. OUAT’s effect had a charm even though most times it was kind of bad so this show having better effects was shocking. The prosthetic on the demons and the gnomes were really kind of great. Of course, the elf ears, both the short tips and regular ones were nice and looked authentic. Whenever someone used magic, looks kind of cool, I mean sure just beams of light but still kind of cool. All the wraiths and what not. I was really impressed. Good job show.
Setting and Aesthetic. It’s set waaaaay into the future and the world as we know was basically wiped out. Instead of moving forward with the idea of grand technology and all that kind of futuristic stuff, it seemed like the world went backwards with magic and even the coupling of science at times. The world is overgrown with plant life, there are fallen homes, trucks, cable dishes that are now covered with foliage. Bridges are fallen and rundown, it’s really kind of cool that you have our world, but it’s evolved differently than how it’s normally portrayed. We don’t really get the chance to see a ton of places that looks different, but the staples are: Arborlon, the Elvin Kingdom, Leah (a human kingdom which we see in season two).
Friendships Built. At first, I was worried there was gonna be a love triangle and it was there… a bit, but it was kind of one-sided. It’s hard to say really lol but Wil meets Eretria first and it was clear he was a bit into her and she was into him. Then Amberle comes into the picture and clearly Wil was waaaaay more into her and Eretria felt like she was overlooked but girl lol, you and Wil were meant to be friends. Anyway, Eretria and Amberle had a rough go at it in terms of being friends but by the end I believed they trusted each other. They’re no Golden Trio or anything, far from it, but by the end I felt like they trusted each other. I liked their unit. I also liked the new friendship unit that was built when Amberle was gone and Mareth came into the picture.
Consistent Storyline. I’m going to mention this in the cons too, I feel like contradicting about it but full transparency. Tunnel vision. It’s basically the through line the entire show which is cool. I mean, while I wish we got to see more of the characters in other adventures than just the main one, I like the fact that show makes sure we know there is a goal at the end.
Locations. In ways the show traverses a lot of different villages and what not, but they generally all look the same or we don’t see a ton of them to really know they’re different locations. We know the difference between Arborlon, the Elvin Kingdom and then later Leah which are the two main kingdoms we see but the smaller villages, or places we pass through, it’s like “oh yeah we’re back with the healer gnomes… Storlock I think” but I would only know that if I saw a gnome lol. I feel like they should have made them more noticeable or did something to make them be their locations even if the people in those villages just threw something together.
SIDE QUESTS PLEASE! This show had tunnel vision lol. I can’t think of any filler episodes or anything that was a lapse in the main story, there might be two, but the fate of the world was always there. That’s not necessarily a bad thing I just wish we got to sit with the characters a bit more, see them in different situations that didn’t deal with the fate of the world hanging over their shoulder. I mean, shoot, Dean and Sam always must save the world and they always take the time out to go save a random family from a werewolf or something or killer clowns. I feel like The Shannara Chronicles could have done that too because then we could have seen Eretria, Amberle and Wil do something else where we didn’t hear “We all have our roles! We have to save the Four Lands!”.
Where’s the Humor? It tried to be funny, but it bordered on lame lol. Wil was probably the only one who really was funny but in that awkward kind of way, mostly in the first season. Plus, I think Austin Butler makes some of the best facial expressions and since he’s the fish out of water in the first season, it makes for some comedy in the first season. But outside of that, it feels like it’s forced, and I think it would be funnier if they didn’t try so hard.
Inconsistent Acting. Oh boy, there are times when I cringed at the acting. I think everyone was solid but there were some points where it was kind of bad. I feel like the biggest perpetrator of this was Ivana Baquero in the beginning of the show. I think she got better, but I cringed a lot at her acting. Poppy Drayton was a little better but there were times when I rolled my eyes at her as well. I think Austin Butler was the best out of the three consistently, but he’s not perfects lol even though he physically is *bounces eyebrows*. Also, Prince Ander had these moments where he would make this dumb face and I would be like “boy make a different emotional expression!” And Vanessa Morgan is okay mostly, she makes the same faces a lot too and I’m like GIRL (I feel the same way about her as Toni Topaz in Riverdale). Overall, I don’t think anyone’s consistent throughout the show when it comes to acting and it can be pretty cringe.
Cheesy and Awkward Dialogue. SO CHEESY!!! I rolled my eyes so many times at the dialogue in the show. I think a big part of it though is the fact that the way the younger characters spoke was very modern. I know the show technically is set in the future, but it was hard to take the aesthetic seriously when you have the young character saying things like “sloppy seconds” and then you have the adults who talk a little more in tune with the world. It was a bit jarring. I got used to it after a while but in the beginning, I was like “wait… what? not what I’m expecting.” I get why they did it, they wanted to appeal to the younger demographic, but I doubt that’s the group of people who watched the show. I don’t think this show had to do the language like that. I don’t think it had to be Shakespearean, but they could have taken it a bit more seriously to fit more into the world they were trying to create.
Nobody Can Fight. The show relies heavily on confrontations and people fighting, whether it be with swords or their fists, but NO ONE can fight. I mean it’s pretty bad. In the first season, it made a little more sense why Wil wasn’t that great because he grew up as a farm boy or whatever, but there was no reason why Amberle couldn’t fight when she grew up with an uncle who trained her for the gauntlet. I feel like she should have been able to hold her own a bit more than she did. Too many times did people like throw her around and hold swords at her neck. I mean… it was laughable. I think Eretria was the only one who could really kick butt. Even Allanon who was a druid and trained got his butt kicked A LOT. *sighs* Everyone needed a bit more training lol on the bright side the fighting choreography was actually pretty good.
Weak/Inconsistent Character Development/Stupid. I wanted this to be last because this is the biggest thing the show suffers from. All the characters don’t get a lot of development outside of Wil, who I don’t think got as much as he should have gotten, and the show is named after him! But Eretria and Amberle had their characteristics but they were inconsistent (I’m using that word a lot, I know but the show is inconsistent) because Eretria is the “tough” chick and that she feels like she can’t make her own choices or something, and we’re basically told that ALL THE TIME. Amberle starts the show out by wanting to run the gauntlet and she makes it a new thing for Elven women to run the gauntlet and is the first woman to become a Chosen but wow. She kept talking about destinies and it was her thing throughout the show. She had some development when it came to figuring out how to make her best choices but she had one track and I wish we could have seen a bit more from her even while she was on the path she was on. Lastly, Wil, I love him lol, he’s the hero of the story and we do learn about his history and he’s the reluctant hero throughout both seasons, we know that he cares about those he loves but outside of accepting who he might be, we don’t see much change. Plus, some of the development he might have gotten was trash because of the whole “boy stop flirting with both these girls and officially pick one”. I don’t know, I just don’t think we got to know our main three heroes as much as we should have.
Overall, I really liked the show. I think I watched it twice or at least a few episodes a couple of times. I like the characters overall; the special effects and aesthetic of the world was cool. I was really into it. I liked the chemistry between the main characters and the friendship that was built between our main three heroes. I think that’s so important for a show with three leads. I liked that the show knew there was a main story and it focused on it throughout the show. It didn’t falter much, and the task was completed at the end. I thought was great. You KNEW you were going to get some answers. Now on the other hand, I think the acting was inconsistent throughout the show. The dialogue could be cheesy, and I could not take it seriously just because the actors were trying to make it sound serious. Nobody seemed to know how to properly fight and it was super irritating that everyone got their butts kicked constantly. I wish we got to see more location, they were very limited and the ones we saw there wasn’t much that stood out about them. The character development was either extremely weak or nonexistent. If we had some side quests or fillers, it might have helped flesh them out more, but I can think of only two and I don’t think those really aided in the development. I just we got to know these characters a bit better other than the broken record phrases they kept saying. “I’m not my father!” “It’s my destiny!” “I want to be free!” Yeah, I know… show me something else. But fun show. It’s on Netflix, give it a whirl if you like genre shows like this.
Rating: 3.3 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen The Shannara Chronicles? This review is late but better late than never!
Let me know your thoughts below! Who was your favorite character in the show?
Marvel’s Runaways has returned! I thoroughly enjoyed season 1. It did start off a little slow, which is fine, it didn’t bother me, I watched it twice. I think if you haven’t seen the show and are curious about watching it, then I think you should. The good thing, it is on Hulu which allows for a complete watch without having to wait each week for an episode. My friend and I watched it in two days and I really liked this season.
I did a review for season one here. I also did a piece where I talked about Alex Wilder from the show and the comics as he is my favorite character in both mediums. I had a lot to say so please check those two pieces out! As I already did a formal review for the show, I’m not particularly going to do that again so this review will be a little different.
On to the review!
I think once again these characters are interesting. They have the makings to be really good characters and I think for the most part, they manage to remain so throughout the season. Instead of going through each like I would normally do, I will hit on the Runaways, giving more emphasis on those I thought stood out.
Alex Wilder (Rhenzy Feliz): I think he is the most layered of the Runaways so far and definitely the stand out this season. I thought he did really well with what he was given in the first season which wasn’t much, but they really dug more into him this season which I appreciated. The season hit the ground running and I think he could tell he wasn’t wanted so he removed himself from the equation (he even says which made me cackle “I’m just the NPC in the MMORG of your lives), and it shows that everyone treats him this way. He even tried to help them have a steady flow of money by working with Darrius. While helping, a romantic relationship started to form between him and Livvie (Ajiona Alexus) who was Darrius’s sister in law type person? They were cute and I liked that he seemed to have moved on from Nico (who doesn’t deserve him anyway!). We got to see him go through a lot this season within himself. He’s been the only Runaway who didn’t give up on the fact that their parents are criminals and have killed teenagers regardless of how much they may love them. It seems to personally affect him the most because he was close with his parents and would never think they would hurt anyone or hurt him. I like that he’s steadfast in that and he’ll do whatever he thinks he can to bring them down. Sure, not all of his plans are fool proof nor is he perfect, which is something he also talked about with Chase. He wants to show the others that his presence is necessary and he wants to do right by them. He may be logical but he’s also emotional in some of his decisions. The fact that he acknowledged that I thought showed tremendous growth. I find it interesting how the others know that he always has a plan but they always talk crap about him. *sighs* I’m trying not to rant but sooo many feelings lol. Rhenzy Feliz continues to do a great job with his character. His emotions play across his face very well and my friend and I always mention his nostril flare lol but I’m glad he had a lot to do and he’s the MVP this season.
Nico Minoru (Lyrica Okano): I like Nico for the most part but she can be soooo judgey. When the season started and she was still being mean to Alex and then we saw his name in her cellphone, I was like *hard eye roll* but she did go to him to express some of her feelings towards him. I don’t think things were fully hashed out between them because I feel like Alex doesn’t stand up for himself enough, so I hope they have a full heart to heart later on. In this season, Nico uses the Staff of One in some pretty dope ways to the point where she makes decisions that affect others and she has to deal with it. It’s easy to tell that she’s afraid of it while also wanting to learn more about it. There are a few moments where it seems like instinct just takes over even when she’s exhausted to help out and I want to see more of that and I want to know where it comes from! I think Lyrica Okano has good chemistry with Virginia Gardner, which is necessary for her relationship with Karolina but I don’t know how I completely feel about it. I mean, it’s cute, but I still think it was pretty left field and that Nico may not feel the same way as Karolina which might blow up in their faces later. I know about her whispered confession when Karolina walked away but that doesn’t mean anything to me right now. I liked that she got a little closure about Amy (now we just need to find out why Alex didn’t go to the funeral), and that she’s a bit more confident in herself now. I think Lyrica is a very good actress and I hope to see her do more physical stuff because that scene with her and her parents was DOPE.
Karolina Dean (Virginia Gardner): In this season, Karolina is learning who she is, what her powers are and how she can use them without limitations. I mean, she still has limitations as she is still learning but I’m glad we got to see a lot more of her using her powers than in the first season. She is kind of the optimist of the group, and still religious even though her religion is a sham. I don’t think we got a ton of growth from her this season as she is still the same person she was, just a bit freer? I guess I would consider her the voice of reason in the group. Now, she does some stupid stuff and I cannot believe she got away with it for the most part, but ya know, she’s nice and stuff. I think anyone could understand her when it comes to her how she reacts around her parents and Jonah. She’s confused so I’ll give her that. I hope in season three, we really get to see her shake it up with her powers. Virginia Gardner is extremely likable as Karolina, even if she’s annoying sometimes.
Gert Yorkes (Ariela Barer): Gert was going through it this season. She has anxiety which was in full force this season, plus she didn’t have her meds to help keep her sane. I felt for her but it also took her out of a lot of action this season. A lot of her storyline was her relationship insecurities with Chase and I was annoyed. I like that Gert is outspoken and will say whatever she wants, but I also don’t want her to just be a typical SJW whose only real conflict is steeped in a boy. There was an interesting storyline where Old Lace got sick which in turn got Gert sick, it was cool to learn just how deep her mental connection to her dinosaur goes. I find Gert likable, I know a lot of people are annoyed with her but she’s okay to me. I just need her to do more things than just sit on the sidelines and talk. Ariela Barer does a very good job with the emotional side of Gert, now I just need to see a bit more layer.
Chase Stein (Gregg Sulkin): I like Chase, I think he’s sweet, especially in the way he treats Molly and Gert. It’s clear he likes Gert and is nowhere near as confused about it as she is. I think it’s clear he wants to have a relationship with her, he’s learning her quirks and how to respond to her. He tries hard to really show her that he’s in her corner but as she continues to do or say things that pushes him away, he’s never really sure how to bounce back. It’s also clear that he’s the one who wants to go back home the most. In the first season, he was the one who often wanted to give their parents the benefit of the doubt, and that doesn’t really change in this season. I do think he’s learned a lot about being on his own. However, I’m not sure what to think of him for the next season. Gregg Sulkin is likable, even when he’s all like “You suck Wilder” lol which makes me do a heavy eye roll but he’s cool and I like Chase, I just need him to not be so naive. He’s so aggressive towards Alex about his decisions and so naive about his own that it actually baffles me but I can’t find myself disliking him.
Molly Hernandez (Allegra Acosta): I continue to love Molly lol. She’s great and I like how she’ll say the stuff that no one else will say. Now, I know in the comics she was a lot younger, which in ways could excuse her behavior or her reactions to things, but she’s supposed to be 14 in the show and she makes some duuumb decisions. It wouldn’t bother me as much if she was younger. The whole thing with Topher, I get it and I get why she was so intent about it but it was also dumb. She is still vastly underused when it comes to her powers and I think she needs to learn how to fight. We don’t need her to succumb to the Superman syndrome where she’s just a powerhouse without any actual fighting ability. Allegra Acosta is great as Molly, she’s likable, I can’t imagine anyone actually disliking her and she just enjoys what she does. My main gripe with her is that I don’t buy it when she’s emotional, it doesn’t fully connect for me. Her best acting was episode 11 “The Last Waltz”.
A large part of the show banks on how these characters interact with each other. I have a love/hate relationship with how the show handles these as well. I like overall, how they work as a team whenever they allow themselves to be a team and work together. When Topher showed up, they all had a mutual distrust for him, minus Molly, and I loved how they were all on the same page because it just makes sense. Also, when they stand together against something is some of my favorite moments because all of the drama between them falls away because there is something bigger going on than their teenage drama. There were some nice moments they had as a large group, like Molly’s birthday. The last 20 minutes of that episode was one of my favorites, it was super cute and it solidified that they were a family in the end. Alex and Gert had a nice moment. Alex and Karolina had a few nice moments, I even think she was wearing some of his jackets at some point (I saw someone on Tumblr say they don’t like Alex because he hates Karolina, that’s clearly fake news). Alex and Chase have a ton of good moments but their relationship always seems antagonistic so it’s very whiplashy. I don’t mind that they’re not best friends or anything, but I think they would understand each other a bit more. Something I thought was interesting was the fact that everyone went to Alex whenever they needed a one on one talk. Literally EVERYONE.
Gert and Molly had such a great relationship in the first season and it was a bit of a struggle in this season because of Gert’s issues. However, whenever they managed to have their moments it was sweet. Molly and Chase also had a few nice moments this season. They seemed to have gotten close because of their mutual feelings for Gert.
Now on the other hand, I have a major dislike for how the other Runaways treat Alex. I ranted about this in my season one review, I did an entire post dedicated to his character and I have a major problem. I know his storyline in the comics up to a certain point, I know what happens to him and while I don’t condone his actions, I completely get his reasons. As for the show, there hasn’t been any indication that he would do what he did in the comics, or at least something similar to link his fate in the show. He is the smart one and he really tries to think with everyone’s best interest at heart. It may not always work out the way he wants it too, or it may backfire in his face, but at least he has a plan and at least he tries. Nico continued to be mad at him for something that was out of his control to the point where she treated him like crap, even after he made sure to get money for them and brought tents for them to sleep in. Then Chase just loved to bring up the fact that Alex suggested regrouping and returning for Karolina once they had a plan. Alex even SAYS his intention was not to leave her behind but to make sure they knew what they were getting themselves into first. I don’t see the problem with that. Not to mention, when everyone else makes mistakes or dumb decisions, none of them get nearlyas crucified as Alex does. What about in season one when Chase destroyed the computer with the evidence? Not a big deal. What about the lying and sneaking that Karolina did this season? Oh, we’ll be mad at her for like a few minutes. I know Molly is 14 but even when she made her mistake, it’s ‘oh she’s a kid’ but ya know so was Alex when he kept Amy’s secret. I mean, I could go on about this but I won’t because I think the dislike for him is unfounded and I cannot stand the distrust because so far, he has been the only one actively trying to make sure his parents face justice for their crimes. Since he’s always thinking about the others, I don’t think it’s terrible that he wanted to them pay for what they did.
This season has a bit more action compared to the first season which hardly had any. This season we get the chance to see everyone use their abilities more in different ways and I think everyone kind of gets their chance to shine. Chasecontinues to work on the Fistigons and uses them when he needs to. Nicoworks with the magic/technology of the Staff of One and continues to learn it’s limitations and it’s secrets. Karolina learns how to access her abilities (I just need her to be a bit more active with her powers and be quicker on the draw when using them), Molly is still vastly underused with her abilities, I need her to learn to fight since she’s so strong but when she does use them it’s still pretty cool. Gerthad a lot going on mentally this season, so unfortunately, we didn’t see Old Lace in action that much so I hope moving forward we do. As for Alex, being that he doesn’t have any powers, he continues to try and make the plans and use his computer and nerd skills to be awesome. In episode 10: Hostile Takeover, Alex makes an enemy with this guy who comes to their hideout and it was great, probably one of the best of the season. Nico really got to shine in that episode and Alex got to take the lead with a plan. I don’t know if this meant anything, but Alex did this thing where he thought of a plan and he the camera zoomed in on his face and he kind of moved like his brain was moving 1000 miles a minute. Similar to a Jimmy Neutron Brain Blast. I thought it was cool, I don’t know if it’s an actual thing or not but they should do more of that lol.
They are teenagers so goossssh the drama is so annoying sometimes. They’re all stressed because of what they know of their parents, not to mention the stuff with Jonah. I get it, it’s so stressful. But they really need to get some perspective sometimes. Y’all are sixteen. Y’all acting like y’all been living for so long on your own and pay bills and what not… please. Karolina and Nico’s relationship, while cute sometimes, is very annoying. They have become soooo co-dependent it’s ridiculous. I don’t even believe that Nico truly likes Karolina in the same way she likes her. At least at this point. It feels more like she’s exploring, which is fine. Gert and Chase *sighs* I think they’re cute as well but Gert was so all over the place this season that I don’t even know if want them to even bother right now, that child needs to get her life together first. Alex had this thing with Livvie which was super cute as he got to experience the world his father grew up in while working with Darrius in Compton. I don’t know if we’ll see her in season 3 or not, but I thought she and Alex had great chemistry and I think if things went differently, it would have worked out really well. I just wish we got to see them have a better relationship even while just being friends because it didn’t turn out too well towards the end. I guess he just can’t catch a break.
There was this whole thing with this new guy that showed up Topher and, in the comics, he’s a vampire or whatever, so I was expecting something bad to happen and what we learn is actually kind of tragic. I thought it was a nice little three-episode arc and while it was soooo dramatic, it was handled well.
My hope for season 3 is to focus on them as a family and to really get to the meat of the story instead of focusing so much on the romantic relationships. I know it’s a teen show so that’s going to be a big part, which is fine, but I think the selling point is the characters more than the romance so let’s let these characters really shine in their elements and dial back a little on the melodrama.
I remember when I read the first part of the comics, just how intimidating the parents were. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy them in the show but they’re inconsistent in how they come off to the audience, I think. If I had to pick, the most ruthless of the group is Tina Minoru, Victor Stein and The Wilders. In the first season, I would have counted Leslie Dean in that but she goes through it this season which didn’t alleviate my like of her but it made her less “scary”? Annie Wersching makes some of the best faces though.
In this season, we got to see a truly ruthless side of Catherine Wilder, that I think we all knew was there. Now, I am curious to see what happens with them in the third season since Alex was the only one who managed to do what he set out to do and he was so giddy about it lol. I really like The Wilders because they’re the only ones who don’t really have a reason to be in Pride anymore, but since Alex is a runaway, they worked with the others to bring him but they have no reason and they’re still intimidating.
I think overall though, the parents are still interesting with how it ended, I’m very curious to see how things work out. I want Janet and Robert to have more to do. They both got a bit of an upgrade this season, Robert has an awesome fight scene with Tina and Nico and we need more of that kind of stuff. The Yorkes are still quirky and funny, but I’m over the whole “we’re the nicer ones” in the group thing because they can be pretty intense too. I know they all just want their kids back home and what not but they all operate in gray areas which is interesting but let’s see what they can really do because so far, it’s been a lot of standing in a group and talking. The Minorus and The Wilders were really the only ones we see do anything physical. I know like the Steins and Yorkes are scientists but I feel like we can see more in general.
More Character Growth
I liked in this season we got to see a bit of growth from the characters. Some more than others and I hope the momentum continues. I cannot imagine with all that’s going on, our Runaways won’t continue to learn and grow. I think Chase has grown a lot, he’s become more mature, which is something he does mention in an episode. He does make a choice, while dumb, was mature in his reasons. I think both he and Alex have the most growth but Chase the most, especially since he is learning how to deal with Gert and her issues. I just hope we see more from everyone moving forward.
Obviously, the parents are the villains with Jonah in there as well. He remained this threat throughout both seasons but we didn’t know what he was really up in the first season. Of course, there were theories. It’s different from the comics but it’s not hard to kind of guess what’s going on. I think it’s pretty cool, it’s not completely original but it’s cool. I’m curious to see how things go in the third season as the ending of season two left sooo many questions.
I really really like Marvel’s Runaways and I think they are doing really well with having these teenage superhero stories told on the small screen. I would love to see them pop onto the big screen at some point but I’m glad they have their debuts on TV. I like all of the characters for the most part and the story has been interesting. I’m curious to see where it goes in the third season and I hope it gets one because there is so much more to tell.
Spoilers Below This Warning
Soooo basically Jonah is from an alien race “Gibborim” and at the bottom of the hole is his family which was stuck in the ship. Now, Xavin was also there, who is a shape-shifting being who is betrothed to Karolina (which I think they are officially a thing in the comics so I’m very interested to see how this plays out in the show) and it seems like they are on the Runaways side, mostly because of Karolina but also, they know what Jonah plans to do in the end. So, the Runaways and the parents work together to destroy Jonah’s ship as it was going to cause a massive earthquake and knock California into the ocean, so they stopped that. However, Mother, Sister and Brother (and Xavin) managed to escape and find hosts.
It turns out that Jonah is just a host body and the Magistrate (the alien) was inhabiting his body. So, when Nico stabbed through the body with the staff, it only killed Jonah not the alien inside which seems to be just a wisp of light energy. We don’t really know what their true form is yet. It seems that Victor is losing certain moments. He was all intimate with Janet and then was a bit confused about it later and I’m like “oh that’s Jonah then” and Stacy Yorkes has this super cutthroat moments where she takes off her glasses and I’m like “that’s another one of them” and Tina has these almost child-like moments. So, we can assume that three of the parents have been inhabited. We know that Karolina has a brother as Jonah told her she did when he showed her the ship. So, the question remains, who did Brother go into since both the Runaways and their parents were at the site when they exploded the ship? It can’t be another parent because no one acted outside of themselves. So as everyone else on the internet has said, Brother is either in Nico or Alex.
I say Nico because she’s passed out twice now from overexerting herself while using the Staff of One. In “Hostile Takeover”, she had to hold two draining spells for a long time and passed out. She lifted up all possessed like and called the Staff to her and then shouted, “GET OUT!” while the skin around her eyes got like this…
which reminded me of homie from Doctor Strange.
I don’t know if this means anything, it could since Marvel’s Runaways is part of the MCU. However, who knows. This happens twice. The second time is when she fought her parents in an awesome fight and the picture above is from that fight. Now, Brother could be expelling something in her that makes this happen, or it’s just that since now the Staff completely belongs to her, there’s something that Tina didn’t take into consideration when she created it. I’m thinking more along those lines though.
It could be Alex because one the other aliens jumped into hosts that reflect their own gender and Alex is the only male left in the group since Chase has been taken and put into a suspension pod along with Janet and Karolina. Not to mention, outside of his frustration with his parents and the others, he’s been pretty level headed. He doesn’t seem to be forgetting things, or losing time like shown mostly with Victor, nor has his personality completely changed like Stacy’s and Tina’s. However, there was a scene in Hostile Takeover, when AWOL was in their mansion and he has Chase’s fistigons, he’s frustrated and he takes the fistigons and he kind of starts trying to burn the guy and the others around him were shocked. When he snapped out of it, he looked shocked himself and backed off. That could indicate him being inhabited by Brother… or it could just be the ruthlessness from his parents finally coming out. Listen, if they use this Brother thing to try and make Alex do what he does in the comics, fine, but that should not be the end all be all for him. I’ll be upset if so.
That’s all I got for the spoilers as I just had to share my theories! Thanks for reading everyone, I hope you enjoyed it!
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Summary: As her 16th birthday nears, Sabrina must choose between the witch world of her family and the human world of her friends. Based on the Archie comic.
Mild spoilers ahead but nothing that spoils like big plot points or anything like that. This is a late review but this is my LAST SEMESTER OF GRADUATE SCHOOL and I’m trying not to drown. Whooo! lol
Cast and Characters. I’m not going to go into super super detail about each character but they’re all pretty great and interesting people and I think all of the actors do a great job in their roles. Some stand out more than others but overall solid cast.
Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina Spellman. A half-human, half-witch teenager attending Baxter High, who is just beginning her dark education, while trying to maintain a normal life. She is a sweet girl who loves her family and her friends with a fierce passion and she will do whatever she can to protect the ones she loves. She knows she’s a witch and does a few minor things and there but as her 16th birthday is coming up, she’s really getting ready to be in the thick of things. Growing up she knew of the ritual to come when it came to her birthday and she’s looking forward to it, but at the same time, she doesn’t want to leave her mortal life behind because of the connections she’s made. So, Sabrina has to make the choice of being a mortal or being a witch. Throughout the show she does things with honorable intentions and sometimes things go astray because magic isn’t always predictable and it comes with a price. I think Kiernan Shipka was a great choice for Sabrina, I actually think she is the best for the role and I can’t imagine anyone else in the role right now. She is sweet but passionate and she handles some great emotional moments. She actually made me tear up when she was talking to Harvey in a later episode. I don’t think I’ve really seen her in anything other than her voice over in When Marnie Was There and she was great in that so she can definitely pull off the emotions that Sabrina feels and she’s great!
Ross Lynch as Harvey Kinkle.Sabrina’s charming, dreamy boyfriend who is the son of a coal miner and unaware of the dark forces conspiring to keep him and Sabrina apart. I was a little worried about the brown hair look on Ross but as the show went on, it grew on me and I really liked him. He’s sweet and so supportive and I love that he was the nice guy next door, who also liked to draw, who was also a romantic. First him and then Sebastian from The Carrie Diaries, where is MINE!!? He has a hard relationship with his dad, it even borderline on abusive (verbally and emotionally) and he leans on his older brother who he looks up to like no other. I was worried that he was going to just be the love interest, I hate that in general, but he actually had some stuff to do. He had a traumatic experience as a kid which paralyzes him and prevents him from working for his dad in the mines, but he still goes with Sabrina when she has to go in there. That’s what I call love. Then there’s a side plot that deals with a possessing demon and him worrying about if he’s brave enough. I liked his arc but I’m sad at how the season ended with him and Sabrina. Ross Lynch is very likable and I think he kept Harvey likable and not too whiny or annoying because he’s so nice.
Lucy Davis as Hilda Spellman. One of Sabrina’s two witch aunts, who has a motherly nature and warm sense of humor and is skilled at brewing potions. I’ve always remembered Hilda to be a bit goofy and the opposite of Zelda which she still is here, she’s definitely the nice one and I love how loving she is. Lucy Davis is super likable and while I think they didn’t know what to do with Hilda after a while she still had some great moments like when she saved Susie in the bookstore. I just hope they allow her to do more in the second season because she is so likable.
Chance Perdomo as Ambrose Spellman. He is Sabrina’s cousin from England, who is her partner in crime, but is forbidden from leaving the Spellman home after being placed under house arrest by the Witches Council for attempting to blow up the Vatican. We don’t really learn a ton about him but while he may have done some questionable things in the past he still manages to try and be a conscience for Sabrina. I think he became a missed opportunity as the show went on and like Hilda, they didn’t know what to do with him but he quickly became a favorite character. He wants to be free to do what he wants since he’s been stuck in the house for so long. Chance is so charismatic and likable that I want a lot more of him in the second season.
Michelle Gomez as Mary Wardwell. Sabrina’s favorite teacher and mentor at Baxter High, who becomes possessed by the devil’s handmaiden to become Madam Satan, a cunning manipulator. So, we meet her in the first episode, the regular her and the possessed version and I have to say that Michelle Gomez kills. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her in anything but she is so memorable that I can’t wait to see what they do with her in the second season. Her delivery, the way she moves, all of her clothes and her hair is amazing. She is trying to manipulate Sabrina onto a path to better serve their Dark Lord and she is good at it lol.
Jaz Sinclair as Rosalind “Roz” Walker.The brash, empowered and outspoken daughter of Greendale’s minister and Sabrina’s best friend. She is big on equality and for students to be able to read whatever books they want, she is very opinionated but clearly loves her friends. We learn that she has trouble with her eyesight and might going blind which she is terrified of happening but something else might be manifesting because of her losing her eyesight which becomes really important down the line. I like Jaz Sinclair (just don’t do anymore When the Bough Breaksstuff mmkay?) and I think it’s funny that she and Sabrina are friends when they aren’t in the comics. I also like the fact that she is loyal to her friends even when she’s sure they’re not being completely honest.
Tati Gabrielle as Prudence Night.A student at the Academy of the Unseen Arts, with a personal grudge against Sabrina. She is the leader of a trio of witches, the Weird Sisters. I LOVE HER. At first, I was like “meh, she’s awesome but I don’t like her but then I ended up really loving her. She’s an interesting character and in ways you really sympathize with her because as far as she knows she’s an orphan and it seems like she tries to be this big bad witch in the school just to make up for that. I enjoyed everything about her, her look, the way she spoke and all of her dialogue was interesting. I don’t think she’s in the comics, at least not that I have seen yet but she’s awesome. Tati Gabrielle is a gem. A GEM.
Richard Coyle as Father Faustus Blackwood.The High Priest of the Church of Night and Dean of the Academy of the Unseen Arts. I mean, he’s your basic headmaster who thinks his way is right and he has ulterior motives and is creepy and what not. That’s all fine and dandy and I think Richard Coyle plays it up soooo well. I mean, he looks like the bad guy but it’s up to you to decide if that’s what he is.
Miranda Otto as Zelda Spellman.One of Sabrina’s two witch aunts, who is sterner than Hilda and very protective of Sabrina. She is also a member of the Church of Night, devout to the Dark Lord. I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about her in the beginning, she’s always been the sterner of the two aunts but as the show went on, she is pretty great. There is a great scene with her in the episode with the Nightmare monster that was great and some great emotional moments from her. She really wants her family to be safe and do what they’re supposed to do as members of the Church of Night. She does get involved in some things but I think Miranda Otto plays it so well that she manages to hold on to some dignity even though they go through some crazy stuff. I also love her delivery and all of her clothes are beautiful.
Tone of the Show. This goes hand in hand with the next point but I liked the overall tone of the show. It’s dealing with identity and maintaining morality and humanity and choosing the best path for you. Sabrina Spellman is half witch/half mortal which presents an interesting story throughout the season in which she must do things that could sway either side but because she’s both, she thinks she can do whatever she wants and sometimes without consequences. It’s quite interesting. It is a dark show, not all the time but the witches are children of the night which allows for some cool effects or cool connections to “dark magic”. For example, I think Salem is usually a warlock that was cursed into a cat but in this show, he’s a goblin, whose form we only saw once and it was super creepy who takes the form of a cat to be Sabrina’s familiar. There’s also a subplot with a possessing demon and it last for a little while in the show and also creepy.
Horror Factor. The show is creepy like legit. I think it was cool for the most part because when you’re dealing with witches, there needs to be a tone set for what kind of witches they are and when that’s clear, it opens the door for horror elements. In the first episode there is a scene with a maze and a tree, oh boy, I was like O.O, it all works for this show. If this kind of stuff was in the Melissa Joan Hart version it would be weird because it wouldn’t fit. Even the stuff with the demon and Uncle Jesse freaked me out, the comic is also equally creepy.
Sabrina and Harvey. They’re super cute. I remember in the older show that they had a relationship that took forever for them to get together and then it was on and off again but in this, they start off together, they start off in love and it’s really cute. They love each other and normally I make a little fun of 15 and 16-year olds being in love but I think it’s clear they have something pretty special. It was really sweet. Sabrina adores this boy and she always wants him to be happy especially since he doesn’t have the best relationship with his dad. That’s why what happens in the end blew my mind!
Sabrina and her friends. At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about her friends, but as the show went on, I liked their relationship. I loved the loyalty between them (I’m talking about Sabrina, Roz and Susie exclusively) and while they know Sabrina might be keeping something from them, they don’t get upset because she’s not being honest, I mean they’re a little frustrated but they don’t treat her terribly. I liked how a lot of what Sabrina wanted to do was because she wanted to help her friends, she wanted them to be okay if she was gone at academy. They were supportive of each other and clearly loved each other (which is funny because so far in the comics, Sabrina and Roz are NOT friends lol).
Really Dark. By dark I mean the show’s lighting isn’t very good. It may be intentional and in ways I get why it looks visibly dark but there’s a problem when I can’t see what’s going on ON SCREEN! If that’s a production choice then they need to change that in the second season. It’s okay, it can be dark but light enough where I can see what’s going on!
Starts Off Really Slow/Drags in areas. The first episode is really kind of slow. I mean it sets up stuff but it feels like it’s dragging on. I thought I was in the second episode but I was still in the first one lol. I think though once it gets going it’s really easy to breeze through but it does have moments where I’m like “okey dokey, don’t care about this. Back to the real stuff!” but it’s not often but it’s there.
Crossing the line. This isn’t really a problem for me but I wanted to address it because I can imagine it being a problem for some. There are elements in the show that are meant to be the way they are because Sabrina is supposed to make choices to push her down a darker path and what not, but I can see where it can be too much for some people. I thought about this a lot while watching the show and sometimes it made me squirm. It was bold and I commend the show for taking no prisoners but be aware that the witches do go “praise Satan”. I think if you’re firm in your beliefs it’s not going to affect you as it’s just entertainment but be aware.
Overall, I really liked the show, it was really good. I think the first episode may be a little hard to get through because it felt a little slow but once I got past that first episode, I blew through the rest of the show. I think it’s really worth the watch, especially if you’re into stuff like this. I think all of the cast does a really good job in their roles and I think all of the characters are really interesting and I’m curious to see what goes on with them in the second season. I like the tone of the show and what the message is which is that good and evil is not just black and white and you have to find out for yourself who you are. I think Sabrina represents a little bit of everyone without all the magic stuff. I’m not much of a horror person but I think the horror aspect really works for the show and it’s creepy but I could handle it. My biggest issue with the show is that it’s visibly dark in that it’s hard to see a lot of times and that it starts off really slow. I also want people to be aware that it might be a bit too much and not to watch it if it’s going to make you upset. Great show!
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Have you watched Chilling Adventures of Sabrinayet? What are your thoughts about it? Let me know! And if you can, check out the comics at your local library!
I actually used to watch this show when it first came out. I thought it was a very interesting premise and I really liked it in the beginning. I fell off during season 4 after the whole thing happened with Bay and Tank and I never caught back up. So, I decided to binge it on Netflix and I remember all of the feelings I felt while watching it, as I felt them again. However, going forward with the rest of the season and season 5, I really enjoyed the show as a whole. I was quite shocked. I mean, usually there are seasons that are not as good as others, and I can’t really say which season I preferred because they were all handled really well. I think Season 5 was probably one of my favorites though, we’ll see.
Watching the show again also put me back into learning American Sign Language, I’ve fallen off again because I flew through the classes online but the next level is too advanced lol, I needed a step between beginner and intermediate.
Anyways, on with the review!
Summary: Two teenage girls’ lives are turned upside down when they find out they were switched at birth.
Cast and Characters. Being a TV series, we meet a lot of characters but there were the certain people who remained important regulars, which was the Kennish and Vazquez families with some friends mixed in. I’m going to try to hit all of them, I may not go into super detail or anything like that but I just wanted to put my thoughts on them as characters and of course the actors playing them.
Sean Berdy as Emmett Bledsoe.He starts out as a regular but becomes a reoccurring character in the last season. He is Daphne’s best friend who is also deaf. In the beginning, he’s clearly in love with Daphne, who he’s been friends with since childhood. He and Bay work together later to find her father and they grow really close and eventually start dating and thus begins the iconic relationship of Bay and Emmett or “Bemmett” lol. Emmett is also a photographer and wants to be a director being that he loves old movies, especially old scary deaf movies lol. He has a tendency to be jealous and he’s kind of hotheaded and very use to giving his opinion in any situation. There are times when he tries different things for Bay, sometimes he even gets into trouble for trying to do things for her which is cute… sometimes. I like Emmett, I always liked Emmett but in later seasons, he flip-flopped a lot for me due to his attitude and how he treated Bay when he went off to college. Ugh lol. I like Sean Berdy, he’s so cute and whenever he got emotional, I really felt bad for him (unless he was being unreasonable) because his emotions played on his face, which is important since the Deaf Community uses their facial expressions are part of their language.
Lucas Grabeel as Toby Kennish. Sooo Toby is Daphne and Bay’s older brother. There were a lot of times where I think the show didn’t really know what to do with him since he would just be floating around in the background but I consistently liked Toby. In the first few seasons, he was really trying to be a musician, he had a band and everything. His big problem was gambling and even though their family was well off, he still managed to dig himself into debt because he was reckless with money, which made him a jerk at times. Once that was rectified until waaay later, he got his life together. He had like three major relationships and I don’t think I really liked any of them, Lily the most I guess, but I felt like he got trapped in the end lol. Regardless, he stepped up to the plate. He was smart when he put his mind to it. I’ve always liked Lucas Grabeel, I find him likable no matter what character he plays and I feel like Toby could easily be annoying and I could be over him, but I think it’s because of Lucas that that didn’t happen. Whenever he had to perform musically, I think that was some of his best stuff being a musical guy, it just seemed natural compared to some of the “soap opera” story lines they gave him.
Katie Leclerc as Daphne Paloma Vasquez (born Bay Madeline Kennish). She is the biological daughter of John and Kathryn. When we first meet her, we learn she’s deaf and became so when she got sick at the age of three from meningitis, I think. In the beginning, I liked Daphne because all of this was happening and she managed to remain quite calm about the whole thing while Bay seemed to spin out of control. However, once she finds out that Bay and Emmett are spending time together and even dating, she gets upset and basically tells Bay that she’s not going to let her date him without a fight since she now all of sudden likes him lol. From that moment on, I didn’t really like Daphne. She has a major temper (just like her dad), she’s athletic, intelligent and has a lot of opinions on a lot of things. Sometimes she does things with good intentions but she either handles it in a stupid way or gets involved with people who pretty much encourages her to do stupid stuff that has long term consequences. She feels this passionately, which is fine, but I needed her to get her life through most of the show because she was way to entitled about certain things. I’ll get more into her attitude and stuff later. Whenever she’s being nice or whatever, she’s fine and I think Katie Leclerc unfortunately had a character that acted like a child which she played very well. Soooo good job Katie lol. I have to say though that her relationship with Bay was very interesting and whenever they were getting along, that was some of my favorite stuff because Daphne would teach her sign language and they would have moments where they talked around hearing people through sign language and it was like they were sisters with a secret code.
Vanessa Marano as Bay Madeline Kennish(born Daphne Paloma Vasquez). She is the biological daughter of Regina and Angelo. She was raised in the wealthy neighborhood of Mission Hills by John and Kathryn Kennish. Bay is a very talented artist who has a particular love for Frida Kahlo. Bay can be very impulsive at times, and, at first, doesn’t take the news of the switch very easily. However, she gradually gets better in accepting that Regina and the Kennishes are both her family. In the beginning, Bay was the one who initiated finding out if she was biologically a Kennish because she doesn’t look or act like any of them and it started with an assignment they did in class. She was very spoiled and bratty in the beginning and I didn’t like her because I thought she was being unreasonable with everyone around her like it wasn’t her fault that they found out in the first place! The whole thing with Daphne and Liam, man that was so ridiculous but she ends up getting her life together and I really liked her throughout the rest of the show. She had her moments when she was ridiculous and bratty but it didn’t happen constantly like it did with Daphne. Bay actually makes some significant sacrifices that were noble but stupid. Her art was very important to her, she started out doing street art and still did it every now and then but she really got to do some cool stuff later when she became a tattoo artist in the last season. It was dope. Vanessa Morano managed to find the balance in Bay’s character where she was likable and unlikable at some times. I also loved her delivery, sometimes she said things with this monotone tone and it was hilarious.
Constance Marie as Regina Vasquez.Bay’s biological mother and Daphne’s legal mother. So, with Regina, I get why people don’t like her but I always liked her. In the beginning, she came off a little hard when it meant working with the Kennishes, especially since she raised Daphne, she was her daughter and she did not like the idea of sharing her or sharing the parenting (she had a point though since John and Kathryn did not include her when it came to parenting Bay soooo). Bay viewed her as the “cool mom” since Regina was so chill but at the same time, Regina was way stricter in ways than John and Kathryn. She was a recovering alcoholic so that becomes a problem later in the show. When everyone finds out that Regina knew about the switch for a long time, she was pretty much treated like a criminal by everyone for a while even though I get it and I think Kathryn got it too. When learn a lot about her and Angelo when they were young. Regina at some point also loses the ability to do sign language and to paint which seemed like she lost the connection to Bay and Daphne which Daphne was more of jerk about it than Daphne was (like girl, I know your mom can’t sign to you anymore and it’s hard to have to read lips all the time but it’s not like she just chose NOT to sign… ugh lol). Anyway, a lot of stuff happens to Regina throughout the show, some of it was brought upon because she makes stupid choices (like mother like daughters) but in the end, I was happy with her ending in the show. Constance Marie was great throughout the show; her acting was great especially when Angelo was on the show and they had to play off each other. I often teared up because of her because she was so strong so whenever she cried, it felt like she was crying for something so strong, which she usually was, I thought.
D. W. Moffett as John Kennish.He is Bay’s legal father and Daphne’s biological father and HE ANNOYED THE CRAP OUT OF ME THE ENTIRE SHOW! There were times when he was legit okay, but most of the time I was so irritated with him that anytime he did something nice, I was like “I don’t believe this is real” lol. His first thought in response to anything he didn’t like was to yell and throw tantrums. Anytime Regina did something he didn’t like, or she made a choice in parenting he didn’t agree with, or he found out something about her past, he was always so ready to take her to court to get fully custody of Daphne as well. Just… really dude? He does get a bit better in the last two seasons… ish but he was just so… angry. Sometimes it was warranted but other times it was like dude calm down! He used to play Pro Baseball so he’s famous for that and Daphne clearly gets his athletic genes since Toby and Bay both are artists lol, he really tries to be really involved with Daphne and her sports. In the later seasons, he had a heart attack because he’s extra which kind of helps him tone things down a bit but he has his opinions and it takes a while to make him change his mind. I do have to say though that anytime he took the time to talk and understand Regina, Angelo and even Bay were great moments. There’s a great scene in the last season or the fourth season where the Kennishes did this awesome thing for Bay after she didn’t get into the school of her dream. He and Kathryn really stepped it up! D.W. Moffett did his job because he made me dislike his character haha.
Lea Thompson as Kathryn Kennish.She is Bay’s legal mother and Daphne’s biological mother. I’ve always loved Lea Thompson since Back to the Future so when I saw she was the mom when I first started watching, I was so excited. Now Kathryn was interesting because I liked her overall as well but there were times where I thought she was being extra as well. I loved the scene between her and Regina when Regina tells her to stop trying to change Daphne to fit them but learn her language… such a great scene and after that Kathryn began to learn and she’s really good at it. I think she took the time to understand Regina first, they definitely butted heads though throughout the show but she was always a bit more willing. What’s funny about Kathryn was she had a voice but didn’t know how to use it because John’s voice was so overpowering. She became an author later and she was a cook (I really wanted to try her food man… hers and Angelo’s). She connected with Daphne and really tried to make stronger connections with Bay. I loved when she started standing up for herself more. Lea Thompson is always good, she is always good with emotional scenes, I didn’t know she could sing until this show which was great and I loved when she would fight back.
Gilles Marini as Angelo Sorrento.He Bay’s biological father and Daphne’s legal father and HE IS FINE! lol We hear about him a lot in the first season and I didn’t even realize how early he came into the show lol but as far as the others know, he’s this terrible person who left when Daphne went deaf but when he shows up, we learn that it was because he thought Regina cheated on him since Daphne didn’t look like him and they just argued all the time. However, he and Regina were so good together, so passionate that I really wanted it to last. He joins up with John and Kathryn kind of, to sue the hospital for damages and wins like 1 million dollars which he tries to use to help out his girls. Unfortunately, he bites off more than he can chew and blows through it too fast. He later gets into a fatal car accident and I cried for like four episodes straight. It hit way to close to home which I remember being sad when I first saw it but it was different this time around. Angelo really made an impact on everyone even if John and Kathryn (more so John as time went on) didn’t really like him. He connected with Daphne over cooking (as well as Kathryn), he also tried to learn sign language to connect with her better. He connected with Toby over music and he gave Bay a whole side of her family she didn’t even know about and of course he was in love with Regina. It was beautiful. As soon as he came into the picture, I liked him. Gilles Marini is very likable and he had such great chemistry with Constance Marie as well.
Marlee Matlin as Melody Bledsoe.She is Emmett’s mother and Regina’s friend who is also deaf. I don’t think she was ever a regular but she was around so much that she might as well have been. She is Regina’s best friend so she was around for that and of course when Bay and Emmett started dating, she was around because of that too. She was also the guidance counselor at Carlton (the deaf school) which allowed her to be involved in all of the kids’ lives. She got on my nerves a few times too though because she would react to things that I thought was ridiculous, like when Regina couldn’t sign anymore, she almost walked away from her in disgust. I was shocked and like “girl bye, if she’s supposed to be your best friend you wouldn’t treat her like that!” It also took her a long time to warm up to Bay but they ended up becoming pretty close in the end. She took in Travis, who had a bad/sad home situation which was kind of her and she also served as a mentor for a lot of the kids in the school. This is the first and only thing I’ve ever seen with Marlee Matlin but she was great and I loved it when she spoke because she normally didn’t and when she did, it was legit!
Supporting Characters.There were a lot of supporting characters but I’m not going to get into all of them but it’s important I highlight just a few. Ivonne Coll was Adriana Vasquez, Regina’s mother and she loved her telenovelas but always said that the real life had way more drama due to Angelo, but she just didn’t like him. Austin Butler as Wilke who was Toby’s best friend and dated Daphne for a bit, and I really liked him, I was sad when he left and never came back. Maiara Walsh as Simone Sinclairwho was Bay’s nemesis and dated both Toby and Wilke and pretty much a controlling and sometimes terrible person, she gets better when we see her later. Blair Redford as Ty Mendozawho knew Daphne and Regina from their old neighborhood and dated Bay in the first season and later after Emmett cheated on her with Simon (drama y’all). MOST IMPORTANTLY Ryan Lane as Travis Barneswho was Daphne’s deaf friend who had an attitude but was taken in by Melody, he became best friends with Emmett, he was in love with Daphne and I think they dated briefly but ends up with Bay. I loved Travis.
The family dynamic. The family dynamic in the show was very much up and down quite consistently. Someone was always arguing because of something someone else did. It was a lot of drama but when they weren’t dying in that drama, I really liked the Kennish-Vasquez family. One of my favorite moments was when Kathryn felt really ignored by everyone mostly John, that they staged a little musical moment to make her feel better, it was super sweet. Like everyone including Angelo and Adriana were involved. Stuff like that needed to happen way more often because when it did, I loved it.
Bay and Daphne’s sisterhood.One of the strongest things about the show was the dynamic between Bay and Daphne and boy was it rocky. They never had a perfect relationship until the last season and even then, it wasn’t perfect. At first, they did not like each other because Bay was super extra and then Daphne became super extra forever. They butted heads a lot and there were plenty of times when one was jealous of the other due to the ties to their parents. Whenever Bay, Regina and Angelo had something going on, Daphne would get really jealous and vice versa and Bay would do the same if Daphne connected with John, Toby and Kathryn which actually happened a lot more than Bay with Regina and Angelo. Very one sided at times. But when they understood each other and worked together and did things for each other, that’s when you could tell they really did love each other like sisters. An instance of this is when Bay took the fall for what Daphne did to allow her the chance to be Pre-Med. She did not have to do that. Anyway, I just really liked it when they were being nice to each other and really trying to be in each other’s presence.
Relevant Storylines. The show tackled a lot of different storylines. Of course, there was the stuff that was handled within the family, but the storyline with grief, particularly with Daphne was intense because she ended up committing some serious crimes. But the two big ones I thought were what happened with Tank and the stuff on the college campus similar to Black Lives Matter movements.
Tank-So Tank and Bay dated but she cheated and went back to Emmett. It was sad. Anyways, she went to a party on the college campus and got super drunk and wakes up the next morning in bed with Tank not sure what happened. She was partially naked. It turns out they slept together but she not only remembers it but doesn’t think she agreed to the union though Tank is sure she did. It turned into this big thing about consent and Tank basically got expelled. It was a hard situation because Bay didn’t remember and there has to come a point where the other person realizes someone is too drunk to give consent. Just wait. I felt bad for Tank because he was a good guy but at the same time… pay attention.
BLM- So it started with Mingo went to a dorm party dressed up as Lil’ Wayne and Iris, one of Daphne’s friends, said it was offensive which I get it. Not to mention, it’s happened so many times. Daphne took it upon herself to be a spokesperson about it which really showed her ignorance. She often did stuff like this. It lasted for a long time in the season, something I was really surprised about. I thought the show handled it in an interesting way.
Tense Storylines. While I mentioned that the show handled some relevant storylines, I don’t think it really stuck the landing the show thought they were going do. In terms of the Tank situation, it was kind of weird because he was a good guy and someone that people liked and trusted. The later he ended up dating Marybeth who gave Bay grief about Tank so much when Bay was friends/dating him, so I thought that was a weird payoff. I also didn’t like how they handled the consequences of Daphne’s bad choices because of grief, she should have been punished for what she did. Grief can affect a lot of things but having her break the law and then Bay takes the fall, yeah sure she met that girl and did something nice for her and had something nice happen, but Daphne should have gotten in trouble for that. I don’t care. Plus, the whole thing with Emmett and being depressed, I don’t think they handled that well at all. Bay and Daphne returned home because his depression and then it was wrapped up pretty quickly. Very poorly handled.
Overreactions Everywhere! This show was like a soap opera a lot of times and it was really annoying when it was. Some things that happened, okay I get it you, you have every right to be upset, but why are you acting like that still?? For example, when Angelo was in the hospital for his accident, Daphne got all mad and told Regina it was her fault and she pretty much shut her out for a long time. Even when it seemed like they were past it, she still had an attitude. I get that you’re upset and that Regina and Angelo had an argument before but there is no reason for you to act like that and treat your mom like that. You’re grieving, okay, but so is your mom who probably feels worse than you. Mostly everything John did was an overreaction and like father like daughter, so did Daphne. I just couldn’t take some of the ignorance these characters had and they tried to make it seem like they were oh so smart… like nah, you’re stupid and you think you’re right but there’s no way you logically think that. *sighs* Such a conundrum.
Daphne’s Attitude Problems. In the beginning I wasn’t a big fan of Bay because she was being a brat, but then that switched to Daphne at some point in season 1. I think a lot of that happened when she noticed that Emmett was spending a lot of time with Bay, or that they were looking for Angelo and she just felt so entitled to what everyone was doing around her. It got worse as the show went on. She was rude for a long time Regina when they found out that Regina knew about the switch before, don’t get me wrong, she had every right to be upset, but she was so mean. Girl, that’s your mom! I also get that she was upset that Angelo was around after he left, but it has nothing to do with you that Bay wants to meet and spend time with her dad. Relax. Or how she told Bay that she was okay with her going to Carlton but then turned around and tried to get her kicked out with the other hearing kids in the pilot program. I totally get it, you want your school back to the way it was, but Bay really wanted to be there. She is also super spoiled, like girl, you may have grown up not having a lot but that does not warrant your attitude anymore because everyone literally does EVERYTHING for you. EVERYTHING. I know John and Kathryn felt like they missed out on a lot, but they pretty much did everything for Daphne, most of the time against Regina’s wishes, or without even asking Regina. Super rude and Daphne would get mad at her mom when she said something about it. Like girl, that’s your mom, she raised you, get a clue! She gets better in the last season but I spent most of the show really disliking her.
Stagnant Characters. There were a lot of times in the show where some characters were just stagnant in their roles. This happened a lot with Toby, where he was just there. They somehow managed to give him something to do by being a father or bringing up the gambling thing again but he just floated around in the background with boring storylines for a while. Also, Emmett had his issues going on in the last season but they didn’t really give that storyline they tried to give him a good chance and it wrapped up way to fast. I don’t know why he wasn’t a regular if they were going to do a plot like that but he was stagnant for a long time in the show. It was like after he and Bay broke up (both times) they weren’t sure what to do with him.
All the Dating. SO MANY RELATIONSHIPS. Kind of reminded me of Gossip Girl because everyone literally had so many options it was ridiculous. I mean shoot, where are my options? I mean Regina had a lot of options, Kathryn had this young guy who was into her, Melody had a crush on John at some point, Toby had like three girlfriends, one of them was his fiancée and I think he married Lily in the end.
Bay (in this order):Liam, Ty, Emmett, Alex, Noah, Ty (again) Tank, Emmett (again), Garrett, Travis.
Daphne (ooooh boy so many):Liam, Wilke (probably my fave), Jeff (an adult and her boss), Travis (yep Bay’s Travis), Jace, Jorge, Campbell, Noah (they didn’t date but he liked her), Mingo (who I also liked).
At some point I was like they both need to just be single for a while and get your lives together. I mean sheesh, a lot of their problems were because of their taste in boys. I mean I overall liked all of Bay’s boyfriends even Noah who decided he liked Daphne instead and Tank who ended up becoming a kind of villain. I’m still unsure how I feel about that plot. As for Daphne’s dudes, I liked Liam, Wilke, I don’t really count Travis since he liked her but she only dated him to prove a point, I don’t care what anyone says and Mingo. Everyone else… meh. It was just too much focus.
Overall, watching it a second time I realized I really liked this show. I went through it pretty quickly and I was a little surprised at how it ended mostly because I never saw the last season and I was pleasantly surprised at the wrap up. I had a good time with the show overall. I liked most of the characters and all of the actors did a good job with their characters, they played their parts well. I liked all of the relationships that were built with the two families and even some outside people. I liked it a lot when the Kennish/Vasquez family worked together or did things that brought them closer and it didn’t seem like they were at each other’s throats. I loved the relationship that grew between Bay and Daphne when they just were friends/sisters and not hating each other. I thought the show handled certain storylines really well. Now, on the other hand, the show was very melodramatic with all of the over reactions that everyone ALWAYS had, plus Daphne’s unlikable personality throughout the entire show really made me dislike watching the show at points because she was just terrible. A lot of characters were very stagnant at times where they show didn’t seem to know what to do with them and I don’t think they stuck every landing with some of the storylines that were “big” and intense. I also was annoyed with all of the relationships because they just were ANNOYING. But I think Switched at Birthwas a good show, dramatic and what not but I very much enjoyed it.
Rating: 3.89 out of 5 stars.
Did you ever watch Switched at Birth? If so, did you like it? Who was your favorite character? Who did you like the least?
Let me know! Thanks for reading and be sure to like and follow this blog for more reviews!
Summary: The adventures of a young orphan girl living in the late 19th century. Follow Anne as she learns to navigate her new life on Prince Edward Island, in this new take on L.M. Montgomery’s classic novels.
Cast and Characters. There are a lot of main characters and we do meet some supporting people. I kind of wanted to only talk about a few of them but I figured I should go ahead and hit most of the main characters who have been regulars in both seasons.
Amybeth McNulty as Anne Shirley. It’s been a long time since I’ve read the book, but I remember Anne being a bit precocious and annoying and I think Amybeth does that well. She has this dreamy look about her, also a bit awkward so I think she physically fits Anne well. Whenever she talks, she says every word with a dramatic flair. The first time she had to read for class, she stood up and read so dramatically that everyone laughed but I think Gilbert was smitten. Anne puts her heart and soul into everything she does, even when she does the wrong thing with the best intentions. She talks a LOT which is a LOT but usually what she’s saying has some merit, especially in her mind. She has a large imagination and always wants to share it with others. An avid reader, always wanting to learn and very intelligent. She had a sad past which caused a bit of PTSD and I hope in the future she allows herself to talk to someone about it. I really like Amybeth as Anne, she really seems to get the character she’s playing and while it may not be the Anne that purists are used to, (she reminds me a lot of the animated version) but she fits that kind of character. I think she does so well in balancing all the emotions that Anne faces in the show.
Geraldine James as Marilla Cuthbert. Of course, Marilla starts off as really mean towards Anne because she didn’t want a girl but a boy. She tries to warm up to her, but it takes a little while and once she really warms up to her, she and Anne have a complicated relationship that shows Marilla isn’t always sure how to handle the outgoing and imaginative nature of Anne Shirley, though I think she handles her very well. In season two, it was very interesting to see how she reacted to the grifters, especially Nate who was the “good looking one” (lol I mean whatever) and he flirted with her and we learn a lot about her childhood and her childhood love and that she might be a bit starved of romance because she really tries different things with her hair for him to notice. We really get to see different sides of her and I hope in season 3, especially with her being sick and having painful headaches, that she takes it easy, go to a hot spring or something and perhaps even fall in love. Geraldine James is great, she can be so hard when Marilla is being mean but whenever she’s sad, you really see it in her eyes. She is fantastic.
T. H. Thomson as Matthew Cuthbert. I love Matthew, he is such a sweet man. When he goes to pick up “the boy” and he finds it’s Anne, he is shocked, but he didn’t want to just leave her there. He was way more into keeping her and inviting her into the family than Marilla was, and it was just from that conversation they had on the way to Green Gables. I love how he would just look at her in awe as she talked. Matthew is so quiet, so he is an intense listener and I think Anne and he created a bond that is special. There’s a scene in the first season where he goes to find her because she ran away after Marilla sent her away thinking Anne stole from her and he’s trying to figure out what to say to make her come back with him, and when a cop asks Anne if she was okay Matthew says “She’s my daughter!” and it was so beautiful! It’s one of my favorite scenes. He’s generally always on Anne’s side whenever something happens, he’s always the one to try and do whatever he can to make her happy. R.H. Thomson plays the quiet, awkward man well. Matthew never really knows what to say and you can see him trying to figure it out and I like that.
Dalila Bela as Diana Barry. Diana from what I remember is probably the most like her original character, which is fine. She is kind, pretty and friends with everyone. She and Anne manage to connect right away, and Diana is very loyal to Anne and is always willing to teach her things about Avonlea and the people in it. Diana comes from a wealthy family, so she has pretty things and always looks beautiful in her clothes but unlike some of the other girls earlier in the season, she never makes Anne feel bad about her lack of outfit choices. She’s always interested to hear Anne’s stories and participate in her imaginative games, always seems to play the Prince lol. I love Diana, she was always a favorite character of mine because she was so sweet and learned from Anne how to be strong and stand up for herself. I think Dalila Bela is great in the role, I just wish they allow her to do a bit more than what they have her doing right now.
Lucas Jade Zumann as Gilbert Blythe. When the show started, I was waiting to see him. We didn’t see him for like two or three episodes but the girls in the class kept talking about him and I’m like “WHERE’S GILBERT!” lol, I remember him being a little bit of a hothead and a bit of a jerk, but I always liked him. So, when we first meet him, he steps in while Anne is being bullied on the way to school. She of course doesn’t talk to him because the annoying girls (who grow on me later) tell her she can’t talk to him because one of the girls like him, he’s intrigued. It’s all over his face and I loved it. When they get to school, he tries to talk to her, but she tries her hardest to ignore him and you can tell he doesn’t like that. So of course, he grabs her pigtails and calls her “Carrots” which is iconic however, he tries to accept the blame when Anne gets in trouble for yelling and slapping him with her slate. It was amazing lol. All in all, I really like Gilbert in this show. I do think they toned down his jerky personality I remember and his temper, though it does seem to be there at times. He’s very smart so he and Anne often go back and forth on trying to outdo each other but I feel like he does little things to make her happy, like misspelling a word during a “Spelling Bee” so she could win. He ends up facing tragedy which allows him and Anne to connect on a different level, but it takes a moment because Anne has “foot in mouth” syndrome lol. He ends up leaving to go work on a steamer to “see the world” because he didn’t want to get stuck in Avonlea, but he does end up returning home after helping a woman deliver a baby, so he wants to be a doctor. I do remember him being a doctor later, so I was like “yasss finally”. I really like the young actor who plays Gilbert. He plays Gilbert very chivalrous but also sad in ways and he has his moment of hotheadedness which I enjoy. I love the way he looks at Anne whenever she’s just talking, I find it super cute. Certain expressions he chooses for the character work well.
Aymeric Jett Montaz as Jerry Baynard. He’s one of my favorite characters and he doesn’t even get to do a lot in the show. When we first meet him, he’s the hired hand that Cuthbert’s hire since Anne turned out to be a girl instead of a boy. At first, he and Anne butt heads because she doesn’t like that he’s there since she feels like she could pull her weight as both a boy and a girl, but Jerry is unfazed by her. He’s French so I love his accent and anytime he says something in French, it’s so cute. In season two, we got to see a little more with him, in that he gets mugged by two grifters who ultimately make it to Avonlea and he’s not sure why he’s afraid of them, but he is. I wish they would have done a little more with that. So, I hope to go forward they allow him to do more. This kid is also great, anytime he’s on screen, I think he holds his own and sometimes he’s not doing anything lol. Some of my favorite bits is when he and Anne are traveling and he’s just singing in French and she’s so annoyed.
Dalmar Abuzeid as Sebastian “Bash” Lacroix. We meet him in season two when Gilbert meets him on the steamer. He’s from Trinidad and he and Gilbert form an interesting friendship. It really was a way for Gilbert to experience the world and to see that there is more out there besides his little town and that racism is a thing. I think some of the best stuff happens when they get back to Avonlea but while out on the water, he really shares a lot of real world experiences with Gilbert and befriends him and was kind of a “mentor” of sorts while they were out on the water. When they get back to Avonlea the cold weather is a shock to him, but he tries to acclimate lol, but he also gets upset with Gilbert who wants to be a doctor and didn’t stay true to his word about working his land with Bash. So, Bash gets a little side plot where he goes to the “Bog” where all the black people are in Avonlea and has his own story. I liked Bash. He was interesting, and I was surprised that he came back with Gilbert so now I’m curious to see what happens with him in season 3. I like the actor, he was very charismatic.
Cory Grüter-Andrew as Cole Mackenzie. He comes in season two, he’s an artist and seems to keep to himself in the beginning. Anne and Diana take a liking to him and befriend him. He’s a very gentle soul and he loves going to school because he doesn’t particularly care for staying home and doing field work, he wants to be in school, he wants to draw. He’s able to find solace in being friends with Anne. He even sketched her once (which made me wonder if he liked her but then I realized, he was struggling with his sexuality). Later, we learn more about him when he goes with Anne and Diana to Aunt Josephine’s party where they discover she and her best friend… Jane? Olivia…. Idk lol were lovers which allowed Cole to realize that he was gay. It was an interesting arc and I’m glad they allowed it to be something that discovered on his own or thought about on his own. He did get bullied a lot from the boys and the teacher (which was ridiculous because he was gay too, but I get it) but he was able to find freedom in the end. I guess we’ll see if he returns in season 3. I thought the young actor did a good job for the most part, whenever I was supposed to feel bad for him, he made me feel that. All the emotional stuff he handled well.
Friendship between Anne and Diana. A big relationship I remember from the book was the friendship between Anne and Diana. They are bosom buddies and kindred spirits and I love how Diana understands Anne to the point that she doesn’t judge her. There are times where she might feel a little unsure of what to do because Anne is so herself whereas Diana grew up in strict household so they’re like different, but they work. I love how passionate they are about being friends, it’s just so pure. When Diana’s mom freaked out about them being friends, it physically pained the both to not be together and I’m like “that’s true friendship” and how without second thought, Diana went to Anne for help when her sister was sick and how Anne, without second thought, did everything she could to help. Amazing.
Shirley-Cuthbert Family. One of the best things about the show is the relationship Anne has with Marilla and Matthew. When Matthew picks her up from the train station, he’s a bit shocked because they sent for a boy but got a girl instead however Matthew was a little more accepting in the beginning than Marilla was. He listened to Anne talk, her imagination was different for him and you could tell that he was just in awe of her. It was quite amazing. It took a little more time for Marilla to warm up to her but when she did, especially after she accused Anne of stealing her family broach, it not only tore her up inside that she sent her away, but she didn’t know what to do when Matthew didn’t return with Anne right away. One of my favorite moments, is when Anne is in a train station reciting poetry for money and Matthew shows up, obviously Anne is hurt that she was sent away, so she kept telling him to go away and when the police asked what was wrong, Matthew said “She’s my daughter”. It was such a beautiful moment because Anne’s expression and the realization on Matthew’s face… ugh so beautiful. Anne and Marilla have some great moments too.
Cinematography. Oh man I think this show is beautiful to behold. Bobby Shore is the cinematographer and some of the shots they get, just wow. There’s a shot where Anne is standing on the ledge of a cliff overlooking the water and the music coupled with the shot in that scene, very memorable. Whenever it snows it’s very beautiful and when Anne first gets to Avonlea, they really show what the world around her looks like, it almost seems like it’s what Anne might see when she’s looking at the world.
Dark Tone. I quite liked the dark tone of the show. It wasn’t always dark, but it had its moments, very realistic. Whenever they showed bits of Anne’s history, it made sense to help show us who she was, or why she was the way she was. I liked how she dealt with things so horribly, but it allowed her to have the kind of experience that would allow her to save children from sickness. I think it fit with this new adaptation of the story.
Might be a bit too dark. This didn’t particularly bother me as the show went on but when we got our first flashback of Anne at her old family or in the orphanage, I was kind of shocked. I read the first book back in middle school, I remember loving it and I used to watch the animated show and I loved the 1934 version of the movie with actress Anne Shirley and it had some sad moments but not dark. I can imagine purist having an issue with the dark tone, or that it’s too unlike what they remember that they won’t like it. Going forward, it made sense why they included that with this version of Anne.
Second Season. I don’t think the entire season was bad there was just parts about it that I thought were weak and that it feels too fast in some ways. There are some things I thought were strange. Most of the season had Gilbert on a steamer where he meets Bash and while I don’t mind Bash, I think that whole story line was a little weird. I feel like they did that to have Gilbert realize he wants to be a doctor after he helped a woman give birth in Trinidad. It was great to see some diversity the show lacked, buuuut it just felt out of place. It was… clunky. When they go back to Avonlea it gets better but while Gilbert was gone, I was kind of like “Uh… okay.” There are some other plot points where I’m like “these people can’t be this stupid” or the fact that there’s a lot of messages that felt too on the nose.
More Jerry and Diana! This is only a minor complaint, but I want the show to use Jerry more. I really like that kid. He’s been around since the first season and I liked him from the start. They tried to throw in a little something for him with Anne teaching him how to read and him not trusting the drifters the Cuthberts lodged in their home (there’s a great moment with him and Nate in the barn) but I think they should include more. I’m not into a love triangle between him, Anne and Gilbert, besides I think Jerry likes Diana. As for Diana, I don’t mean them TOGETHER, but I wouldn’t mind that, I just want Diana to be included more. She’s a great character and while I love her friendship with Anne, I would love for her to have her chance. She got to learn a little something about her Aunt Josephine, but I want her to become Diana and not just Diana, Anne’s best friend.
Overall, I really liked Anne with an E and I think it’s a very different adaptation and I think people should give it a chance if they love the world of Avonlea. I understand it might be “too different” but it’s always interesting and cool to see what fans of the source material think and how they might envision the world the author created. I think all the actors do a great job in their roles and I like all the characters, they may annoy me but there isn’t anyone I flat out dislike (out of main people, because that bully kid, Billy I think, I hate him lol). I like the dark tone in some areas because Anne’s history wasn’t happy-go-lucky, and she’s still affected by it. I like the fact that it doesn’t shy away from certain story points but that it confronts them head on. I love the friendship the show built around Anne and Diana which is such a pure relationship that I remember loving from the book and the animated show. I love how loyal they are to each other and how much they love each other to the point where Diana goes to Anne without second thought and vice versa. I love the relationship between Anne and Marilla and Matthew. It was strained at first mostly with Marilla, but I love how it’s still building a strong familial relationship. I didn’t mention this earlier, but I also love the budding relationship between Anne and Gilbert. They don’t always talk but when they do, they manage to be awkward but cute at the same time. The cinematography is also wonderful, the world they’ve built is so beautiful to look at. Now, I can understand why some people might consider it too dark from the world we know in the books and some other mediums. I also think the second season was weaker in places than the first one, I got a little “on the nose” and had some weak plot points that I don’t think the show handled that well. The tone was a little different, but it seemed rushed and out of place… mostly the stuff with the grifters (though I liked that plot, it just was weird) and Gilbert on the steamer. I also would like to see more for Jerry and Diana as they are important in different ways in Anne’s life and we only see Jerry at Green Gables and I would love to know more about his family and his life and see him succeed at reading! Also, just allow Diana to do more than just be Anne’s best friend. BUT I like the show and I can’t wait for season 3!
Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Anne with an E? If so, let me know your thoughts below in the comment section!
Have you seen any other versions of the Anne of Green Gables books?
What classic literature would you like to see adapted into a TV series?