The live action series premiere of Percy Jackson and the Olympians garnered 13.3 million viewers within the first week.
The live action series premiere of “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” garnered 13.3 million viewers within the first week.
Freya Resler

‘Percy Jackson’ live action series transports fans to Camp Half-blood

“Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” the well-beloved fantasy series by Rick Riordan, has been adapted as as a live-action series on Disney Plus. In the “Percy Jackson” book series, readers are drawn into the world of half-bloods and immersed in Riordan’s twist on the Greek mythology world. The series follows a young boy named Percy Jackson who discovers that his father is Poseidon, the god of sea and waters, and his journey navigating the world as a demigod. 

The new adaptation, released on Dec. 20, was widely anticipated but also faced reservations due to an earlier film adaptation in 2010. The “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” movie fell flat at the box office due to significant inconsistencies with the storyline of the original books. According to Entertainment Weekly, Riordan has always been against the 2010 film because of inaccuracies in the script. Overall, the movie did not get much attention and received only a 49 percent rating by critics on Rotten Tomatoes.

However, the new streaming series has been much more well-received, and according to Deadline, the first five episodes gained more than 10 million views in the first week they were released. Disney Plus announced on Feb. 7 that the show will receive a second season. Season two will follow the second book, “The Sea of Monsters,” as Percy goes on a quest to save the camp and rescue his friend Grover.

As someone who wasn’t a fan of the original films due to the lack of accuracy about the books, I was eager to see how the new cast would portray the beloved characters and excited to watch the production decisions made by Riordan. However, there was concern about how the series would execute any changes made to the original story and how the series would balance accuracy with entertainment. 

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The show’s first season follows the first book in the Percy Jackson franchise, as Percy, Annabeth and Grover undertake a quest across the U.S. to find the lighting thief and stop a war between the gods. The show features a talented cast, including Walker Scobell (Percy Jackson), Leah Sava Jefferies (Annabeth Chase) and Aryan Simhadri (Grover Underwood). Other students agree that the casting decisions were excellent and the actors fully embodied their character. 

“The actors fit the characters very well. They seem to be able to portray everything in a better way than the old ones could in some ways,” sophomore Bethel Kirubel said. 

During the two-part episode premiere, I enjoyed seeing the complexity of the dynamics at Camp Half-blood that weren’t as developed in the earlier films. One scene that kept me engaged and brought back nostalgia was the capture-the-flag sequence. The sequence was action-packed and thrilling to watch. Although the majority of the first two episodes were very content-heavy and sparse in combat scenes, the incredible performances from Walker Scobell, Dior Goodjohn (Clarisse La Rue), Charlie Bushnell (Luke Castellan) and Virginia Kull (Sally Jackson) made it a captivating start to the series.

The chemistry between the trio throughout the first season was superb. The dialogue and the back-and-forths between Annabeth, Percy and Grover were taken directly from the book, satisfying long-time fans and welcoming new ones. 

Although I loved the storyline changes made to Medusa, including more insight into her tragic backstory, I found the “Lotus Casino” and “Tunnel of Love” episodes rather disappointing. The series’ fourth episode felt more like a filler amidst the action and did not add to the story’s progression. The changes made to the Lotus Casino scene made for a dull and questionable episode, as they failed to recreate the appealing chaos that the original film and book captured. 

Overall, even with the slight differences compared to the novel, the blend of creative vision from the books and the astounding acting from the cast makes the series worth watching for old and new fans.


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