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Percy Jackson and the Olympians show steals hearts of fans

Vidushi Upadhyay
After a decade of waiting, ‘Percy Jackson’ fans are overjoyed to receive a long-deserved adaptation that lives up to the books.

After a decade of waiting, ‘Percy Jackson’ fans are overjoyed to receive a long-deserved adaptation that lives up to the books. Although the Disney Plus show is quite different from the original book series, many fans have embraced the changes, and were delighted to experience a remake of the beloved Rick Riordan fantasy franchise. 

‘Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief’ is a family-friendly show following Percy Jackson’s journey as he discovers he is the son of the Greek god Poseidon and is forced to undertake a quest to recover Zeus’ stolen master bolt. He juggles his newfound identity as a demi-god alongside forging new friendships and travels across America, overcoming endless obstacles to fulfill his purpose. 

The show is engaging and keeps watchers who have already read the books entertained by diverting from the original plotline. While the overarching plot and conflict are maintained, minor events were cut or altered to work around limitations with CGI and filming schedules and to better adapt the series for the big screen. 

One of the larger changes made to the story is the decision to change the perspective from a first to third-person. Without Percy’s inner monologues and constant fourth-wall breaking, the audience is unable to connect with him as much as they would be able to by reading the books. This forces the show to turn much of the dialogue into long monologues and exposition, disrupting the pacing of the show. Rather than preserving the book’s depiction of how the characters interact with each other; the show is telling rather than showing, making the storyline monotonous at times. Percy’s sassiness and attitude is majorly cut down, and his struggle with ADHD, a powerful draw for viewers who had previously identified with this struggle, is not as prominent. 

Despite this, Walker Scobell (Percy), Leah Sava Jeffries (Annabeth) and Aryan Simhadri (Grover) are able to effortlessly bring the characters to life on screen, and the chemistry between the three is organic and mesmerizing. While some of the dialogue can come across as boring, the jokes and playful banter among the famous trio never fail to trigger a nostalgic love of favorite childhood heroes. The one-liners are some of the best of any children’s show and preserved its light-hearted tone. (My personal favorite was definitely, “It doesn’t have to be a thing you know, that you hugged me.”)

The  fast-paced nature of the show reflects the books, but there are instances where it seems the directors didn’t have ample time to fully develop the settings. Shifting quickly between locations like the Lotus Casino and the Underworld provided a stark contrast, contributing to a less unified tone in each episode. This inconsistent emphasis of scenes creates an imbalance as irrelevant moments are given far too much screen time for the sake of “comedic value” or building character dynamics. Meanwhile, essential scenes that were deeply expanded upon in the book, were cut short. The Lotus Casino scene, for instance, is hastily slipped into the episode and falls short of portraying the simplicity and mundaneness of Percy’s childhood that built his down-to-earth character; yet, in the same episode, a pointless five-minute scene of Percy attempting to drive is included.

Unlike previous movies based on the first two books in the Percy Jackson series, the new show is made with far more care, and Rick Riordan’s involvement in the show’s production has ensured that both old and new fans will leave the show satisfied. 

While the show has noticeable flaws, it will undoubtedly go down in history, as essential children’s television. Fans continue to hope that Disney will renew the show for future seasons so they can follow the cast and crew in their journey as they develop this timeless piece of literature into a fantastic TV show. 

Overall rating: 8/10 (Yes, I criticized the show only to spend every week impatiently waiting for 6 p.m. on Tuesday so I could watch the next episode.)

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About the Contributor
Vidushi Upadhyay, Staffer
(she/her) Vidushi loves being a part of the Epic and is excited to write movie reviews this year! She's a dedicated swimmer and loves dancing for the school team. In her free time, she obsesses over Formula One and her favorite TV show at the time.

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