Julie and the Phantoms is entertainment for the kids but adults can easily get sucked into the madness.
This review of Netflix’s Julie and the Phantoms season 1 contains no reviews. The family series will be out on the platform on September 10, 2020.
We recapped every episode — check out the archive.
On the surface, new family Netflix series Julie and the Phantoms sounds like too much of a stretch of the imagination for a Disney-like approach. It follows high school student Julie — a young woman who is struggling with her music due to the loss of her mother. The character needs to find a reason to get back into music as she’s talented and has promise. While rummaging through her mother’s music studio attached to the house, three ghosts appear who are from a band — they died 25 years ago before an important performance.
The Netflix series broaches an idea where Julie pretends that ghosts are holograms — so while she’s on stage and playing music, they appear. When the music stops, for the audience, they disappear. Even for a believer of ghosts, these technicalities must be suspended in belief somewhat. However, the story of Julie and the Phantoms is graced in this emotional subplot that Julie needs to find herself and continue music to keep her mother’s memory alive. That’s the basis, that’s what pulls you towards this likeable character.
Of course, as it’s a family event, Julie and the Phantoms does veer to silliness at times, but it keeps its heart throughout each chapter as Julie becomes comfortable with her newfound world of ghosts and music. The story does little to expand outside of Julie’s perspective, only giving inklings to the other characters but with the number of visual elements happening per episode, and its motivation to make this a “haunted” experience, it can be forgiven for the lack of character development in other areas.
Julie and the Phantoms season 1 is entertainment for the kids but adults can easily get sucked into the madness. The Netflix series tries to make it as fun as possible while keeping it relatively PG. There is a soft LGBTQ+ storyline but it’s hardly a shout for the community — it’s a rather weak attempt and it follows the same handling as Disney where they shy around the story.
And as always, the usual question is — will there be a Season 2? There’s nothing to grumble about if Netflix did commission a second season. We can imagine the budget is relatively low for a series like this and if the kids like it, so will the sweaty executives at the top as Netflix vow to become a leader in kids’ entertainment.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.