A magical and mysterious adventure with high production values and solid acting that is missing a little more action in spots.
This review of the Netflix series The Sandman season 1 does not contain spoilers.
Netflix’s dark fantasy series The Sandman is loosely based on the comic book series by Neil Gaiman. The comic books and series introduce the world to a special set of seven siblings called The Endless. Each of the Endless represents something that is immutable and permanent in the human experience, and they are Death, Dream, Despair, Desire, Destiny, Destruction, and Delirium. Each has its own realm and powers, operating in its own unique way. The Sandman season 1 focuses on Lord Morpheus, known as the King of Dreams, also known as Dream. He has a lot of names, but luckily that’s the only thing you need to remember. Morpheus is captured by humans and kept imprisoned for over a century and in his absence, the world is drastically changed. Morpheus must go on a quest of self-discovery and retrieve his stolen tools in order to bring back balance.
Through ten episodes lasting roughly one hour each, we’re taken on a magical and mysterious adventure, with Morpheus avenging those who captured and betrayed him and rebuilding his realm, the Dreaming. Once he is victorious another threat comes in the form of a Vortex called Rose Walker. A Dream Vortex has the power to waken the walls between dreams and reality. Morpheus must now stop her in order to keep the dreaming balance secure. Rose has also captured the attention of a rogue nightmare called The Corinthian, a serial killer, who doesn’t want to return back to the Dreaming. Will Morpheus prevail?
The CGI is impressive and the creative team has done a brilliant job in bringing the realms to life, without being over the top and distracting. Whilst I did enjoy this series and really do look forward to a second season, and more, I felt it missed a lot of action. I thought some battle scenes were soft and weak, and I was craving more dark and intense action. The battle between Lucifer and Morpheus is clever but slow and in the final episode, the final scene between Morpheus and Rose is gentle and we are given a happy ending, which is great but it would have been greater if it had come from more conflict and trauma. Rose’s storyline felt weak, at times, you’re really watching to see if The Corinthian is successful in taking down Morpheus and hoping that Lucifer comes back to kick some a*s.
The 5th and 6th episodes are by far the best two, well written and extremely well acted. The acting throughout is impressive and there are some extremely well-renowned actors in this series who are worth watching. There is some good comedic balance with the nitty-gritty dark tones, but sometimes this is overlapped and I couldn’t make out if I were watching a dark-fantasy horror or a fantasy chick flick. Coleman’s cockney accent was far too much to take seriously, whilst her character was impressive, the accent made her appear more Dick Van Dyke than Butcher. Matthew the Raven is one of my favorite characters, but his happy-go-lucky attitude with an American accent was a weird choice for me. Nonetheless, there are so many characters for you to follow and enjoy in this series.
Now, has Netflix done the comics and its fans justice? You’ll have to watch and decide and let me know in the comments. It’s no secret that Hollywood producers have been trying to make The Sandman for a very long time, since the early 90s before the comics were even finished. After many failed attempts and hated scripts, in 2019 Netflix announced it was making The Sandman a series with Gaiman on board as producer.
Overall this series is worth watching. I can’t wait to see what die-hard comic fans have to say about the series, as I know there is a devoted fan base and for their sake, I hope this series lives up to expectations. The imagination that has gone into this story is impressive and I know I am inspired. I am hopeful for a second season, and will definitely be watching. I recommend watching it if you’re a fan of His Dark Materials, Game of Thrones, and The Lord of The Rings.
What did you think of Netflix’s The Sandman season 1? Comment below.