The title of this show is a mouthful but how I got to it simply via the recommendation percentages on Netflix and TV Times. I had seen a trailer for this beforehand and thought it looked interesting but didn’t yet know it was adapted from Sally Green‘s Half Bad Trilogy. No one in this cast and crew rang a bell or seemed familiar from Joe Barton series creator, to the stars Jay Lycurgo that I apparently saw in The Batman; Nadia Parkes who was in The Spanish Princess but I have yet to watch, or Emilien Vekemans who also appeared in one project that I wanted to watch, and even Paul Ready whose name and face seems familiar but can’t place.
Premise: Sixteen-year-old Nathan is the illegitimate son of the world’s most feared witch. He’s spent his whole life being monitored for signs he may follow the same destructive path as his father. But as tensions escalate, the old boundaries between “good” and “bad” fray, and Nathan will discover what sort of person he truly is.
Review: There is no doubt that this show could evoke very strong emotions in me, which remained true from the first episode until the very last one. There were many – a shockingly large number of – characters that I wanted to slap or have horrible deaths, but the one thing that stayed in my mind the whole way through the season was how blind and stupid most of the characters were when it came to Nathan.
As if no one had ever heard the phrase of self-fulfilling prophecy, most of the adults around Nathan were so blinded by their fear that it never occurred to them that they were heading exactly in that direction. The dynamic between most characters in this show, in particular the ones who seem to see things as black or white, could be seen as over the top but if you consider the size of the communities at hand, the secrecy they seem to live under as well as their history, then their behavior don’t seem as far fetched. When it comes to interpersonal relationships, the series is pretty good even if one of them seemed to have been rushed more than the others.
The world-building on this show is pretty decent but not great since they are parts of it that are not quite clear to me. One is the difference between Fairborn witches and Blood witches. That distinction seems clear-cut for most of the show until you meet other Blood Witches who don’t seem to all share the same abilities as the Byrn witches. I’m trying to avoid spoilers which is why I’m staying vague, but it seems to me that the main difference between the two factions is in the traditions and ceremonies blood witches practice. It’s a gruesome practice but it seems that only one in the blood witch’s families seem to take that practice on until the task is passed onto someone else. Please tell me if I got this wrong.
The way magic is depicted in the show is beautiful, and the visual effects are good, great even but the powers themselves are a bit more x-men-y to me – which I didn’t mind. I am invested in the show, I already plan to read the trilogy it is based on, and I hope that Netflix gives this show a shot.
I haven’t talked much about the acting because it’s good.
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