The Sandman Season 1 Review
The telling of tales is akin to having recurrent nightmares. They emerge from the depths of our subconscious and, at first glance, appear to be the same. However, upon closer inspection, you may find that the specifics change with each new telling. The Sandman is the show for you if you enjoy pondering things like dreams and storytelling, as well as general ponderous musings about gothic things, because holy cow, this show is deep.
The good news is that this atmospheric and engaging series is the stuff that dreams are made of. The bad news is that there is a massive weight of expectation among readers and fans because this adaptation of a famous comic book by Neil Gaiman has been in the works for a long time. If you have never read the comics, you’re in for a real treat since you’ll be able to enjoy the series unencumbered by the recollections and expectations you have of the source material. If you’ve been keeping up with the comics, then Because the original Sandman story is so deep and ambiguous, every reader will respond differently. Observing how each viewer reacts to the TV adaptation of the story will be fascinating.
In either case, the 10-episode series on Netflix (with a surprise extra 11th episode) is a savory, dark, and hilarious mixing of myth and magic in the modern world. It is replete with alluring and destructive supernatural beings in a beautifully complex landscape of fears and desires.
The first episode of the series, which can be viewed online starting on August 5, centers on an arrogant magician attempting to subdue death. That is not a figure of speech; in this story, there is a real-life character who walks and talks and whose job is to usher unfortunate people off this mortal coil. This is a cosmos in which abstract ideas such as death, desire, and despair are personified as slickly dressed con artists arguing with one another on various layers of reality. One of these, a man by the name of Morpheus, is the one who finds himself mistakenly confined in the occultist’s cellar. He is a skinny young man with prominent cheekbones. Because he is the Lord of Dreams, while he is imprisoned for the better part of the 20th century, his realm is destroyed, and as a result, both pleasant and unpleasant dreams are released into the world of humans.
The series deftly blends with the fantastic daily, creating a fascinating contrast. The novel’s events occur in a world populated with mobile phones, petrol stations, and taverns with sawdust and spittle on the floor. This reality also features an eyeless serial murderer, foul-mouthed occult problem-solvers, and a genuine Lucifer. Even the secondary characters can paint a picture of a mysterious bigger universe, which is evoked by the tiniest snippet of conversation or the briefest appearance because the world(s) of the program is so rich in detail, and they range from the dream realm to the realm of Hell itself.
Even though it is a fantasy tale about a godlike mythological character, reality-altering rubies, and the grim reaper in a tank top, the humanity of the people Morpheus meets is at the heart of The Sandman. In the first episode, a father and son argue about what should happen to their prisoner. In the middle of the season, an episode takes place entirely in a diner doomed to fail, and it is truly mesmerizing. The show’s characters are sketched with heartwarming and heartbreaking hopes.
The Sandman Season 1 Review
It is disappointing that the creators of the show felt the need to begin the series with a voiceover that is jarringly overexplanatory and spells out in eye-rolling detail what might have been teased and revealed throughout the show. This is a regrettable decision on their part. I can’t help but get the impression that a Netflix executive was involved in making that decision approachable to new viewers, I shouldn’t complain too much about it. The conclusion of the first episode leaves viewers with the impression that there would be another standard sort of series — a fantastical adaptation of a police procedural — but this show is never developed further. Instead, each part conveys a tale that can be understood on its own, and the combined parts of the stories form a patchwork that is both captivating and mysterious. Morpheus takes on less of a central role as the series progresses due to the introduction of a more traditional overarching plotline in later episodes. However, this more traditional tale not only provides the show’s dreamlike structure with a little forward motion but more crucially, it serves as a facade behind which the progressively and pleasantly bizarre content may be concealed.
Tom Sturridge, who plays the primary part of Morpheus and has an annoying habit of muttering to himself, has the challenging task of playing a character who is generally arrogant and can even be cruel. Morpheus is often only an observer of events. But despite their intimidating appearance, they have a certain allure that draws one in due to their human qualities (as in an early episode, when he asks when he could have commanded). In addition to that, he wears a pretty good coat.
Playing against such a weighty cast, each member of which sinks their teeth into their multifaceted characters, is a challenging job to say the least. Even if Jenna Coleman and Patton Oswalt seem to be in the wrong roles, the cast as a whole is strong and there is not a single weak link. Boyd Holbrook, known for his silky voice, takes the lead role of Morpheus’ nightmare creation The Corinthian. The Corinthian is a sybaritic and attractive southern gentleman who is unable to stop gouging out people’s eyes. Then there’s David Thewlis, who follows up his chilling performance from the third season of Fargo with yet another unsettling turn in the role he plays. Gwendoline Christie, who plays Lucifer on Game of Thrones, plays an authoritative version of the character, while Vanesu Samunyai gives the later episodes their human dimension. And among the supernatural stars who attack their characters with zest despite having sadly limited screen time are Mason Alexander Park as a purring and growling Desire, and Kirby Howell-Baptiste as a friendly Death.
Adapting The Sandman is, in many respects, a mission that is impossible (or, I don’t know, Sisyphean labor, if we’re talking the language of Gaiman and his creations). Gaiman, together with artists Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg (amongst many others), was responsible for the creation of the comic book, which ran from 1989 through 1996. The comic often presented its tale by experimenting with the format of the comic medium. There are some aspects of that which can under no circumstances be replicated on television. Therefore, not everything will work in the television adaptation, at least not for some readers who have strong connections to the comic books that served as the source material.
On the other hand, stories are a lot like recurrent dreams. It’s possible that the same preoccupations, fears, and desires will keep repeating themselves to our helpless minds while we’re sleeping, causing us to have the same dream over and over again. Nevertheless, the specifics could shift, and more crucially, we evolve on a daily basis; hence, we never have the same experience of a dream twice because of how much we develop and improve. I must confess that it has been many years since I last read comics, and if I were to pick them up again, I believe I would have a completely different reaction to them than I had when I was younger. Therefore, a newly adapted version of a much-loved piece of art is likewise a different thing, and so are we as we experience it.
When you watch the television show, I want you to make an effort to ignore the comics to some degree, all right?
Your enjoyment of The Sandman will be determined by how you feel about airy philosophizing, Gaiman’s blend of whimsy with jet-black humor, or Stephen Fry. If you are new to The Sandman, your enjoyment will depend on how you feel about these things. This long-gestating adaptation of The Sandman feels like a fitting translation of Gaiman’s signature cocktail of unflinching humanity, atmospheric allusion, hilarious nastiness, and most importantly, an underlying sense of aching hope and joy. This comes after the gleefully wicked American Gods and the cheerfully cozy Good Omens. It’s possible that nothing could ever really mimic the classic comic’s enchantment, so just put the books to the side as if they were a vague dream. The Sandman is a dark and intriguing fantasy television series, making it a dream come true for fans of the genre.
Tv Series: The Sandman: Season 01
Genre: Fantasy drama, Supernatural horror, Superhero
Stream On: Netflix
First Episode: 05th August 2022