The student news site of Stone Bridge High School

The Bulldog Tribune

The student news site of Stone Bridge High School

The Bulldog Tribune

The student news site of Stone Bridge High School

The Bulldog Tribune

The New “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” Show: An Early Review

The New Percy Jackson and the Olympians Show: An Early Review

A successful video adaptation of the “Percy Jackson” franchise finally has a chance at redemption 13 years after its first debut, where fans of the book series were disappointed by a film that even author Rick Riordan described as “[his] life’s work going through a meat grinder.” The new television series, “Percy Jackson and the Olympians”, was announced in May of 2020 and was greeted with long-time book lovers’ high hopes for the story to be just as good, if not better, as a show.

The television series is set to air for eight episodes per season, with each season based on one book of the first five-book series. Things are already looking up: the actors and actresses casted for the roles of Percy (Walker Scobell), Annabeth (Leah Jeffries), and Grover (Aryan Simhadri) have received immense support for their potential. 

“The show looks amazing,” actor Logan Lerman, who played Percy Jackson in the original movie, told the cast in an article by Variety. “I can’t wait to see you all crush it in your roles. You’re making a lot of people happy bringing these characters to life.”

Lerman was not wrong. I began watching the show with low expectations, due to the mess that was the original movies. But once the first lines were uttered–direct quotes from the book that shaped my childhood–I knew this show was different. 

The first episode is centered around the first few chapters of “The Lightning Thief,” the first book in the first series by Riordan. It follows Percy’s journey from a somewhat-normal life to one full of gods, monsters, and half-bloods, like him. He is forced to go on an important quest full of danger, heartbreak, adventure, and friendship, with the fate of the world entirely on his shoulders.   

Scobell does a fantastic job of portraying the overwhelmed but determined lead, while the talent of his costars is equally as clear. Simhadri, who plays the protective and lovable satyr, Grover, does a fantastic job of portraying the quirky sidekick/mentor role. Likewise, Jeffries acts as the quiet, determined leader Annabeth with immense grace and talent. Seasoned actors such as Jason Mantzoukas, Timm Sharp, Lin Manuel Miranda, and Virginia Kull also dominate their roles of Dionysus, “Smelly Gabe”, Hermes, and Sally Jackson with tremendous humor and poise. 

In addition, by diversifying its characters and cast, the series changed and modernized aspects of the first film for the better. While the actors before were predominantly White in the original movies, the cast in the show is Black, Indian, Asian, and more. This switch is incredibly refreshing, and I’ve found it’s one of the only shows I’ve seen that made these decisions based on genuine talent, not performative activism

As yet another leg-up from the last “Percy Jackson” big-screen attempt, the computer-generated imagery (CGI) is absolutely jaw-dropping. Due to the massive budget of Disney+ and the rapidly-improving sphere of film technology, the show’s depiction of Camp Half-Blood (the half-bloods’ home base) and the Minotaur battle scene (which included pouring rain, crashed cars, and a gruesome fight) was hyper-realistic. The graphics and set are vivid and incredibly well-shot, making the world of “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” I’d always imagined as a kid come to life. 

The show looks amazing… You’re making a lot of people happy bringing these characters to life.

— Logan Lerman

While the show can easily be appreciated by a long-time fan like me, it was not made exclusively for the “Percy Jackson” book lovers. It is accessible and not at all difficult to follow, and has quick enough pacing that easily maintains the attention of both children and adults without too much simplicity or complexity. 

This show is thrilling. The effects, casting, and plotlines are incredible, and not enough of the minor details were changed that it made the finished product unrecognizable. While I am a big supporter of the cliche “the books are always better than the movies”, this show easily lives up to the legacy of the original series. It is worth logging in to Disney + every Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. to appreciate Riordan’s cultural masterpiece more fully.

“I hope you like eating blue food the next few years,” Lerman said. “I think you have a hit show on your hands.”

About the Contributor
Addy Cowley
Addy Cowley, Editor-in-Chief
Addy Cowley is a senior and the "Bulldog Tribune"’s EIC, the president for Cards4Cause, and the secretary of Key Club. She grew up in four countries, where she acquired an obsession for travel and adventure. This past summer, she participated in the Washington Journalism and Media Conference, where she attended seminars preparing her this year. Addy loves to read historical nonfiction, rock climb, paint, and hang out with friends, and can often be found procrastinating on schoolwork or working at her favorite climbing gym.