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Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Bop or Flop?


The bestselling book series, Percy Jackson, was recently adapted into a TV series on Disney+. Episodes have been coming out every Tuesday, leaving fans excited for each new release. Now that all eight episodes of the first season are finally out, we wondered how our opinions of the series would differ based on our contrasting levels of knowledge about Percy Jackson and Greek mythology in general: from someone who knows it all and someone who hasn’t laid eyes on a single page of Percy Jackson.

Spoiler Warning- Read at your own risk!


Angela’s Thoughts (Experienced Percy Jackson Fan):

When I first heard of this show, I was terrified it would turn out like the previous movie adaptations—a disappointment; however, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality, the casting of the characters, and the similarities to the book, plotwise. 

The cast is all age appropriate regarding the books. The main character, Percy Jackson, is said to be 12 in the first novel, and the actor who plays him is 14. This sets the series up for continued seasons, where viewers can watch the characters grow up on screen. It reminds me of the Harry Potter movies, since the audience witnessed the actors go from pre-teens to adults. 

The TV-series feels catered to those who have previously read the books, as the first episode seemed to pack a lot of information in a rushed fashion in order to set a foundation for non-readers. The plot, however, felt easy to follow after the setting was established, clearly stating that the goal was for Percy to return the lightning bolt. While I understand this series was made for younger audiences, the simple and predictable plot bored me a little. I had hoped for more depth in relationships between Percy and his family, or even with his newfound friends. The fight scenes were a let-down as well, lacking adrenaline and intensity. Take Percy’s fight with Ares: a quick slash of the ankle and a splash later, Percy comes out victorious against the Greek god of war.

Nevertheless, the chemistry between the actors was impeccable, especially between Percy and Annabeth. Their relationship was intended to develop into a romance, and I think this season set them up in the perfect position for a slow burn in the future. Leah Jeffries, who played Annabeth, did a phenomenal job at portraying her as both strong in her beliefs but also indecisive when emotions were involved. Grover, played by Aryan Simhadri, provided lighthearted comedic relief in tough moments, completing their trio. Luke was shown as an older brother to Percy, helping him settle in—if I didn’t already know what would happen, I wouldn’t have suspected him to be two-sided at all.  

The actor’s appearance initially threw me off, since in the books Percy is brunette and Annabeth is blonde with grey eyes, while in the movies Percy is blonde and Annabeth is African American. There was huge backlash from the fan community as well, but since watching the series, the new versions of the characters have grown on me. One thing I would change though is the length of the episodes. The shortness combined with weekly releases instead of releasing all of them at once, makes progression of the story feels choppy and hard to fully immerse yourself within. Regardless, while the show may be lacking in adventure for older fans, it is guaranteed to be an exciting introduction to Greek mythology for younger audiences.


Nishka’s Thoughts (Clueless):

My perspective is that of someone who has never read any of the books or watched the movies. A clean slate. When I sat down to watch Percy Jackson, I had no expectations. Despite having no prior knowledge, the series didn’t leave me confused;while it did skip over many details, it got the main plot across– and pretty well too. However, the first episode did feel a bit rushed, and I believe they could have set the show up better for those who don’t know what’s going on by spreading it out across two episodes instead of one. Regardless, I found the show to be interesting and unpredictable (although I guess this wouldn’t apply to anyone who has read the books).

It’s well known that many of the characters in the series did not live up to fans’ expectations, but judging solely off of the show, here are my opinions on them. Starting off with Percy Jackson, I love how they show that despite the huge responsibility the Gods just dumped on his shoulders, he is still just a kid. He’s clueless and is just trying to do what’s right. Annabeth Chase is the perfect complement to his personality, being the tough girl who knows what she’s doing. I love the sass that her actor, Leah Jeffries, puts into her lines. Grover Underwood is an amazing friend to Percy from the start, and it’s clear that he is Percy’s rock. I was shocked to find out he was a goat, but I was absolutely thrown off when I found out that he’s twenty-four. He just threw that in out of nowhere and I feel like Percy wasn’t shocked enough. I wanted more.

There was a point in the show where it truly felt like a Disney show, which despite obviously being true, took away from its magic. The scene where Percy arrived at the camp gave me flashbacks to Disney’s Bunk’d. This vibe, compared to the magical, almost Harry Potter-like vibe I was expecting, was not as good but not terrible. I was also slightly disappointed when Percy was given only one week to retrieve the lightning bolt for the quest. If only there was a further deadline, there would have been more opportunities for the fun moments with the trio. 

In spite of previous reasons, I certainly enjoyed the show. The storyline was amazing, and I completely understood why the books had so much success.


Both of us think that the show is worth watching. It may not be identical to the books, but it reintroduced the magical world that many of us hold dear to the next generation. This show was so popular that there has already been an announcement of a second season coming out. We can’t wait to see how it goes!

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