I had my doubts when news broke that Netflix would release a series featuring The Sandman. This particular piece of literary greatness has been the focus of many, many would-be screen adaptations over the years, and none quite reached fruition. Furthermore, of late, Netflix has not bolstered my confidence in its overall quality.
Honestly, even the trailers did not stir any excitement in me. I loved this comic book series, I love Neil Gaiman, and I really, really didn’t want The Sandman to flop. If the show proved terrible, I didn’t want people to assume the books are also terrible, and the creator is also terrible, and all of the people who have been devoted to Dream and his siblings are also terrible. I didn’t want Netflix to taint something so special to so many people.
Fortunately for everyone, The Sandman is absolutely fantastic.
I found myself hooked within the first fifteen minutes. And once that initial episode ended, I couldn’t wait for the next. I haven’t felt that enthusiastic for a show in quite awhile.
When I describe the show to people, I say it has a “mood,” which is one of the things I love most about it. Morpheus, the main character, also know as Dream, is not necessarily nice, but he is good. He is honorable. He is even royal. But he’s also stubborn, and sometimes off-putting, and very often passive aggressive. (Though he can certainly be active aggressive when necessary.) In other words, despite Morpheus’ stoicism, he’s always in a mood, and so the show is as well. (The exquisite soundtrack definitely assists with this.)
Netflix’s The Sandman encapsulates everything I loved most about the comic book series while modernizing elements both appropriately and to the show’s benefit. It truly found a way to stay loyal to the source material while also feeling fresh and in the “now.” The world is no longer the same as it was when the comic book came out, and I’m personally glad the show adapted accordingly. Of course, if you know anything at all about The Sandman’s creator, Neil Gaiman, this should come as no surprise.
I’ll admit that the last half of the season didn’t exhilarate me as much as the first, but know that the latter half laid the groundwork for numerous stories to come. Everything is important–everything is connected.
If you enjoy epic storylines full of mythology, literary references, high-brow concepts, good old fashioned horror, and a huge touch of magic, I highly recommend The Sandman.