BY ISABELLA MARCON
This article contains spoilers
This article contains spoilers
“Disenchantment” is an irreverent take on the fairy-tale genre by “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening. The Netflix original reimagines the old-fashioned fairy tale into a quirky comedy series influenced by modern-day culture. Over the course of 10 episodes, viewers follow Princess Bean and her sidekicks, Elfo and Luci, as they go from one adventure to another through the disenchanted kingdom of Dreamland.
The first episode introduces viewers to two main characters who are unhappy with their role in this fantasy world. Princess Bean is rebellious and defiant toward her father’s choice of future husband, Prince Guysbert. Elfo was unhappy living in an elf village where happiness was required, so he decided to leave and find a land where everyone was miserable, Dreamland. The third main character, the demon Luci, comes along later in the episode when he arrives as a present for Princess Bean’s wedding.
The show does a good job at incorporating elements from other familiar fairy-tale worlds.
While the story starts off slow, the show’s creators don’t waste much time providing a rich backstory for the main characters. Although later in the series viewers see consistent traits and flaws in the characters, they are not given the origin of these traits and flaws. The lack of character development could be forgiven if the series was presented strictly for laughs. The problem arises when the series slows down and attempts to tell cracked fairy tales with a modern twist. It is then that the laughs get further and further apart and the storytelling begins to get dull and stale.
There’s a number of things that the series does well. The series portrays Princess Bean as a modern-day princess living in a medieval world. Princess Bean is independent, strong and stubborn. Unlike most typical fairy tale princesses, she drinks too much and makes bad decisions. This makes her more relatable, due to her being far from perfect. Ultimately, these mistakes result in Princess Bean embarking on her fantastical adventures that make up the episodes in the series. This is where the show is at its peak.
The show does a good job at incorporating elements from other familiar fairy-tale worlds, like “Hansel and Gretel” or “Game of Thrones.” This causes the audience to anticipate certain endings or plot points. Instead, “Disenchantment” routinely surprises by taking unexpected twists and turns throughout the show.
The story often drags out and most jokes fall flat.
“Disenchantment” may be a gem in some ways, but it has its flaws in others. The show does an excellent job at taking fairy-tale themes and turning them upside down in modern context. However, it is here in the show that the story often drags out and most jokes fall flat. Some of the humor comes off as crude just for the sake of being crude. The constant references to other shows and books become labored and less witty with each passing episode.
Overall, “Disenchantment” hits more than it misses, but not by much. Perhaps the biggest weakness of the show is expectations. A fan of “The Simpsons” would expect that the show would be funnier and more consistent. Instead, there are periods in the show during which the audience is left waiting for something funny or interesting to happen. Nonetheless, the episodes themselves are unique and new enough to warrant a rainy Saturday afternoon binge-watch session on Netflix.
- Relatable main character
- No character development
- Slow beginning
- Bland jokes
Photo courtesy of Netflix