Arts / Opinion

The new adaptation of “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” stunningly brings a childhood favorite to life

On December 20, 2023, the first episode of Percy Jackson and the Olympians (based on the award-winning book series by Rick Riordan) was released on Disney+. Being a fan since third grade, I was excited for each Tuesday for the following two months along with the 13.3 million viewers at the premiere. I give Percy Jackson and the Olympians a 9/10. It’s a family-friendly, humorous, intense, and nostalgic watch, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes Greek mythology or fantasy in general. 

This first season is adapted from the first book, The Lightning Thief and follows the story of a 12-year-old boy, Percy Jackson (Walker Scobell) who finds out he is a demigod, the son of a powerful Greek deity. To stop a war from breaking out in both the human and godly worlds, he embarks on a quest with his friends Grover Underwood (Aryan Simhadri) and Annabeth Chase (Leah Jeffries), fighting monsters such as Medusa (Jessica Parker Kennedy) and meeting multiple gods along the way. 

Although the show doesn’t depict every detail included in the books, it’s a beautiful, heart-warming adaptation that was crafted by Riordan himself. Camp Half-Blood, the “safe haven” for demigods, is a collection of cozy log cabins on Long Island Sound, and the way it’s built in the show is almost exactly how I imagined it to be as a young reader. I love the cast; each member was casted by Riordan and it’s evident that he made careful choices, choosing actors and actresses who had similar personalities to the book characters. Most of all, the pace of this show is perfect. I liked how one book spanned out over a season because sometimes when everything gets condensed into a movie it’s hard to see how the characters develop. With this series, I felt more connected to the characters than any other show or movie given that I could watch the growing chemistry (and foreshadowed betrayals) in a more leisurely-paced manner. Additionally, each episode left me on a cliffhanger despite already knowing the plot by heart, so the suspense is well-built throughout the show. 

On February 7th, 2024, Rick Riordan confirmed that a Season 2 was in the works. “A good first day yesterday in the PJO season two writers’ room,” he wrote on Threads. Despite the release date being uncertain, fans are psyched. I’ve seen posts of memes and rejoicing on Instagram and Pinterest recently, and it’s evident that the Percy Jackson series has gained a huge fanbase, many of whom are teenagers. Themed PJO watch-parties are trending with people dying their baked goods blue and buying blue candy to celebrate one of Percy’s most famous traits–eating blue foods.

Image Source: Disney+ Press

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