Percy Jackson and The Olympians (season 1)

Episode 6 of Percy Jackson and The Olympians is a snoozer in which nothing happens
63/100152645
Starring
Walker Scobell, Leah Jeffires, Aryan Simhadri
Creators
Rick Riordan and Jonathan E. Steinberg
Rating
TV-PG
Genre
Action, Adventure, Children, Fantasy, Family
Where to watch
Disney+
Overall Score
Rating Overview
Story/Plot
48.5%
Visuals/Cinematography
58.3%
Performance
60%
Direction
60%
Children Suitability
96.3%
Parent Appeal
34.5%
Non-Wokeness
85.25%
Rating Summary
What would you get if you were to take all of the fun, imagination, and charisma out of the Harry Potter series? Disney's Percy Jackson and The Olympians.

The worship of the Greek gods traces its origins to ancient times, flourishing from the 8th century BC until the rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire. Central to this religious framework was the belief in Mount Olympus as the abode of principal gods like Zeus, Athena, and Apollo. Temples such as the Temple of Zeus at Olympia stood as testaments to their reverence. Fast-forwarding to modern pop culture, the “Percy Jackson” series rejuvenated interest in these ancient myths, introducing younger generations to the tales of Greek gods, heroes, and monsters in contemporary settings.

Percy Jackson and The Olympians (S1: Episodes 1 – 3)

percy jackson critic rating episodes 1-3Suffering from ADD and dyslexia, not to mention hallucinations and an abusive stepfather, bastard tween, Percy Jackson has remained an outsider for most of his young life. When his only friend betrays him, causing him to be expelled from school, Percy quickly discovers that the world he’s known is not exactly as it seems. Percy is a demigod.

slide 1
1 Vacation
2 Shop
3 Amazon
Shadow

Episodes 1-3 follow Percy as he discovers his heritage and, days later, finds himself on a quest with world-altering ramifications. In what is the series’ greatest achievement so far, it manages to both rush through virtually anything that approaches interesting while simultaneously feeling molasses slow.

Despite their efforts, these episodes never manage to foster any emotional connection to the characters or the situations. There’s never any doubt about the eventual outcome of every conflict, and all resolutions occur with predictable ease. Furthermore, the pacing is glacial. Just because each episode is supposed to represent a chapter in the novel, it shouldn’t feel as though it takes as long to watch one as it does to read one.

Were the special effects or the performances worthy of praise, or were any characters likable, at least there could be some argument to be made to watch the program. However, the special effects look like something out of a ’90s made-for-TV movie, the main casts’ performances range in quality from Medusa statue to serviceable, and the central trio consists of an unlikable jerk, an unlikable simpering and unfunny comic relief, and a main character with as much charisma as toast.

Ultimately, the first three episodes of Percy Jackson and The Olympians feel like a perfunctory and uninspired copy of Harry Potter without the heart, thoughtfulness, or fun.

INAPPROPRIATE ELEMENTS FOR CHILDREN IN PERCY JACKSON

The TV-PG rating is appropriate. Some “tense” situations might be too mature for the very young, but there’s nothing graphic.

WOKE ELEMENTS

DEI

  • Once again, Disney does a disservice to people of all colors thanks to its well-known DEI hiring practices.
    • So, audiences are forced to ask, did these actors and actresses of the race-swapped characters get cast because they were the best performers the casting directors could find, ones who embody the character’s spirit like no other, or due to the arbitrary level of melanin in their skin, and the racist belief that people who are darker than white people can’t advance in life without handouts from white liberals?
    • Suffice it to say that there appear to be several characters in the book series who were likely or explicitly white but are not in the TV show.
    • The show does not get sanctimonious about race. No one gives a speech about how Zeus Privilege.

The Isle of Lesbos

  • Some have made a big to-do over Medusa being a lesbian. However, I didn’t pick that up from her brief time on screen. It seemed to me that she was simply a devout worshiper of Athena, not that she was attracted to her.

Why Do Gals Need A Personality, When They Can Be B!t@<es Instead

  • Every bully is a chick, and every female demi-god is a jerk girl-boss.

 

Percy Jackson and The Olympians (S1:E4) I Plunge to My Death

percy jackson critic rating episodes 4Episode 4 is a slight improvement over the initial three, if only by virtue of being done with the interminable and ridiculous setup. However, the main trio has also begun to grow into their characters a bit more, and their increased comfort, in turn, engenders comfort from the viewer. Furthermore, Annabeth has begun softening and, at least in this episode of Percy Jackson, isn’t as much of an insufferable jerk.

As far as the story is concerned, it remains at the very borders of one’s ability to willingly suspend their disbelief, and, therefore, is only likely to be entertaining to children and Percy Jackson super-fans.

INAPPROPRIATE ELEMENTS FOR CHILDREN IN PERCY JACKSON

Once again, the TV-PG rating is appropriate. Some moments are too intense for the littlest of your brood, but the show avoids cursing and (as far as I could tell) using the Lord’s name in vain. There’s no sex or sexual overtones, and all of the women are dressed rather modestly.

WOKE ELEMENTS

Cocktail Party Activism

  • This episode manages to shoehorn in a smattering of environmental and diversity talking points, just enough for a pat on the back at the next mid-level elitist gathering.
    • Within the first 8 minutes, there’s some nonsense about the environment good/humans bad.
      • “There used to be herds of [centaurs]. A few thousand years ago, the god of the wild, Pan, disappeared. Ever since, without Pan to protect the natural world, humans have been trying really hard to chip away at it.”
    • The kids travel to a national landmark, and even though the actual museum at its base contains significantly more displays applauding American expansion, the show makes sure to take a moment to spotlight the plight of the American Indians. Mind you, the three are being chased by the actual God of Monsters at the time.

Diversity: It’s Our Strength

  • The race-swapped Annabeth and Grover are still the weakest links of the central trio’s chain. While it’s possible that the two had outstanding auditions that blew the competition away, thanks to Disney’s racist DEI hiring practices, the seed of doubt has been planted and then watered by their lackluster performances.

 

Percy Jackson and The Olympians (S1:E5) A God Buys Us Cheeseburgers

disney's percy jackson and the olympians woke ratingNot long after Percy, Grover, and Annabeth regroup and continue their search for Zeus’s lightning bolt, the trio is approached by a family member with a side quest.

Episode 5 greatly benefitted by having a complete three-act structure unto itself. The trio is tasked with retrieving an item; there’s a short adventure and a resolution.

While the main cast has finally grown into their roles, the series and this episode continue to suffer from a lack of sophistication. Problems are identified, briefly studied, and solved with a conversation, making for a program that is only enjoyable to the very young and superfans of the series.

INAPPROPRIATE ELEMENTS FOR CHILDREN IN PERCY JACKSON

The TV-PG rating is appropriate. Some “tense” situations might be too mature for the very young, but there’s nothing graphic.

WOKE ELEMENTS

Perfection, Thy Name is Girl Power

  • Percy tells Annabeth “You’re better at this (questing, etc.) than I am.”
    • Percy humbly has saved the day in every episode. Yet there’s a pathological need for the storytellers to promote Annabeth as the most awesome of the awesome.
      • It wouldn’t be a problem if it were warranted, but it’s not. Even in this, the first episode in which she saves the day, she does so by admitting how great Percy is.

Diversity: It’s Our Strength

  • The race-swapped Annabeth and Grover are still the weakest links of the central trio’s chain (though improving). While it’s possible that the two had outstanding auditions that blew the competition away, thanks to Disney’s racist DEI hiring practices, the seed of doubt has been planted and then watered by their lackluster performances.

 

Percy Jackson and The Olympians (S1:E6) We Take a Zebra to Vegas

disney's percy jackson and the olympians woke ratingEpisode six is barely worth a paragraph. It has no identity or act structure. The kids are in a place where there’s a minor issue. The minor issue is easily and immediately rectified, and the episode ends with an exposition dump to set up the next episode.

On the positive side of things, the main cast seems to have finally become comfortable with their respective characters. Unfortunately, they make the life-and-death situation in which they find themselves seem about as intense and worrisome as choosing the prom dress.

 

INAPPROPRIATE ELEMENTS IN PERCY JACKSON

There have to be elements before there can be inappropriate elements. Nothing happens in this episode.

 

WOKE ELEMENTS

 

Diversity: It’s Our Strength

  • Lin-Manuel Miranda plays the Greek god Hermes, and Hiro Kanagawa plays an unnamed character who is almost certainly the Greek God Hades.
  • The race-swapped Annabeth and Grover are still the weakest links of the central trio’s chain (though improving). While it’s possible that the two had outstanding auditions that blew the competition away, thanks to Disney’s racist DEI hiring practices, the seed of doubt has been planted and then watered by their lackluster performances.

 

 

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James Carrick

James Carrick is a passionate film enthusiast with a degree in theater and philosophy. James approaches dramatic criticism from a philosophic foundation grounded in aesthetics and ethics, offering insight and analysis that reveals layers of cinematic narrative with a touch of irreverence and a dash of snark.

15 comments

  • Tuffle

    January 13, 2024 at 3:25 pm

    I check this site almost every day – it’s save me from watching so many things I would have regretted.
    However the new woke o meter is confusing. It appears as if this has been given a 78% woke rating, when actually the opposite is true (I think). Bring back the old meter – it was easy to understand.

    Reply

  • KatKennedy

    January 13, 2024 at 3:25 pm

    lol @ Black Annabeth. Blackwashing characters should be an automatic 100% woke, c’mon now.

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    • James Carrick

      January 13, 2024 at 3:25 pm

      We’ll have to agree to disagree. It’s annoying and racist but it’s not the entire essence of the show.

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    • Bunny With A Keyboard

      February 3, 2024 at 1:53 pm

      They made Zeus black as well, which gets laughable when you see him with his brother Poseidon but it’s clear he has another mother.

      In reverse, if it was African deities played by white people, it’d be called whitewashing and racist. However, if the woke didn’t have double standards, as the now tired saying goes, they wouldn’t have any standards at all.

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  • Cari L.

    January 13, 2024 at 3:25 pm

    Great review! It bothers me that they girl-bossified all the female characters, not to mention the race swaps (and inaccurate character descriptions).

    Reply

    • James Carrick

      January 13, 2024 at 3:25 pm

      Maybe in the future. Right now, it’s all that I can do to keep up with movies, series, and video games. Ill add it to The List.

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  • Anon

    January 19, 2024 at 2:55 pm

    This is very woke. The woke a meter is broken. First of all, all of the Gods are Caucasian Greeks. Therefore, there is no way to have anything other than a half non-White child, which is not the case. They put a full black girl as the strong leader position, while the lead White male is a bumbling fool. They even have some of the Greek gods as black people or other non-Greeks. This is woke cultural appropriation at its finest. Right up there with black Orphan Annie.

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    • James Carrick

      January 19, 2024 at 3:22 pm

      I’ve made sure to call out all of these instances. But I’m not going to, for instance, ding episode 6 for the black centaur in episode 1.

      We rate wokeness not just on the number of instances but how pervasive it is in the story, does it consume or ruin the narrative vs the annoyance of a hypocritical decision to race swap a character when those same people would decry “racism” were the opposite swapping to take place.

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  • Bunny With A Keyboard

    January 24, 2024 at 5:19 pm

    Everything comes off as an easily-defeated contrivance in this show because it is, but it wasn’t like that in the books.

    Imagine if Frodo and Sam meet Shelob the giant spider in a Lord of the Rings movie,, and Frodo just stabs Shelob with Sting to hurry on quickly and dash through to the next similarly-rushed scene.

    The kids didn’t always automatically know what they were dealing with in the books the way they do in the show

    People can also comment on the race-swapping, but as long as Rick Riordan is just as okay with swapping non-white characters (like the Egyptian pantheon in later books) to white, then it’s fair by me.

    Oh, but then it’s whitewashing, isn’t it?

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    • Cari L.

      February 2, 2024 at 10:20 am

      Thank you! Someone else gets it.

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  • Cari L.

    February 2, 2024 at 10:19 am

    Update: I’ve officially disowned this show and have set it in the same category as the movies which must not be mentioned. I lost all respect for Rick Riordan the minute he made a certain character gay in House of Hades. I am ashamed to think that he approved this horrible adaptation that doesn’t even capture the spirit of the book. However, he is also a major Woke author, which does not surprise me.

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    • Bunny With A Keyboard

      February 2, 2024 at 11:50 am

      The movies weren’t great any any means, but they were better than the show.

      It’s a common thing with the woke: telling people that the first non-woke version wasn’t all that bad because we get a woke movie or TV show to compare it to. As bad as the M Nigjt Shamalayan version of The Last Airbender is, I expect Netflix to give it the same treatment.

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      • Cari L.

        February 2, 2024 at 12:19 pm

        I agree. Sure, they messed up the plot and aged up the characters, but at least it wasn’t Woke propaganda.

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    • Sweet Deals

      February 3, 2024 at 1:17 pm

      I lost all respect for the publishing industry in general a long time ago.

      I used to work as a page in my local library shelving books. In 2015 I was seeing a lot of books interrupt their narratives to include woke themes that weren’t necessary and spoiled an otherwise good story. In 2017 I saw books where the narrative had to be interrupted multiple times because the authors were trying to score woke points and make their mediocre books seem more important. In 2018 they stopped concealing the woke themes and started putting them right on the covers. In 2019 I saw a list of recommended books at a high school. Going down the list, every book was either about drug abuse, casual racism, sexual confusion, technological dystopia and other trendy things that exemplify the absolute worst of humanity. I wasn’t entirely sure if the authors genuinely believed in the woke themes they were pushing or if their editors and publishers were bullying them to include the themes or get their contracts dropped, but I figured that the librarians and the teachers were also part of the conspiracy.

      I haven’t set foot in a public library or bookstore in seven years. I used to love books a lot, but now I don’t even want to stand in the same room with them because they fill me with disgust and anxiety. I feel bad about that because anxiety is causing me to miss out on things I might actually enjoy, but I figure most of what’s out there isn’t really worth it anyway; woke and mediocrity go hand-in-hand. I don’t think I could handle it if I picked up new releases from my favorite authors and discovered that they’ve all gone woke. And I know that I’m not the only one whom woke has betrayed.

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