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The Flor-Ala

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Review: Percy Jackson & the Olympians

Izzy Smith

On Dec. 29, Disney+ premiered their new show, Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Although, this is not the first media installment of the famous book series by Rick Riordan. Back in 2010 and 2013, two movies based off the books were released, but they were received poorly by the fanbase. The show, however, seems to be receiving a ton of love and support from lifelong fans.

The show has 8 installments, releasing every Tuesday at 8 pm central. It uses Greek Mythology, with the classic 12 Olympians as parents of many demigods. The show follows a 12 year old demigod named Percy Jackson, who is the son of Poseidon, god of the sea. Jackson is played by 15 year old actor Walker Scobell, a perfect casting choice in my opinion–already outdoing the movies by a long shot.

Starring alongside Jackson is Annabeth Chase, a demigod who is the daughter of Athena, the goddess of war and wisdom. Chase is played by 14 year old Leah Jefferies, a casting choice met with heat as Chase is described as pale and blue eyed in the book. When they cast Jefferies, a young black girl with brown eyes, some readers were not happy–even though Jefferies has more than proved herself as Chase.

Rounding out the trio is Grover Underwood, a satyr. He is played by Aryan Simhadri, a 17 year old Indian-American actor. Underwood is one of the many in the show to use prosthetics to get his pointy ears and goat legs.

Unlike the movies, the author of the series has had a major say with this new project. Riordan announced the main three on his Instagram on May 5, 2022, and from there production started rolling.

I Accidentally Vaporize my Algebra Teacher:

The first episode of the series is named after the iconic first chapter of Percy Jackson and the Olympians. This follows a troubled Percy in a posh private school. At this point in time Percy is unaware of who his father actually is. Percy is portrayed as a troubled kid who occasionally sees things that nobody else can. Through these troubles and random outbursts, Percy ends up getting expelled from school and sent home to his mom, Sally Jackson, and stepfather, Gabe Ugliano. Sally decides to then tell Percy the truth, that he is a demigod. Not only this, but he will be going to Camp Half Blood for his protection. Grover then joins the pair and reveals himself as Percy’s keeper. The three head off to Camp Half Blood, but end up being chased by the legendary Minotaur. Percy and Grover escape and are off to Camp Half Blood, but Sally stays back to distract the monster. However, Sally ends up vaporizing, and Percy goes after the monster with his sword disguised as a pen, and defeats the monster.

I Become the Supreme Lord of the Bathroom:

The second episode strictly takes place in Camp Half Blood. Percy wakes up and starts wandering, when he runs into a man. He speaks to him in an attempt to figure out who his father is. Grover then approaches and introduces him as Mr. D, Dionysus, the god of wine. Percy then proceeds to meet Luke Castellan and Clarrisse La Rue, the son and daughter of Ares. Clarisse shows herself to be a very obvious villain, as she immediately shoves Percy. Percy is then asked to join in on the game Capture the Flag, and is paired with Annabeth Chase. After another scuffle with Clarrise, Percy is left on the beach surrounded, where Annabeth pushes him into the ocean and a trident appears over his head. It is announced that Percy has been claimed by Poseidon as a forbidden child. He then enters the sea god’s cabin as the only resident.

We Visit the Garden Gnome Emporium: 

Episode three picks up with Percy being told that his mother is actually alive and being held in the Underworld by Hades. He is also informed that Zues’s lightning bolt has been stolen. Percy is then tasked with a quest to the Underworld to get it back. He is given a prophecy that a friend will betray him on the quest. Percy chooses Annabeth and Grover to embark on this quest with him. They start on a bus where they are met by a monster and start running. They end up at the home of the one and only, Medusa. Tensions are high between Annabeth and Medusa, as Athena is the one responsible for cursing Medusa into a monster. Medusa ends up turning on the kids, but they are able to defeat her using Annabeth’s invisibility cap. Percy chops her head off and then uses it to turn the monster chasing them to stone. As a way to defy the gods, Percy boxes up Medusa’s head and ships it to Olympus. As the episode ends, the audience is left with a shot of Hermes, the messenger god, delivering the note to Zeus directly from Percy.

I Plunge to My Death:

Episode four starts with the trio on a train attempting to sleep. Here you learn a bit of Annabeth’s backstory, and how Athena’s children are born from a thought rather than a typical birth, since Athena has dedicated herself as a virgin goddess forever. Once the trio wakes up and goes to eat breakfast, they are approached by a cop about their room being trashed. After being watched over they meet the mother of monsters, Echidna. Percy is struck by a stinger and then the group runs off to the St. Louis arch, also a temple of Athena. Percy then starts to weaken as the stinger was poisonous. As they are finally caught by Echidna, Percy sends Annabeth and Grover away to complete the quest without him. Percy then falls out of the arch but is caught by the river. While in the river Percy is spoken to by a water nymph, a messenger of his father. The messenger reveals that his father does care for him, and wants to help him. Percy then discovers his ability to breathe underwater.

The first four episodes of Percy Jackson and the Olympians show a very well done book-to-movie adaptation. Riordan’s close proximity to the showrunners allows changes to be made for better reception from book readers.

Book-to-movie/show adaptations have been historically awful, and the Percy Jackson movies are a prime example. However, the new Percy Jackson show allows changes to be made while still remaining true to the original story.

The first four episodes of the show allow you to get to know the characters at an acceptable pace while also pushing the story along. The casting of the show is near perfect, and the cast has phenomenal chemistry. The next four episodes of the show slowly start to round out the storyline, and the show will end on January 30, 2024.

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About the Contributors
Amberly Brown, Staff Writer
Izzy Smith, Lead Graphic Designer
Izzy Smith is a freshman from Tupelo, Miss. She is pursuing a B.F.A. in Digital Media and a minor in HCI/UX Design. She volunteered with the Flor-Ala in the Fall semester of 2023. She is somewhat excited to "make mediocre art" for the newspaper as the lead graphic designer.

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