Derivative and contrived with very little to separate it from the rest of the genreWhat Should I Watch One Line Review
The Young Adult demographic can’t exactly add a lack of TV options to their angst catalysts, in fact I would go so far as to say Netflix might be the ideal place to go if you are filled with a profound feeling of un-belonging. Vampire Diaries, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Daybreak are just the first in a long list of Fantasy escapism destinations offered on the streaming service and though quality might be mixed, variety might be the point. Of course with enough variations on a theme everything starts to seem like just that – another variation. In case my heavily foreshadowed point hasn’t already taken root, Shadow and Bone, at least in this not so YA’s opinion, is disappointingly more of the same.
The story centers around two main assemblages – the Second Army of Ravka and the Crows from Ketterdam. Based on the novel duology written by Leigh Bardugo, the central character Alina Starkov (that name reminds me of another famous fantasy family that I just can’t quite place) is a young cartographer, who finds herself grappling with an unexpected ability that, you guessed it, might be the key to saving everyone, although coming out of the pilot, I am not entirely sure from what. The pilot does a great job of establishing the setting and various plotlines among the different groups, largely through the strength of the performances and writing. There is love story, of course, between Alina and Malyen Oretsev, childhood friends on the precipice of being something more. Their relationship is complicated by circumstance that will take some time to entangle, but the portrayal is convincing and serves as a good catalyst for much of the events of this first episode.
These are just some initial musings after watching the first episode, we dig into this in a lot more detail and you can hear what Mike and Steve think in this week’s podcast episode.