Arts & Culture

Review: ‘Disenchantment’ a magical start

Michael Olderr, Contributor

“The Simpsons” and “Futurama” are some of the most iconic and praised cartoons in the history of television, and both were created by Matt Groening. His latest project, “Disenchantment,” is about medieval fantasy life. “Disenchantment” follows the magical adventure of Princess Bean, princess of Dreamland, a kingdom made of anything but. On her wedding day, the Princess decides she doesnʻt want to marry her fiancé and runs away from home after getting him stabbed in the head. With new friends, her adventure begins.

It is the characters who drive this show. Out of all them, Lucci is the one that stands out the most. Lucci was a gift sent to Bean by our antagonist to corrupt him, and is there to make everything worse for her, while still being her friend. As the show continues Bean’s character begins to falter under his influence. Bean’s corruption is countered only by Elfo, who acts for Bean’s best interest while having a big crush on her. He tries his best to persuede her to make the “right choices,” though she ignores them. That leads us to Bean herself; she is not your average fairytale princess. She is a drunk and fights with and is rude to everyone around her, though that is part of her charm. She first escapes her kingdom not to chase after some dashing prince or escape a witch’s curse but because she feels trapped by the duties and responsibilities of being a noble and doesnʻt like the idea of giving up freedom. Her father marrying another woman after her mom’s death drives Bean’s rebellious nature, though the show does not explore it as much as it should.

The show’s beginning is not all that remarkable. There really is no inciting incident in the show, and nothing happens that changes the characters in the episode. After that, however, the show improves. Each episode provides more laughs. Though at first, the show seems to be silly just for the sake of it, but the story slowly builds. That is what makes it so different from Groening’s other two iconic shows. With its Netflix binge model, the show makes an effort to have every episode connected (though the degree is not quite apparent until halfway through the season). The show actually pokes fun at this as the main antagonist watches Bean from afar making very generic evil remarks with a monotone voice that is played up for laughs. The show is riddled with the same adult dark humor that made “Futurama” acclaimed. It is balanced out with surprisingly real depiction of medieval times. Overall “Disenchantment” is a wonderful, though slow, start to what is potentially a great story. I hope the writers continue what they built from the finale and keep it going for the rest of the show’s run while spending more time developing Bean. It may not be “Futurama” or “The Simpsons,” but it could be magical. You’ll just have to wait and see.

This article was originally published in the Nov. 16, 2018 issue.