Did Percy Jackson Drown? [Opinion]

Did Percy Jackson Drown? [Opinion]

A demigod thrust into the world of mankind, forced to battle not monsters, but rather test scores. Swimming his way through the crowded halls, while diving into the world of teenage life. Living as the son of the aqueous God, Poseidon, and half an IMDb flop. 

Though it may be harsh, Disney’s recent “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” adaption leaves it to be asked, “Is Disney getting lazier with their production?” 

It’s not brand new to see Disney slowly slip away from its once-beloved craft in the animation industry. With the movie “Wish,” bringing in an embarrassing 48% on rotten tomatoes and 5.8 on IMDb. It’s been in development for a while, but Walt’s losing his magic. 

However, Rick Riordan’s Magical World of Percy Jackson was a loved series by many young book lovers and is regarded as one of the best series in written history. Though, Hollywood’s obsession with bringing once beloved characters to the main screen, makes things complicated. 

The first movie, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, to say bluntly, was a box-office failure. Even with a production value of upwards of 95 million dollars, the movie only scored a disappointing 5.9 on IMDb and 49% on Rotten Tomatoes. 

The more adult adaptation of the 12-year-old Percy Jackson was not well-taken by all movie-goers, as many say it strayed far from its original story. 

Rick Riordan, who wrote the Percy Jackson books, hated the script and has never seen the complete film,” an IMDb interview discovered, “he also strongly advocated for the novels to be readapted, which would later happen with the Disney+ series Percy Jackson and the Olympians (2023), for which he wrote most of the teleplays.”

Despite Riordan’s involvement in the new series, many viewers speculate if the overall quality of the show had been diminished. With the astounding budget of 10-15 million dollars per episode, many thought it would exceed all expectations. 

“[…] the characters and fight scenes are beyond bland,” reviewer Shané van Blerk stated in a one-star review of the show, “I think I had exactly zero ‘on-the-edge-of-my-seat moments’.”

Most of the other audience reviews share the same story. Complaining about bad pacing, production value, and casting. The show has already received 3,000 audience reviews in its short lifetime, but in that time has amassed nearly a fourth as one star. Some go as far as to call the show racist.

“Cast as many black people as you want, that’s not an issue,” reviewer Chaitanya Mohatta said, “but let us see our characters as we have imagined them. Reverse racism is also racism.” 

This review is about the casting of Annabeth Chase, a young blonde girl in the book series. In the series, Leah Jeffries took on the role, despite much fan backlash.

“I’m not trying to be like anyone else. I want to be myself, and I want to make sure that other girls understand that too,” Jeffries said in an interview. The harassment even went as far as to get Riordan involved.

“If you have a problem with this casting, however, take it up with me,” Riordan said in an interview with Variety, ”you have no one else to blame. Whatever else you take from this post, we should be able to agree that bullying and harassing a child online is inexcusably wrong.”

However, the root of the issue is still there. The show just isn’t as well-regarded as others. When compared to shows with similar production value, such as The Mandalorian with its astounding 15,000+ reviews, Percy Jackson drowns in hindsight. 

“I am genuinely shocked at the amount of positive reviews this TV show has been getting,” reviewer Juna Crozier wrote, “If I could describe it in one word it would be ‘bland’. We were promised a faithful adaptation that would make the fans happy.” 

Many fans are utterly disappointed with the quality of the show thus far, and with current production, many are nervous about the future of Percy Jackson.

Percy didn’t steal Zues’ lightning bolt, he stole the memories from thousands of kids’ childhoods. 

“I have been a fan of the Percy Jackson books for a long time, and I am anything but happy,” Crozier wrote. 

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About the Contributor
Evan Deickman, Opinions Manager
Hi! I’m Evan, and this is my sophomore year at Grandview and my second year on The Chronicle Staff. I’m a part of the Opinions Department. My favorite Chronicle memory was a team dinner last year that I definitely overdressed for. An interesting fact about me is that I play volleyball and cook.

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