REVIEW: DESCENDANTS 3

Starring

Dove Cameron (Cloud 9)
China Anne McClain (Black Lightning)
Cameron Boyce (Eagle Eye)
Sofia Carson (Adventures in Babysitting)
Booboo Stewart (X-Men: Days of Future Past)
Mitchell Hope (Never Tear Us Apart)
Sarah Jeffery (Charmed 2018)
Brenna D’Amico (Keys)
Melanie Paxson (Saving Mr. Banks)
Thomas Doherty (The Lodge)
Jedidiah Goodacre (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
Anna Cathcart (Old Squad)
Keegan Connor Tracy (Bates Motel)
Bobby Moynihan (Grown Ups 2)
Cheyenne Jackson (United 93)

Booboo Stewart, China Anne McClain, Cameron Boyce, Dove Cameron, Dylan Playfair, Thomas Doherty, Sofia Carson, and Jadah Marie in Descendants 3 (2019)Mal, Evie, Jay, and Carlos visit the Isle of the Lost to choose four new villain’s kids (VKs) to take to Auradon. They pick Dizzy, daughter of Drizella and granddaughter of Lady Tremaine, Celia, daughter of Dr. Facilier, and Squeaky and Squirmy, the twin sons of Mr Smee. The day the kids are to be picked up, Ben, Mal’s boyfriend and the king of Auradon, proposes to her. She accepts; Ben’s ex-girlfriend Audrey seethes with jealousy and her grandmother Leah admonishes her for failing to secure the family legacy by marrying Ben.Booboo Stewart, Cameron Boyce, Thomas Doherty, and Sofia Carson in Descendants 3 (2019)When the barrier is opened for the new VKs, Hades, the god of the underworld, attempts to escape, but Mal beats him back in her dragon form. That night, unable to contain her jealousy of Mal, Audrey steals the Queen’s Crown and Maleficent’s Sceptre from the Auradon Museum. The theft and Hades’ escape attempt has the citizens panicking. Mal, as future Queen, decides the best way to protect the subjects and restore peace is to close the barrier permanently, meaning no new VKs can come, nor can anyone enter the Isle.Sofia Carson and Zachary Gibson in Descendants 3 (2019)Audrey attacks Mal with Maleficent’s sceptre, turning her into an old hag. Mal and the other VKs go to the Isle to get Hades’ ember, the only thing powerful enough to break the sceptre’s curse, though Mal is restored upon entering the Isle, due to the suppression of evil magic there. Celia gets Mal into Hades’ lair, but he thwarts their effort to steal the ember. He is revealed to be Mal’s absentee father and reluctantly gives her the ember, warning her that it mustn’t get wet and will not exhibit its full powers for her. While leaving the Isle, Mal and the others are stopped by Uma, Gil, and Harry, who take the Ember; they agree to help after Mal agrees to release all the children from the Isle.Cameron Boyce, Dove Cameron, and Mitchell Hope in Descendants 3 (2019)In Auradon, Audrey attacks Jane’s birthday party with a sleeping curse; Chad obsequiously aligns himself with Audrey, while Jane escapes into the Enchanted Lake. As the entire kingdom falls under Audrey’s spell, she offers to reverse it if Ben will marry her; he refuses, so she turns him into a beast and begins turning people to stone. Mal and Uma, vying for leadership of the VKs, return to Auradon with their friends. Despite their bickering, they defeat suits of armour animated by Audrey. Uma finds Audrey’s diary and learns she spends time at Fairy Cottage, a contribution for which Mal thanks her. Evie, nervous to define her feelings for Doug, wakes him with “true love’s kiss.” Carlos calms Ben, in beast form, until Jane restores him with lake water. As Mal and Uma are thawing towards each other, Audrey traps them in Evie’s house; they reverse Audrey’s spell by combining their magic, and the kids reunite there.Cheyenne Jackson and Dove Cameron in Descendants 3 (2019)At Fairy Cottage, the kids find only a shell-shocked Chad. When Mal admits that she plans to seal off the Isle permanently, the group implodes and Celia, learning she can never see her father again, throws the ember in a birdbath and Uma and Harry leave. After Evie tells Mal how upset she is for lying to her and their friends, they are all suddenly turned to stone, minus Mal. Audrey takes Celia hostage and attacks Mal, who turns into her dragon form. Realizing she is Mal’s only hope, Uma combines their magic to reignite the ember; Mal overcomes Audrey, who falls comatose, and the curses are lifted. The ember could revive Audrey, but only in Hades’ hands; Ben agrees to send for him, while Uma, Harry, Gil, and Celia plan to return to the Isle. Mal apologizes for lying; her friends and former rivals forgive her as they understood that she was just trying to do the right thing. Hades arrives and revives Audrey, but decries the double standard by which Audrey is immediately forgiven because she is not considered a villain. Mal and Ben apologize to Audrey; in response, Audrey and Leah apologize to Mal.Booboo Stewart, Cameron Boyce, Dove Cameron, and Sofia Carson in Descendants 3 (2019)Mal announces that she cannot be the Queen of Auradon unless she can also be the Queen of the Isle because everyone is capable of being good and bad. With Ben and the Fairy Godmother’s agreement, Mal removes the barrier and creates a bridge, and the people of the newly merged society celebrate. In addition, Jane and Carlos become official, Mal and Ben are engaged, and Audrey has eyes for Harry (after Uma rejects him). In the mid-credits scene, Mal, Evie, Jay and Carlos are seen looking at the Isle of the lost; then racing across the bridge to their parents.Kenny Ortega and Disney don not disappoint again!! The third and final film was bittersweet as it was well written and acted yet sad with Cameron Boyce’s death a few weeks before the premiere. I found it great with fun songs, good and evil uniting to be good and the Disney characters in it portrayed to perfection! Well done!!

REVIEW: DESCENDANTS 2

CAST

Dove Cameron (Cloud 9)
Cameron Boyce (Eagle Eye)
Booboo Stewart (X-Men: Days of Future Past)
Sofia Carson (Adventures in Babysitting)
Mitchell Hope (Never Tear Us Apart)
Brenna D’Amico (Keys)
Melanie Paxson (Saving Mr. Banks)
Bobby Moynihan (Grown Ups 2)
Thomas Doherty (The Lodge)
Keegan Connor Tracy (Bates Motel)
Anna Cathcart (Odd Squad)
China Anne McClain (Grown Ups)
Dianne Doan (Warrior)
Dan Payne (Watchmen)
Jedidiah Goodacre (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)

Mal struggles with her new celebrity life as the girlfriend of King Ben, dying her hair blonde, and maintaining a princess-like personality that she is uncomfortable with. She admits her issues to her friends Evie, Carlos, and Jay, but they are content with their new lives in Auradon and do not wish to return to the Isle of the Lost. Evie scolds Mal for relying on her mother’s spell book to solve her issues. Carlos, wishing to ask Jane to the upcoming Cotillion dance, turns to Mal for help to be honest with her. Mal gives him a sweet that will make him speak the truth, but his dog Dude eats it, magically speaking the truth in English and very frankly as a result.Ben eventually discovers Mal’s reliance on magic, and she comes clean about her insecurities, causing the two to have a falling-out. Mal returns to the Isle, now ruled by her former friend Uma, Ursula’s daughter, along with Harry and Gil, the sons of Captain Hook and Gaston. Mal visits hair stylist Dizzy Tremaine, Drizella’s daughter, who restores her signature purple hair, saying she felt that Mal’s blonde hair was unnatural. Harry discovers Mal has returned and informs Uma.Ben, Evie, Jay, and Carlos learn of Mal’s departure and sneak onto the island to find her, but Gil recognizes them. Ben confronts Mal, who rejects his feelings for what she thought was both his sake and Auradon’s. Ben leaves dejected, only to be captured by Uma, who orders Mal and her friends to retrieve the Fairy Godmother’s wand or Ben dies. Carlos and Jay return to Auradon Prep, where they create a replica of the wand using a 3D printer. They are caught by Lonnie, Mulan’s daughter, who blackmails them into letting her come with them, having previously been rejected from Jay’s sports team based on her gender.Uma speaks with Ben, bitter that she and the others were not chosen to go to Auradon. Ben takes this into account and invites her to Auradon, but Uma instead plots to make her own way there. Mal’s group return, handing over the fake wand in exchange for Ben, but Uma realizes it is a forgery. The group flee back to Auradon, but Mal and Ben’s relationship is still on the rocks. The villains’ children come to terms that they cannot run from their pasts and agree to be honest with themselves and each other. Carlos confesses to Jane but struggles a little bit, while Jay appoints Lonnie as the captain of his team.Aboard a ship during the Cotillion, Ben stuns everyone by appearing with Uma, who he declares as his true love and announces he will destroy the barrier on the Isle. Jane unveils a stain glass display Ben commissioned to show his affection for Mal, who realizes he loved her for who she was all along. Suspecting Uma has given him a love potion, Mal confesses her love for Ben and kisses him, breaking the spell. Feeling infuriated, Uma leaps into the water, using Ursula’s magic seashell to transform into an octopus, Mal fighting back by transforming into a dragon. Ben intervenes, quelling the battle, and Uma returns the ring, that Ben had originally given her, when he had declared her as his true love, and swims away despite his offer still standing. Mal and Ben reunite, Mal surrendering her spell book over to the Fairy Godmother. Mal and Evie request that Dizzy be allowed to attend Auradon Prep. When she is given the offer, Dizzy accepts it immediately. In a post-credit scene, Uma addresses the audience, promising that the story is not over.You may think that sequels aren’t good as the first ones but Descendants 2 is the exception. We get to see more chemistry between the characters and the movie isn’t just focused on Mal, we finally get to know more about the other characters’ feelings. The choreography, the songs, the plot, for me, are way better than the first movie. Don’t judge the movie just because it’s a Disney Channel Original Movie if you give it a chance you may like it.

REVIEW: DESCENDANTS

CAST

Dove Cameron (Cloud 9)
Cameron Boyce (Eagle Eye)
Booboo Stewart (X-Men: Days of Future Past)
Sofia Carson (Adventures in Babysitting)
Mitchell Hope (Never Tear Us Apart)
Brenna D’Amico (Keys)
Sarah Jeffery (Charmed 2018)
Melanie Paxson (Saving Mr. Banks)
Keegan Connor Tracy (Bates Motel)
Dianne Doan (Warrior)
Jedidiah Goodacre (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
Wendy Raquel Robinson (Miss Congeniality)
Dan Payne (Watchmen)
Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies)

 

After their wedding, Belle and Prince Adam form the United States of Auradon from the surrounding kingdoms, creating a prosperous new nation, and are elected King and Queen. The kingdom’s enemies are imprisoned on the Isle of the Lost, a slum where magic is forbidden and surrounded by an inescapable barrier. Twenty years later, Prince Ben is to ascend the Auradon throne and informs his parents that his first proclamation will give the Isle of the Lost’s children the chance to live in Auradon away from the influence of their villainous parents. On the island, Maleficent instructs the four chosen children to find and steal the Fairy Godmother’s magic wand to release the villains. The children, those of the Evil Queen, Jafar, Cruella de Vil, and Maleficent, are Evie, Jay, Carlos, and Mal.
Travelling to Auradon Prep, the four meet Ben and his self-proclaimed girlfriend Audrey, daughter of Princess Aurora, and the Fairy Godmother, who is the school’s headmistress. Evie uses her mother’s pocket-sized magic mirror to locate the magic wand, located in a nearby museum, but they fail to steal it. Learning the Fairy Godmother will use the wand during Ben’s coronation, the four wait it out by attending classes but start to fit in with the students. Jay is recruited into the school’s “tourney” team (a football-like sport), while Carlos surpasses his cynophobia by befriending the school mutt Dude. Evie, though intelligent, acts vain to impress Chad Charming, son of Cinderella, but ends up doing his homework for him. Dopey’s son Doug encourages her to not pander to others and be herself.
Mal becomes popular, using Maleficent’s spellbook to improve the looks of the Fairy Godmother and Mulan’s daughters Jane and Lonnie. Learning that Ben’s girlfriend will be seated close to the magic wand during the coronation, Mal creates a cookie laced with a love potion and gives it to Ben, who falls madly in love with her, much to the shock of his friends. On a date with Ben, Mal becomes conflicted with her inherit goodness and desire to please her mother, unsure how to react to Ben’s feelings towards her. During the school’s family day, the villains’ children are ostracized after an encounter with Audrey’s grandmother Queen Leah, though Ben and Doug remain friendly towards them.  On the day of the coronation, Mal gives Ben a brownie containing the love spell’s antidote, believing it was cruel to trick him, but he reveals he was already freed of the potion when he went swimming in the “enchanted lake” during their date. During Ben’s crowning, Jane grabs the wand from her mother, accidentally destroying the Isle’s barrier. Mal takes the wand from Jane, but torn over what to do, is encouraged by Ben to make her own choice rather than follow Maleficent’s path. Mal recognises that she and her friends found happiness in Auradon, and they decide to be good.

Maleficent crashes the ceremony, freezing everyone in time save herself and the children. When they defy her, Maleficent transforms into a dragon. The four children use a counterspell, turning Maleficent into a tiny lizard, based on the amount of love in her heart. Mal returns the Fairy Godmother her wand and she unfreezes everyone. While the villains watch the celebration from afar, Auradon Prep’s students party into the night, Mal and her friends finding happiness.Excellent film for all family. If you know your fairy tales you’ll love this.

REVIEW: CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA – PART 2

Kiernan Shipka, Ross Lynch, and Gavin Leatherwood in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018)

Starring

Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men)
Ross Lynch (Muppets Most Wanted)
Lucy Davis (Wonder Woman)
Chance Perdomo (Killed By Debt)
Michelle Gomez (Bad Education)
Jaz Sinclair (Slender Man)
Tati Gabrielle (The 100)
Adeline Rudolph
Richard Coyle (5 Day of War)
Miranda Otto (Lord of The Rings)
Lachlan Watson (The Ultimate Life)

Kiernan Shipka in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Jedidiah Goodacre (The ORder)
Christopher Rosamond (Van Helsing)
Jaz Sinclair (Paper Towns)
Darren Mann (Giant Little Ones)
Ty Wood (The Haunting In Connecticut)
Emily Haine (Deadpool)
Liam Hall (Arrow)
Alessandro Juliani (Smallville)
Gavin Leatherwood (Wicked Enigma)
Alexis Denisof (Buffy: TVS)
Adrian Hough (The Fog)
Spencer Treat Clark (Unbreakable)
Ray Wise (Robocop)
William B. Davis (The X-Files)
Luke Cook (Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2)

Kiernan Shipka and Ross Lynch in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018)Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina hammered feminist themes in its first season, with Sabrina Spellman challenging the patriarchy at every turn, facing off with the principal and jocks at her high school, the leadership of her coven, and even Satan himself. The teenage witch embraced supernatural forces, even as she fought against them, and ultimately sacrificed her principles — not to mention her immortal soul — to save her town, and her family and friends. It’s reminiscent of the path begun by Buffy Summers more than two decades earlier.Kiernan Shipka, Tati Gabrielle, Abigail F. Cowen, Gavin Leatherwood, Chance Perdomo, and Adeline Rudolph in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018)If the similarities to Buffy the Vampire Slayer weren’t apparent last season, it’s probably because the show, and the audience, was so immersed in the mythology and history of witches in not-so-sleepy Greendale, and with Sabrina’s struggle to hold on to her mortal life, even as it slipped away from her. But with the heavy lifting of world-building out of the way, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is free to go full-Buffy in its second season, which arrives Friday on the streaming service.Lucy Davis and Alessandro Juliani in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018)That shouldn’t be read as a criticism. After just one season, and a winter special, Sabrina’s world is already richer, and more nuanced, than Buffy’s was after seven. With the characters, rules and stakes firmly established, the show’s writers can throw into Sabrina’s path rebellious Kings of Hell, a jealous werewolf, a murder conspiracy, the schemes of the Dark Lord and, worst of all, Valentine’s Day. And that’s only in the first five episodes made available for review.Tati Gabrielle, Abigail F. Cowen, and Adeline Rudolph in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018)Picking up shortly after the events of “A Midwinter’s Tale,” whose ending ties directly into “The Epiphany,” Season 2 finds Kiernan Shipka’s Sabrina seemingly settle into life at the Academy of Unseen Arts, only to upend one of the school’s oldest traditions by challenging Nicholas Scratch (Gavin Leatherwood) for the position of Top Boy. The shot across the bow of the patriarchal structure held dear by Father Blackwood (Richard Coyle), and the three challenge of witchcraft that follow, would be plenty for the premiere, except Sabrina — in the finest of Buffy traditions — also has demon troubles, which hints at the season’s overarching plot. Of course, the angry, entitled Plague Kings are perhaps the least of Sabrina’s problems, given that the Dark Lord also comes calling to collect what’s owed him, and the intentions of Michelle Gomez’s delightfully manipulative Mary Wardwell remain as inscrutable as ever. That’s all complicated by Sabrina’s determination to make a go at the Academy, which includes a new romance with Nick, but her inability to leave Baxter High, and her mortal friends, behind.Lucy Davis in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018)Those friends, who had relatively little to do until the Season 1 finale, flourish in these new episodes, with Lachlan Watson’s bullied Susie Putnam emerging as the show’s heart as he musters the courage to tell his friends, father and tormentors who he’s always been: Theo Putnam. Harvey Kinkle (Ross Lynch) and Roz Walker (Jaz Sinclair) are also given lives separate from Sabrina’s that, nevertheless, test her commitment to the Academy, and to Nick. So too is Sabrina’s family given room to develop beyond their (admittedly entertaining) roles as protectors and moral support. Lucy Davis’ quirky Aunt Hilda, who pinballed in between comic relief and (repeated) murder victim in Season 1, here reveals the depth of her ferocity and devotion. Although cracks had already appeared in the chilly facade of Aunt Zelda (Miranda Otto), in Season 2 she displays a willingness to waltz into danger for the sake of the Spellman family. And cousin Ambrose? Let’s just say that Chance Perdomo’s fan-favorite character experiences a complicated arc.Ross Lynch, Jaz Sinclair, and Lachlan Watson in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018)With more room to breathe in its second season, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina settles in for a little fun, bouncing between the (yes) Buffy-like “The Epiphany” and the holiday-themed “Lupercalia” before drawing influence from The Twilight Zone with “Doctor Cerberus’s House of Horror,” in which a mysterious stranger tells the key characters their fortunes. The latter could be easily dismissed as a throwaway episode, except that the twisted visions of the future hold elements of truth.https___blogs-images.forbes.com_merrillbarr_files_2018_12_CAS_102_Unit_00166RThrough the shifts in influence and tone, and the side trips into the stories of secondary characters, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina doesn’t lose sight of what made the first season so enjoyable: the moral choices, and failings, of a teen witch who wants to do what’s right, but is frequently forced to follow a dark path. Season 2 underscores that, with witchcraft having unintentional consequences, and those around Sabrina suffering because of her decisions.

REVIEW: LEGACIES – SEASON 1

Matthew Davis, Peyton 'Alex' Smith, Kaylee Bryant, Danielle Rose Russell, Jenny Boyd, Aria Shahghasemi, and Quincy Fouse in Legacies (2018)

Starring

Danielle Rose Russell (Aloha)
Aria Shahghasemi (No Alternate)
Kaylee Bryant (Santa Clarita Diet)
Jenny Boyd (Viking Quest)
Quincy Fouse (Logan)
Peyton Alex Smith (The Quad)
Matt Davis (The Vampire Diaries)

Matthew Davis, Zach Roerig, and Danielle Rose Russell in Legacies (2018)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Demetrius Bridges (Containment)
Lulu Antariksa (What Still Remains)
Karen David (The Scorpion King 2)
Zach Roerig (The Gifted)
Chris Lee (The Chi)
Sam Ashby (Stranger Things)
Katie Garfield (Project Almanac)
Steven R. McQueen (Piranha 3D)
Ben Levin (Allegiant)
Andreas Damm (The Yearbook)
Amy Manson (The White Princess)
Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (Halloween: H20)
Ben Geurens (Reign)
Ayelet Zurer (Man of Steel)
Nick Fink (Glee)
Riann Steele (Ant-Man and The Wasp)
Erica Ash (Scary Movie 5)
Christopher B. Duncan (Veronica Mars)
Jedidiah Goodacre (The Order)
Rodney Rowland (The 6th Day)

Matthew Davis and Danielle Rose Russell in Legacies (2018)The Vampire Diaries and its resulting spinoff series The Originals saw pretty much every single one of their characters die and get resurrected in some new, creative way, and now, in true vampire fashion, this franchise is defying death once more with another spin-off series, Legacies.Danielle Rose Russell in Legacies (2018)After The CW ended creator Julie Plec’s first spinoff series, The Originals, the initial idea of a further spinoff – about almost an entirely new cast of characters – seemed unnecessary. But the series premiere of Legacies gives fans, old and new alike, credible reasons to return to Mystic Falls.Peyton 'Alex' Smith, Danielle Rose Russell, and Aria Shahghasemi in Legacies (2018)Legacies is an easy entry point for new viewers to join the TVD fandom. Most of the necessary plot details are explained in simple exposition in the first episode — it’s set several years after the Originals’ series finale, following an adult Hope Mikaelson (Danielle Rose Russell) and seeing Alaric Saltzman (fan-favorite Matt Davis) running a school for young supernatural kids out of Salvatore family mansion.Danielle Rose Russell in Legacies (2018)But aside from the thrill of seeing the old Salvatore boarding house being used in a new way and some small but exciting cameos from fan-favorite characters, that’s where the comparisons to The Vampire Diaries and The Originals end, making this new spinoff more accessible than The Originals ever was. And for fans of the first two series, Legacies offers something new – a true supernatural high school drama. Yes, The Vampire Diaries may have started out in high school, but let’s be honest: those teens never saw enough of the inside of a classroom to earn their high school diplomas (let alone get accepted into college).Legacies starts with actual teenagers who are supernatural creatures, living at a school with other supernatural teenagers. The preppy boarding school setting allows Plec and co. dive into high school drama in a way they never have before. This works for several reasons. First, and perhaps most importantly, Legacies stars actors who are actually age-appropriate. No more 30somethings playing 17-year-olds. The friendships and romance intrigue actually feel right for a high school setting – and the supernatural elements are the cherry on top.

What’s most compelling about the romance on Legacies is how the new series takes a fresh and honest look at how many teens approach sexual identity. The new spinoff takes place somewhere in the near future (the timeline on Vampire Diaries and Originals got a little murky towards the end, but it landed somewhere 4-9 years from now) and the sociopolitical attitudes are refreshingly progressive: The teenagers at the school are all sexually fluid and don’t feel the need to label themselves.Danielle Rose Russell in Legacies (2018)With an accessible entry point for those who have never seen a single episode of The Vampire Diaries or The Originals, Legacies is for anyone interested in supernatural high school drama. And the nostalgic setting and fun easter eggs for fans of the Vampire Diaries universe are just the cherries on top.

 

REVIEW: THE ORDER – SEASON 1

Sarah Grey in The Order (2019)

Starring

Jake Manley (Heroes Reborn)
Sarah Grey (Power Rangers)
Sam Trammell (Imperium)
Matt Frewer (The BFG)
Max Martini (The Town)

6a01348361f24a970c014e6088c71b970c-320wi

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Katharine Isabelle (Hannibal)
Jewel Staite (Firefly)
Kawennahere Devery Jacobs (American Gods)
Louriza Tronco (Make It Pop)
Ty Wood (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
Adam DiMarco (The Magicians)
Aaron Hale (Miss Sloane)
Jedidiah Goodacre (The Originals)
Dylan Playfair (Descendants 2)
Hiro Kanagawa (Izombie)
Emily Holmes (Snakes on a Plane)
Julia Benson (Stargate Universe)
Kayla Heller (Snowcoming)
Ian Tracey (Bates Motel)
Françoise Yip (Aliens vs Predator 2)

a4763c55-70a8-4acf-a9c2-4b41593fd64d-screen-shot-2019-03-06-at-31130-pmNetflix shows like The Order have an advantage that series that release episodes a week apart don’t have. Potential audiences can give a new show a quick opening binge right away rather than only viewing the always tricky pilot to prove that it’s worthy of being added to their viewing schedule. The Order is definitely a supernatural show that stands alongside The Magicians or The Vampire Diaries, but the true twist to the witches versus werewolves premise doesn’t show up until third episode. College campus drama tropes bog down the first episode a bit, but the central conflict is wholly unique with plenty of humor and well-written dialogue to smooth out the rough edges.MV5BZjZmYjQ2ZTktY2NjOS00NTg5LWJlYWMtNDE5ZDhhNjg5ODYzXkEyXkFqcGdeQW1yb3NzZXI@._V1_UX477_CR0,0,477,268_AL_On the one hand, The Order should be commended for not holding the viewer’s hand during key parts of the opening narrative. Jack Morton (Jake Manley of iZombie) and his grandfather (Matt Frewer of Orphan Black) clearly have some sort of ulterior motive for getting him into Belgrave University as a freshman, but the audience has to figure out why on its own, and the details that unfold go from simple to complex pretty quickly. On the other hand, the manner in which Jack is admitted and his almost immediate encounters with frat boys and townie-hating rich kids is meant to be accepted with a hand wave and does feel a bit rushed.the-order-netflix-season-2-4-1551991441704Given the hurry to establish the campus atmosphere, it’s remarkable how quickly chemistry forms between Jake and sophomore college tour guide Alyssa Drake (Sarah Grey of Legends of Tomorrow). Despite moments of overt flirtation on Jake’s part and even briefer flickers of mutual attraction, The Order is not in any rush to bring these two together or create any weird love triangles. A level of respect is built between them based on intelligence and an understanding that some of those around them, both magic users and regular students, are jerks with poor judgment.ty5y54yIt’s interesting that The Order pokes fun at ritualistic fraternity initiations immediately before bringing us into the pledge process for the titular Hermetic Order of the Blue Rose, which includes — you guessed it — the presentation of a magically appearing blue rose to the potential Neophytes. Even those established in the Order, such as college chancellor Vera Stone (Katharine Isabelle of The Arrangement) and the higher level students like Alyssa, indulge in the use of robes and masks, but somehow the secret society comes across as neither haughty nor ridiculous. It’s just Hogwarts or Brakebills with a dash of alumni politics, and it works.the-order-e1551988902714The question is how many viewers will stay tuned in long enough to realize that the initial conflict that’s presented in which Neophytes are supposedly being killed by werewolves is not nearly as Saturday B-movie as it may sound nor is it in fact a true representation of the nature of the animosity between witches and werewolves at all? Jake’s place in the Order may have a lot to do with the mission imposed upon him by Grandpa Pete, but by episode three, it becomes so much more than that. And again, the friendships that Jake makes along the way (some of which lie in direct opposition to each other) are a bit rushed, but the humor that comes from the Neophytes playing with magic way beyond their understanding or Jack’s R.A. (Adam DiMarco of The Magicians, oddly enough) trying to figure out what to do with his new resident is definitely worth overlooking the artificially acclerated bonding. Fellow Neophyte Gabrielle (Louriza Tronco of Spiral) is especially delightful and will quickly remind The Magicians fans of an early Margo, and she and Brandon (Aaron Hale of Pure) importantly add some much needed diversity to the lily white cast.the-order-season-1-on-netflix-ofSo ignore the loglines and stick around until The Order shows you what it’s really all about. With engaging characters and with several compelling paths set before its protagonist, this show has legs if it plays its cards right. Characters whom you assume are good might not be so honest, and those portrayed as evil aren’t necessarily so. Achieving that level of complexity so quickly is worth the sacrifice of a little exposition. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have seven more episodes to binge.