THE SANDMAN: SEASON ONE
Starring: Tom Sturridge, Gwendoline Christie, Boyd Holbrook, Vivienne Acheampong, Vanesu Samunyai, Jenna Coleman, David Thewlis, Joely Richardson, Patton Oswalt, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, and Stephen Fry
Creators: Neil Gaiman, David S. Goyer, and Allan Heinberg
The Sandman is a beautiful dream that feels like it was directed by The Wachowskis. While they didn’t have a hand in it, their works clearly influenced this adaptation of one of DC’s most otherworldly comics. Each episode is fluid and grandiose, simultaneously featuring spectacular successes and disjointed missteps. As a whole, the season feels like two separate shows with out-of-order episodes and disorienting tonal shifts, but its second half finds more focus to build a world worth exploring. The Sandman is a puzzle that doesn’t start coming together until the last piece is placed, and I want to continue piecing it together.
It’s tough to review The Sandman in ~100 words because my opinion of it is as all over the place as the series itself. So much of it is terrible, yet I still want more. Explaining those contradicting views won’t be easy, but here goes… It’s an all-around disjointed mess that favors world building over character development, the CGI is laughably bad, and there is almost no narrative cohesion until the final episodes. That said, two quasi-bottle episodes are tremendous, Boyd Holbrook is outstanding as The Corinthian, and the mythology it is establishing is extremely engrossing. You’ll probably have to try this one for yourself.