WILLOW: SEASON ONE
Starring: Warwick Davis, Ellie Bamber, Ruby Cruz, Erin Kellyman, Tony Revolori, Amar Chadha-Patel, and Dempsey Bryk
Creator: Jonathan Kasdan
If you can get past the medieval-era teenagers speaking like the TikTok generation (with half being British and the other half being…not) and the word-vomit of encyclopedia-level exposition, then you might accept Willow’s chosen tone. While the latter episodes improve and the visuals are great, I still wasn’t a fan of the series’ choices. Warwick Davis (Willow) and Erin Kellyman (Jade) try to elevate the lore-dumps that move us from one decent set-piece to another, but unfortunately, delivering dialogue isn’t the cast’s strong suit. This first season might be described as fun by some, but that wouldn’t be my description.
As a huge fan with fond memories of the 1988 fantasy classic, it pains me to write that Willow, Disney+’s sequel series, is borderline unwatchable. Disney seems to have created the series as direct competition for Netflix’s glut of YA fantasy programming because it certainly isn’t a show for thirtysomethings who grew up with the film. This is cheesy CW shit. And the acting? Child, it’s bad. Even overlooking the fact that most of the characters sound like American teenagers you’d overhear at the mall, the cast’s talent level is such that it exacerbates the cringe cheesiness instead of overcoming it. It’s a massive disappointment.
No, you're not dreaming. They actually did make a sequel series to Willow. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to see this story continued in a film, let alone an eight episode series. Thankfully, the makers of the show are big fans of the original film, and the love and care they have for the mythos are present throughout. This series is out to entertain from beginning to end, a goal they more than accomplish, and the lighter tone is welcomed, especially when compared to the seriousness of The Rings of Power.
Sorry, Disney, but y’all dropped the crystal ball on this one. Compared to Game of Thrones and The Rings of Power, Willow is absolute crap. While feeling cheap and flat, it fails to recreate any of the charm or magic found in the film. Plus, I couldn’t connect with any of the new characters, especially because they feel way too contemporary and modern. Still, I stuck with it, hoping for at least a fun adventure with the titular sorcerer, but, boy, was I sadly mistaken. Willow (Warwick Davis) is left in the dust on this journey, feeling like a secondary character in his own show.