Review: Disenchantment, Part One

When I watched the first couple of episodes of Matt Groening’s Disenchantment, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. Being a massive fan of The Simpsons and Futurama, and a huge fantasy nerd, my expectations were very high. It seemed like the perfect series for me.

A shot from Netflix's DisenchantmentMy expectations were sky high, so maybe it’s not surprising they weren’t met.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed it. There are good gags, and the characters grabbed me pretty quickly. I also loved the animation. While the characters are of the same cartoony Matt Groening style we recognize, the environments are very detailed, with a unique style clearly meant to emulate Medieval artwork. Disenchantment is a feast for the eyes.

So it was good, but it wasn’t the Second Coming of Futurama I hoped for. However, as I got farther into the season, it did start to grow on me. It got a bit funnier, with some of the later episodes being genuinely hilarious, though it did maintain a certain inconsistency through to the end.

A real strength of Disenchantment, as alluded to above, is its characters. Though there’s a diverse background cast, as you might expect from a Groening show, the focus of the story is pretty heavily placed on Princess Tiabeanie (or “Bean” as she prefers to be known) of Dreamland and her companions, Elfo the renegade Elf and a self-appointed “personal demon” named Luci.

Luci doesn’t add much beyond the occasional one-liner, but Bean and Elfo are, for such a silly show, surprisingly real and endearing characters. At times they feel like a bit of a retread of Fry and Leela, but their arc progresses more quickly, and I think it may be headed in a different direction.

I especially want to highlight Abbi Jacobson as doing a fantastic job voicing Bean. She feels very comfortable in the role right of the gate, and she infuses Bean with a great deal of personality, perfectly nailing both serious and comedic moments. Despite her many bad habits, Bean is an intensely lovable character.

A promotional image for Netflix's DisenchantmentThe characters help carry the series, even during the slower moments when there aren’t as many jokes.

One other thing that makes Disenchantment unique compared to Groening’s other shows is that it is much more serialized. Some episodes are still standalone, but it’s clearly following a continuous arc. The writers have a plan, and it shows.

Events start to come to a head in the final episodes of the season, and things actually get pretty serious and intense, all things considered. Some of the twists are a bit predictable, but I enjoy them for the effect they have on the characters, and I’m really curious where things are going to go in the long run.

In the end, it might not be quite as good as Futurama at its best, but Disenchantment is definitely worth your time.

Overall rating: 8/10

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Honest Names for SWTOR Companions

My journey through SWTOR’s class stories is now complete, and one of the things that really made that experience memorable was meeting such a large and colourful cast of companions.

The ending of the Jedi consular story in Star Wars: The Old RepublicIn that time, I also came up with an equally colourful roster of nicknames for my companions, and I thought it might be amusing to share them with the world.

…I’m so out of post ideas, guys.

Imperial agent:

  • The one that’s going to smother you in your sleep
  • Bug Boy
  • Space Jekyll
  • Ensign Sexy Accent
  • The other one that’s going to smother you in your sleep

Jedi consular:

  • Gorn Michaels
  • Tharan and the Real Girl
  • Arcturus Mengsk
  • Actually okay
  • “Senpai noticed me!”

Sith inquisitor:

  • Hungry Hungry Horror
  • Steve Blum
  • “I hate you but I’ll do whatever you say for some reason.”
  • Sir Crumpets McBritish IV Esq.
  • Who?

Sith warrior:

  • Life is better where it’s Vette-r
  • [Choke him]
  • Two! Two companions for the price of one!
  • “Goon.” “Who?” “Hired Goon.”
  • Murder Bear

Trooper:

  • Grumpy Cat
  • The only good thing about the trooper story
  • Murica Bot 4000
  • Sergeant Sleazewad
  • Marty McFly

Smuggler:

  • Charles Tucker III
  • Totally not Chewbacca
  • Princess Playa
  • Mandasnorian
  • “You never even finished Jedi school.”

Jedi knight:

  • Microwave Mary Sue
  • Tough Girl
  • Dr. Nick Riviera
  • Sergeant Killbot
  • Sith Happens

Bounty hunter:

  • Five
  • Miguel Sanchez
  • Drywall: The Person
  • SQUIRREL
  • Tychus Findlay