Review: Willow (Series)
This post might contain spoilers for Willow!
We just finished watching the new series "Willow" on Disney+. It takes place many years after the old movie from the 80s.
Personally, I was really excited to watch this. I really loved the movie, and when the trailer came out, this show felt like "Dungeons and Dragons" as a show.
Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed in the show. For a few reasons:
The acting was a bit wooden
Warwick Davis delivers all his lines in the same tone of voice and expression, regardless of what he's saying. He could be telling a joke or talking about some tragedy he experienced in the past. You wouldn't really be able to tell. It was a bit jarring to me.
The other characters are pretty similar. They will make strange jokes in inappropriate moments, or be excessively stressed and sad while trying to talk to another character.
The whole show also had this weird "modern hard ass" attitude, like we're in medieval hard times but how do you do fellow kids.
The world is uninteresting
You get places name-dropped constantly during the show, and you think it would sound cool or interesting, but ultimately it just sounds like a fantasy name generator. You don't really get many lore drops. At some point you hear about this super advanced city a very very long time ago, but it's pretty much a vessel to explain a magic piece of armor.
The world is also incredibly empty and massive. It takes an incredibly long time to get anywhere and there is nothing in between, but the towns you do see are populated with maybe 100 people, if that.
It trashes the character Willow Ufgood pretty extensively
Throughout the whole show, Willow is sad. He's sad that he's not a good sorceror, except he is. Queen Sorsha pretty much blasts him constantly. In fact, it's shown that pretty early after the events of the movie, he's trying to warn her about training Elora and she just outright insults him so bad he storms off without a word.
Something happened to his village too, which is never really explained. Or if it was, I missed it. The only family he has left is his daughter, Mims. I don't know if they did this because they couldn't find the original actors, the original actors had died or retired, or they didn't want to recast anyone. I was pretty disappointed by this. I'm not a fan of storytelling where someone is set up to be powerful or successful and then we meet them in the future and they are just sad and broken (Hello, Last Jedi).
It doesn't explain enough
They could have explained magic a bit more. Ultimately, they show it as repeating the same words over and over, but "you have to believe it."
Where did all the sorcerers go? *shrug*
The music didn't fit
They introduced remixed versions of pop rock and other music, which felt a bit jarring to me.
It's a shame they didn't bring back this absolute jam:
I still enjoyed it, and it got better in some of the later episodes. I really wish that Val had made an appearance, but it makes sense if his health didn't make that possible, or considerations around his voice and speaking ability. I feel like they could do something about that, and who knows, the show made it clear in the end that they are setting up for more. I'll still watch, but it just felt like it could have been better.