Sunday, June 13, 2021

Netflix Picks: Shadow and Bone

After a long wait, I was happy when Netflix released the series that I have been waiting for, Shadow & Bone. From the time that casting was announced to when it was released was too long a wait but it was worth it! As someone who read the books by Leigh Bardugo, I felt that everything from the show just leapt off the page and onto the screen. It was perfect! Any changes that they made only led to serving the story better and I am all for it. 

Ben Barnes was the perfect Darkling/General Kirigan. He was charming but deadly, suave but dangerous. As with the books, my heart went out to him. I felt that he had good intentions and it was just the execution of it all that needed work. His charisma with Jessie Mei Li as Alina was so good, just as any fan would have wanted and expected after reading the books. I would have wanted her to end up with him instead of Mal because Ben and Jessie are just magic when they are together. To be fair, Mal, played by Archie Renaux, is a much better character in the series than he is in the books. 

I don't think that I have ever seen a series with such a diverse cast in a story that does not flaunt it as much in a whole "look at this, diversity!" way but at the same time makes a point about race and racism as they go along. I enjoyed that a lot. 

The first season only has eight episodes. Like my other favorite book-to-series show A Discovery of Witches, I do wish there were more episodes but I also understand that shows of this magnitude cost so much to make. The special effects in this one were impressive! Despite the limitation, I think the show was able to fit in every important part of the story even if they only had eight episodes.  Given what I've seen, I'd take quality over quantity anytime.  I just feel bad that A Discovery of Witches did not have the same global exposure and promotion that Shadow and Bone have with Netflix. It would have been a big deal if it were promoted in the same way (and if they could be streamed here as well). 

Hearing the words "No mourners, no funerals" gave me chills when I heard it on the show. Only a fan would understand how I felt about that. I am very happy that they had the chance to be in the show this early even if they were not originally part of the storyline. I am just sad that most of Nina and Matthias' scenes were away from everyone else, especially since Nina is one of my favorites.

While the Crows were only added to Alina's story for the show, I think were made to fit in well with everything happening in the plot. Their role in this made sense, it didn't feel forced at all. I hope that they can make Alina and company fit into the Crows' story in the same way if and when they get that far (fingers crossed). I hope the show lasts long enough to share all the stories in the Grishaverse.

Now that they have announced a second season (yay!), I am looking forward to the entire story playing out on Netflix.  I am excited to see other characters being introduced to the show moving forward. Most importantly, I am looking forward to seeing who they will cast as Nikolai Lantsov. He is such an important part of the story, I can't wait to see who it will be. They have been perfect with casting so far so that makes me expect this to be another amazing casting choice. 

If you enjoy fantasy books and TV shows, Shadow and Bone is something to check out. I enjoyed every minute of it and it makes me want to go back and read the books again as I wait for season 2! Look for it on Netflix now!


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