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The Student News Site of McLean High School

The Highlander

The Student News Site of McLean High School

The Highlander

Percy Jackson TV series takes students by storm

Students share their thoughts on the newest installment of this nostalgic series
Percy+Jackson+and+the+Olympians+premiered+on+Dec.+19%2C+2023+and+the+season+finale+will+be+released+on+Jan.+30%2C+2024%2C+with+new+episodes+released+every+Tuesday+on+Disney%2B+at+9+pm+ET.%0A
Disney+
Percy Jackson and the Olympians premiered on Dec. 19, 2023 and the season finale will be released on Jan. 30, 2024, with new episodes released every Tuesday on Disney+ at 9 pm ET.

Throughout the years, famous titles such as Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings and The Hunger Games have solidified themselves as staple series of many people’s childhood through their bestselling novels and beloved movie franchises. Now, the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan seems to be cementing its place among these iconic names with its newest installment, a TV show on Disney+.

The story follows twelve-year-old Percy Jackson, played by Walker Scobell, as he encounters a monster on a school field trip, learning that Greek gods and all the creatures of Greek mythology are real—and he is actually a demigod. Soon Percy is sent to Camp Half-Blood with his best friend Grover, played by Aryan Simhadri, who is actually a satyr, where he meets Annabeth, played by Leah Jeffries, the daughter of Athena, and other demigods. Once Percy realizes he is the son of Poseidon, he learns that Zeus has accused him of stealing his thunder bolt, and Percy and his friends must find a way to return it to him before war and chaos breaks out.

As the book series was originally marketed towards middle schoolers, many people have memories of reading these books at a young age.

“When I started taking Latin when I was in middle school and when I started learning about all the gods and the monsters, I think that was my first introduction to [the series],” Latin teacher Ava Minutello said. “I was like ‘Oh there’s a fun series I can read about that has to do with something I learned in school,’ so that’s when I started.”

Many readers were quickly captivated by the unique and creative storyline.

“I became a fan probably when I was seven when I first read the books and by the time I started reading them all the books had come out so I sped through them really fast,” junior Jaiden Saran said. “I really liked the whole story and I kept reading everything by Rick Riordan. [I’ve read] the entire series seven times.”

Soon after the series’ success, the first two books were made into movies in 2010 and 2013. However, they were met with a lot of critique and mixed reviews from the fans.

“[The movies] were not good, they were not accurate to the books at all which was really frustrating,” Saran said. “I don’t think they worked well.”

Now with the new TV show, many fans feel that this adaptation has allowed the creators to more accurately portray the events of the books on screen and bring a new perspective to the story.

“I love the actors who are playing these characters. I love Annabeth, I think she’s so cute,” Minutello said. “I think the fact that they’re a lot younger than the movie cast [helps] you really realize that they’re children and they have a lot of youthful innocence in their character choices. So even though it’s the same basic plot, I think the fact that they’re so much younger…brings a whole different vibe.”

However, no adaptation is perfect, and some viewers are not completely satisfied with some of the show makers’ choices.

“If there are more fight scenes in the later episodes, I feel like that will be my favorite part. They toned the violence a bit down because it’s on Disney, so there are less fight scenes,” junior Una Kang said. “I would also make the episodes longer because they end so quickly and it’s a really broad episode instead of going into detail.”

The new installment has given fans around the world a chance to further immerse themselves in the series and see their favorite characters and scenes in new interpretations.

“[I’m excited] to see the final battle between Ares and Percy Jackson,” junior Katia Abelev said. “Hopefully it’s a good fight scene and well choreographed.”

The first episode of this series premiered on Dec. 19 and the last episode of the season will be released on Jan. 30 with new episodes released every Tuesday on Disney+ at 9 pm ET.

“I’m so excited for the whole grand finale,” Minutello said. “I want to see how they re-do it with all these actors who I love, so the whole [show’s] been really enjoyable.”

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