The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

New Percy Jackson live-action series proves itself to be disappointing

WCHS+senior+Matt+Hsuan+watches+the+new+Percy+Jackson+show.+As+a+lover+of+the+original+series%2C+he+is+disappointed.+
Photo by Matthew Hsuan
WCHS senior Matt Hsuan watches the new Percy Jackson show. As a lover of the original series, he is disappointed.

Some childhood books shape young children into who they are today. Series that stick with them for the rest of their lives. A series a person read when they were eight years old can still hold a special place in their heart, even at 18. Harry Potter. Divergent. Maze Runner. And, of course, Percy Jackson. These are all examples of book series that are beloved by children and adults alike. And there is nothing more exciting and frustrating than adapting a book into a movie or television series. After a long wait, the “Percy Jackson” television series came out on December 21, 2023, and fans had mixed feelings about the direction the first few episodes took.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a series that centers around the life of Percy Jackson, the demigod child of Poseidon. In the first book, Percy discovers he is half god and is sent on a quest to retrieve Zeus’ stolen lightning bolt. Although the acting in the first few episodes was questionable, the actors for Percy, Annabeth, and Grover have proved to fit their characters well. Walker Scobell embodies Percy’s constant confusion and sassy comments, Leah Jeffries shows Annabeth’s wit and maturity, and Arya Simhadri exhibits Grover’s mellow nature and empathy. So far, each episode seems to highlight more important moments in the book; the best and most exciting being episode five where the audience meets Ares. But there are quite a few details that are emitted, inaccurate, or disappointing.

Starting off with the first episode, many events felt rushed. For example, Ms. Dodds, Percy’s teacher who was actually a Fury (a mythological monster), was a very big part of the beginning of the story. After he kills her, the people at the school spend a lot of time trying to convince Percy it never happened, increasing his confusion and suspicions. The pacing of the first few episodes seems off, making the beginning of the series not very enticing. For example, Percy, Annabeth, and Grover meet Medusa in episode three the majority of the episode is spent just talking to her rather than anything actually interesting happening. The fight scene with Medusa is maybe one minute long and rather than having an interesting conversation with her where they slowly uncover who she is, she flat out tells them. The fight with the Minotaur also did not seem very stressful or rushed as they spent a long time having a conversation while running away from him.

Moreover, there were, in my opinion, a few character inaccuracies. Gabe Ugliano, Percy’s stepfather, is a disgusting, abusive man in the book. His gross habits are so smelly that it covers up Percy’s demigod scent, hiding him from monsters. In the movie, he is just a bit rude and lazy. This means that the hate for him that causes Percy’s mom, Sally Jackson, to turn him to stone is not totally supported and will seem like an overreaction. Grover and Percy do not really act like best friends in the television show. Right from the start, Grover is the only person Percy truly knows at camp and they are very close. In the show, some mistrust and awkwardness is present in their relationship.

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Furthermore, there are quite a few details omitted or inaccurate in the show. In the Capture the Flag scene, the television show completely omitted the Hellhound. This Hellhound was meant to be foreshadowing the betrayal that takes place later on. Also, the extremely close bond between Annabeth and Luke is not stressed in the TV series. Annabeth truly loved Luke and looked up to him. Their close relationship is not accurately portrayed in the series which takes away from the confusion and pain Annabeth feels as Luke reveals his true loyalties.

Although there are many negatives to the Percy Jackson series, it was still far better than the movies. The movies were a terrible adaptation of the books. The characters were the wrong age, Percy immediately knew he was Poseidon’s son, Annabeth and Percy show interest in each other during the first quest, Ares is not in the series, Dionysus is not camp director, and much more. Fans may be grateful for a series more true to the book, but small inaccuracies begin to build up and lead to disappointment. Fans had high hopes when Riordan (the author) said he took part in the development of the television show. Yet, the once goofy, action-packed series is being turned into a monotonous, inaccurate adaptation. It is truly heartbreaking when childhood books are botched when put on screen, and this is exactly what happened with the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.

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About the Contributor
Clara Young, Copy Editor
Clara Young is a WCHS senior and the Copy Editor for The Observer. This is her third year taking journalism. During her free time away from The Observer, Clara is usually at her soccer practice or reading a book. She loves spending time with her friends and watching horror movies.

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