The Sandman premiered on Netflix on August 5, 2022, with ten episodes in the first season.
Adapted from the 1989–1996 DC comic book written by Neil Gaiman, it is a beautifully shot and executed series. It made it very clear right from the beginning that the series isn't one of the hit-and-miss Netflix shows that have come out in the last few months.
Well-paced, poised, and good-looking, the show had almost everything required from a brilliant series.
Not deviating too much from the brilliantly illustrated source material that is a staple for fantasy fans around the world, the story follows Dream (Tom Sturridge). It shows Dream's journey through realms and different time-scapes. The series weaves together fantasy, mythology, and great storytelling to achieve the difficult feat of executing a complex Neil Gaiman comic in all its glory.
Read on for a detailed review of the latest Netflix show.
The Sandman review: Faithful yet different makes this series stand-out
The television market is more crowded than ever in the present time. This makes it difficult for shows to stand out. This crowded market is a result of years of increasing media content.
In all these years, there have been numerous attempts at adapting the vastly popular Neil Gaiman comic. However, the writer himself has tried his best to stop others from making mediocre adaptations.
It is fair to say that Gaiman's thirty-year-long attempt at handing the material to a deserving contender has paid off. The on-point adaptation works brilliantly in favor of the show. The writers carefully made this series in a way that sticks close to the source material while also creating a universe that aptly fits a different medium.
All ten episodes of The Sandman have the imprint of Gaiman's genius all over it. It is an abnormally good contrast, with scenes directly reflecting pages of the comic in certain parts and some scenes assuming a life of their own.
While this may not be the easiest to execute, Gaiman's presence as a creator with David S. Goyer and Allan Heinberg may be a reason behind this well-executed series.
The Sandman is also perhaps the visually most stunning Netflix show, barring Stranger Things, till now. It seems the network has also invested a generous amount of attention and money in trying to make this classic story stand out better than all the TV shows around it.
It does have the potential.
This is not meant to be a single-season affair, and neither can it be. The wide-spanning storyline of Gaiman's classic The Sandman deserves the footage it requires to tell the complete story without the sword of time and episodes hanging over its head.
Apart from the perfect look, sound, and feel, The Sandman is elevated by strong lead performances from Tom Sturridge, Vivienne Acheampong, Boyd Holbrook, and Jenna Coleman. Gwendoline Christie's extremely appealing Lucifer deserves a special mention, and it is more than possible that the character will develop a fan following of its own soon enough. Mason Alexander Park's offbeat approach to playing Desire is also noteworthy.
All in all, it is nearly impossible to see how The Sandman can fail after achieving what it has in the debut season. The beautiful show is absolutely worth watching and will likely be an award-ceremony favorite throughout the coming year.