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The Wolfpacket

The student news site of Claremont High School

The Wolfpacket

The student news site of Claremont High School

The Wolfpacket

Percy Jackson: a perfect adaptation?

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Kayla Ranney

As a certified Percy Jackson fan, I was obviously ecstatic when the live action series was announced in 2020. Sure, there are the movies, (sorry to trigger everyone) but it is an indisputable fact that the only good thing about those was a reason to belt out Poker Face as loud as possible. When Disney Plus announced that they would be making an actual TV show–produced by author Rick Riordan, no less–hopes were high. Finally, fans of the series would see some high-quality sets, actors, and special effects that would tie together a world that I and many others dreamt about since the first book’s release in 2005 (literally older than me). Most people are probably familiar with this piece of childhood nostalgia, but if not, the books are not something to miss out on, especially to gain a better understanding of the lore while watching the show.
As a whole, I am absolutely in love with this series. There are definitely things I would change, but those things do not take away from how great the show is, especially with the incorporation of some original Percy Jackson charm. Percy has this specific teenage boy-esque charisma that was perfectly encapsulated by actor Walker Scobel. This is what I mean; the first episode is titled I Accidentally Vaporize my Pre-Algebra Teacher, and anyone who knows the books is screaming because that is the title of the first chapter in The Lightning Thief as well. Not only do the chapters correspond to the book, but the first lines are also the same. After hearing, “Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood” for the first time, I quite literally had goosebumps. Unfortunately, I did not go through another bout of fangirling until the plot reached Camp Half-Blood.
To be honest, what I was most bothered by was the fighting scenes, or more accurately the lack thereof. This is an issue that persists throughout the TV series, most likely attributed to the thirty minute episodes, Percy prepares to fight the monster-of-the-day but instead of having a real fight, the show presents his victories as more of accidents. It is arguable that he is just not as skilled at the beginning, which is true, but for someone who is supposed to be naturally adept in sword fighting (I mean, he disarmed Luke, who is supposedly the best sword fighter in three hundred years) there is a lot of luck involved with his victories.
An exception to this is the final battle of the quest, it worked on different levels and was certainly finale worthy, as it drew together parts of Percy’s journey and showed how friends (and foes) played a role in shaping him into the hero he becomes. In fact, moments like these were the most satisfying for me and I think the reliance on them in the season finale makes a big impact. A specific one of these moments that exceeded my expectations was when everything finally came together in Percy’s eyes, as the last piece of the puzzle was revealed, there was an intense shift in demeanor for both of the actors and I think that’s a testament to what a fantastic actor Walker Scobell is (not to mention all the Percabeth scenes, I died). Seriously, the last twist of the show completely soothed over any of my complaints.
I did have some other issues, including how quickly the protagonists figured out what their next obstacle was, seriously there was not an episode that went by without me shouting “You aren’t supposed to know this yet!” (my dad can attest to that, sorry dad). Although it was likely the fault of a time crunch making critical scenes throughout the show seem rushed, a strong finale can completely change my stance on a show and the people involved with Percy Jackson were able to achieve this. There’s only one last question I have, what am I supposed to do with my Tuesdays now?

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About the Contributor
Natalie DeWees is a senior at CHS and a second year reporter. Outside of class, Natalie occupies her time with volunteer activities, including a crisis hotline, and is involved with multiple clubs on campus. Whenever she can, she likes to spend her time reading and is always up to talking about books (warning, it might get loud). Natalie is looking forward to attending college in the fall, and pursuing a degree in Psychology.
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