The critic reviews for Netflix’s new animated show Disenchantment are in, and the verdict is not as overwhelmingly positive as you might expect for a series hailing from the mind of The Simpsons and Futurama creator, Matt Groening. Set in the fictional (and misleadingly named) Dreamland, the series revolves around an alcoholic, medieval princess called Bean (Abbi Jacobson) as she traverses the land trying to find herself after ditching her prince at the altar.
With a Futurama-esque aesthetic, the trailer seemed to promise a sure-fire hit, automatically placing it beside other Netflix favorites like of Rick and Morty and Bojack Horseman. And while that might be the case for some— critic reviews don’t necessarily correlate with audience enjoyment — others still think there’s some way to go until Groening’s Disenchantment really finds its footing.
Here’s what the critics are saying.
Merrill Barr / Forbes
“No-one should be going into this one thinking it’s going to be Groening with the gloves off just because it’s on Netflix. Instead, what the series will make everyone realize is Groening has never had the gloves on, to begin with. If you’re a fan of the kind of humor and style we’ve come to expect from The Simpsons and Futurama, then you’re going to be a fan of Disenchantment. It’s as simple as that.”
Sam Machikovech / Arts Technica
“The series’ first half-season hits a bit of a lull when its opening thrust—about a mysterious pair of dim-witted magicians plotting Bean’s demise—disappears for seemingly no reason. A couple of ho-hum, freak-of-the-week episodes break up the series’ running plot in favor of some predictable love-triangle woes between Elfo and Bean. But even at its slowest, Disenchantment avoids trying to cash in on cheap, topical jokes or series-specific satire. You won’t see Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings scenes copied wholesale; instead, the series knowingly winks at those worlds’ tropes, along with their real-life corollaries.”
Joe Matar / Den of Geek
“Unfortunately, the jokes don’t fare quite so well. Simply put, Disenchantment isn’t hugely funny. The average episode inspires more chuckling than outright laughter. It’s hard to pin down why, but it’s certainly nothing to do with the cast. I’m lukewarm on Nat Faxon as Elfo (sorry, Mr. Faxon), but Abbi Jacobson and Eric Andre are amazing in their roles and the rest of the cast is stellar from top to bottom, filled out mostly by Futurama and The Mighty Boosh alum (Matt Berry, sadly, is only sporadically involved).
The middling humor must therefore be down to the writing.”
Adam Starkey / Metro
““Disenchantment, while wonderful to look at, is missing a soul which runs through Matt Groening’s best works. In a world of hyper-kinetic rivals like Adventure Time and Rick and Morty, this Netflix series is too reserved and inconsistent to be a satirical fantasy worth exploring.””
Stuart Heritage / The Guardian
“The first run of episodes is fine, but let’s treat them as . Soon enough, the writers will start writing for the performers, the characters will start to pop, the show will lose its compulsion to push buttons for the sake of it (the opening 15 minutes alone feature fistfights, stabbing, heavy petting, hanging and two separate peeping Tom incidents) and it wll settle into something special. There is promise in Disenchantment, but we will have to wait for it to be realised.”
Jonathan Pile / Empire
“It’s recognisably a Matt Groening production, then (right down to the overbites and freeze-frame background signs), although it’s not yet the equal of his previous work. But Futurama didn’t peak until Season 4 — and, groundwork laid, there’s good reason to believe it’ll keep getting better.”
Are you still hyped for Disenchantment? Let us know how you feel in the comments.
Now watch Finn Wolfhard get covered in puppies on ‘Fallon.’