REVIEWED: SEASON 1 (ALL EPISODES) | WHERE TO WATCH: NETFLIX
The Guillermo del Toro-helmed Tales of Arcadia has been a delight. So far the series has had both fantasy and sci-fi elements, with Trollhunters dealing with the ‘supernatural monsters and magic’ side of things and 3Below focusing on the more sci-fi elements of the world. Thus far it’s been quite a wild ride.
Wizards introduces us to a new character, Douxie, Merlin’s apprentice. He’s been living in Arcadia for a long time, fending off evil forces and keeping a low-profile. Merlin calls and Douxie comes running, along with his wise-cracking dragon/cat familiar. The show pretty much picks up straight after the events of 3Below and mostly ignores all of that to tell a new tale.
Alas, the storytelling feels a little compressed; characters are introduced a little too rapidly for the audience to buy in quickly and established heroes are either put on pause or side-lined. The plot tries to both introduce an entirely new element to the Tales of Arcadia canon while also integrating everything with the established setting. The result is a noisy mess in places and a feeling that more time should have been spent on just letting this rich and complicated world breathe.
The show is so busy charging into the big moments that all subtlety is lost, replaced with a frantic game of ‘join the dots’ with the other shows. Wizards Tales of Arcadia is a fun series with some great moments, but feels more like an appendix to previous shows, which is a pity because had they given it more time it really could have been the best of series so far.