Disenchantment is Matt Groening’s third foray into the satirical cartoon genre, following on from Simpsons and Futurama. Airing on Netflix in the UK the series is set in a fantasy world and is challenging the tropes that come with historical fiction.
The first season consists of 10 episodes and so far I have consumed the first four episodes. These four episodes struggle somewhat under the expectation of what Groening can do. The Simpsons and Futurama both eclipse this production at this stage, this may be that there is more to the modern world and the future (sci-fi) upon which to riff rather than a fantasy world. Fantasy is still the poor relative of Sci-fi. It has a greater following in the written word than on screen. How many fantasy films can you name other than the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Willow, Conan the Barbarian, Dragonslayer and the Game of Throne TV series? If you can name considerably more then perhaps this series will be more relevant.
Groening has created three interesting leads in Bean, the princess which is an amalgam of Homer, Fry and Leela, Elfo the Elf and Luci, a Demon, the supporting cast, however, are generic stereotypes and it remains to be seen if they can match the supporting characters.
Comparisons with Groening’s other work is inevitable and if this series were his first then I would perhaps have more time for it. Don’t get me wrong it’s certainly a passable programme with the trademark humour we all expect but the humour seems a little tired and not as nuanced as it could be. This is, of course, my view after just 4 episodes and it is highly likely things will improve as the series finds its feet. All series have a shaky first season and Disenchanted is no different. I will stick with it, but to put it into context the series doesn’t have me clicking the next episode button every time and I m certainly not binge watching it like I did Final Space.