It was mentioned on the “Futurama” thread but I thought I’d bring it up here.
What do you think of Matt Groening’s fantasy series Disenchantment?
For the uninitiated, I’ll explain: Disenchantment is an animated fantasy series by Matt Groening (the Simpsons, Futurama) that started in 2018. It broadcasts on Netflix and is set in a typical medieval fantasy world though later seasons introduce steampunk, flying machines and firearms. So far, four parts consisting of 10 episodes each have been released.
The series takes place in Dreamland, a kingdom ruled over by the not-too-bright King Zog. His daughter is the main protagonist; she is Princess Tiabeanie but is just called “Bean”. She is also joined by Elfo, a short elf from Elfland, and Luci, a wisecracking demon from Hell.
The series parodies fantasy tropes, fantasy role playing game concepts, traditional gender roles and much more. While it is funny, there’s romance, thrills and even drama.
When I first glimpsed this series, I was hooked. The fourth batch of episodes only came to Netflix this week; I was caught off guard about that as I learned in an email that very morning about new episodes. I watched all of them that same day.
So how is the series? I said I like it but it has received mixed reviews from both fans and critics. Some say it is not up to par with Groening’s past works. Others don’t like the serialized format in contrast to the more episodic Simpsons and Futurama.
So what do you think? What do you like about Disenchantment? What don’t you like? Do you think the criticism of the series is warranted? Why or why not?
I’ve only seen the first season, so I can’t say much. I’ve been meaning to check out the new stuff but haven’t gotten around to it.
I do welcome the ongoing story format instead of standalone episodes. The latter wouldn’t be compatible with attempting to give that epic feel, even in a comedic way.
Bean is a very good central character. She’s not a little saint like Lisa, but she’s not a complete jackass like Bart, either. She’s nearly an amalgamation of them both.
It’s alright. Not Futurama-level, but it has its moments. The biggest problem from the recent seasons that you always feel like you want more after you go through the latest batch of episodes and that’s not until the next year.
I don’t know if Netflix will be ordering another ten episodes, but hopefully, they do just for the chance fight against Hulu and its Futurama pick-up.
I think it’s pretty mediocre overall. There are things that make me laugh and I’d watch anything Matt Groening does (I’ve been a fan since Life in Hell), I can’t say I love it. I keep watching, so I don’t hate it either, but it’s a quick binge, so it’s worth my time.
The laughing horse really gets me though.
I think the comedy is hit or miss. But I think, just like with Futurama, the story is the strongest part and that’s what keeps me coming back.
Just finished season 4 last night.
Not sure if it’s better than the previous seasons or that I’m more invested in the story now. Previous seasons I do remember fairly long stretches where I thought it was dragging, didn’t feel that way with season 4, it was pretty much always entertaining with good pacing.
I’m a fan, it’s leans way more heavily into the story than Futurama, Simpsons, and such which doesn’t work for most people. Especially since the comedy isn’t as strong as theirs. Still it works for me I like the story more than than the comedy but still appreciate the comedy.
I’m just waiting to the Adventures of Pirate Queen Oona - who came out of nowhere to be one of the best characters in the show last season IMHO.
Disenchantment: Your thoughts
So, the show is individualized to each watcher? That’s weird, wild stuff.
I got about a third of the way through the first season before stopping. I think a lot of my lack of interest had to do with watching Crossing Swords at the same time, which I found funnier.
You know, it’s a lovely show to look at, just as “Futurama” grew to be and I imagine “The Simpsons” as well.
I don’t know what others criticized it for, but it didn’t make me laugh even a little. (Others around me who like it have said it’s not supposed to be funny. OK, mission accomplished there.) And much like post-cancellation “Futurama”, I find it predictable so I don’t get much out of the story.
But I also don’t watch much TV so it’s not like I’m the audience. No loss to billionaire underground comic-rabbit-drawer Matt G. (Fox totally owes Tracy Ullman a few hundred million, tho’. That was a rip.)
It’ll never be peak Futurama level funny… but few things are. I still binge watch it whenever a new season comes out, because it’s funny enough and I don’t consider my time wasted.
In tone, it’s a lot more like a British “dramady” where yes… the humor is the driving force, but you’ve also got one long continuous plot thread weaved throughout. Would it be funnier if they dropped the story arc and just did Futurama and Simpsons episodic hijinks, with the occasional callback when it suits them? Probably, but I also have to give Groening and Weinstein (the other one) credit for not simply taking the easy route of making it Ye Olde Futurama, and at least trying to do something a little different for their third outing. (And the serialized nature of the show is ideally suited to streaming where the entire season drops at once)
I do wish the episodes came out faster, but I feel the same way about every other animated series, and at least the 1-year gap between seasons here isn’t anything like the 2 to 4 years Venture Bros. fans have to put up with.
Just finished watching the new set of Disenchantment episodes. Man, this show fascinates me.
On the one hand, I think its humor needs a LOT of work. There are lots of moments where jokes take way too long for too little payback, or the “joke” is something that just doesn’t make a lot of sense, or the joke would be funnier if the timing was better or if I didn’t see it coming a mile away. There are also moments where the direction and editing seem off. Half of the time, I wanna shake the show by its shoulders and shout “BE FUNNIER! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, GO THROUGH ANOTHER ROUND OF EDITS OR SOMETHING”
… but I’m still really invested in the show. I really like Bean, and this season just made her all the more interesting with this “magic power” subplot. I like how she’s still thinking about Mora the mermaid, and how their night together in season 3 really affected her. I like Zog’s efforts to be a better person, and how he immediately embraced being a father to his new bear son, Jasper. Speaking of which, Ursula returns, which I love!
Without going further into spoilers, I’m still fascinated by Disenchantment’s history and worldbuilding, and I want to know what will happen to its characters. I never feel this way with shows I don’t think are good. If I don’t like a show, I drop it, so this show has to be doing SOMETHING right.
i thought this season or part was better than the last 2. it felt like every finale recently has been someone dying, dagmar coming back, and the group getting split up. it was getting repetitive. those elements were still there but mixed up enough that it felt fresh. there were some sweet moments. i liked elfo’s origin story (even though i had figured it out), bean and mora, zog and ursula. luci losing his head had big bender energy. but i think the humor is more akin to bojack than futurama.
i second the emotion about the visuals, the artwork is really beautiful. i love the music too, glad mark mothersbaugh survived to compose another day.
and of course, chazzzzz.
I enjoy it, though it’s certainly a bit clunky in places and overuses one or two tropes (I’m looking at you, “Bean pours her heart out and exposes her emotional vulnerability, but the person she’s talking to isn’t paying attention”).