‘The Sandman’ Hits Netflix With Miraculously Great Review Scores

It was a project that for a long time was thought to be unfilmable, even its creator didn’t want anyone trying to adapt it. But it seems that despite recent quality control issues, the stars have aligned and Netflix has done The Sandman justice with its first season, live on the service today.

The Sandman is getting good reviews so far among critics and fans. It currently has an 88% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an audience score of 92% at the time of this writing, with the show being praised as a surprisingly faithful adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s classic story.

“From a smart cast and strong writing to an exquisitely creepy production design that melds noir genre with horror and makes careful use of digital effects, this is easily one of the best comic book adaptations for the small screen ever. done,” reads a glowing TIME review.

The Sandman consists of ten episodes that range in length from 37 minutes to 54 minutes, with the majority around 45-48 minutes. Pretty standard, though not a “Disney superhero short” where all recent Marvel series have been no more than six episodes each. Of course, despite being based on a DC comic, Sandman is quite a different genre, much more fantasy than superhero.

The Sandman isn’t billed as a limited series, which means if it does well on Netflix, it could come back for more. Given these early scores and Netflix’s past issues with comic book adaptations (cough, The Jupiter Legacy), I think they’d enjoy a hit like this, and it’s the icing on the cake that, of all things, it’s a Sandman project they made work, which is a level of difficulty above and beyond most other adaptations.

One of the reasons it works? That’s likely because Neil Gaiman finally agreed to sign on to help develop the adaptation personally. It has taken 35 years to make this adaptation as it has gone from tone to tone, concept to concept, before finally manifesting as this Netflix show. Why did Gaiman change his mind and choose this format? Because of the way he changed television, combining the big budgets of movies with the long-running storytelling of long strings of episodes:

“Times have changed, and all of a sudden the idea that you have a 3,000-page story that could turn into 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 hours of quality television becomes something that’s actually a huge feature. and wonderful thing,” Gaiman said.

For now, this looks like a win for everyone, Gaiman and his team, fans of the original, and Netflix, which has needed wins in the face of tougher times lately that have involved cutbacks, layoffs, and cancellations. The Sandman looks like a hit and could become those “40, 50, 60, 70, 80 hours of quality television” over time that Gaiman is so excited about. We will have to see.

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