Netflix has being having a pretty torrid time as of late, but right now in August 2022 the fightback seems to be well and truly on, with its new 18-rated dark fantasy show, The Sandman, blowing critics and streamers away.
This is because The Sandman now possesses a dreamy 87% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, which is also backed up with a equally impressive 86% audience score.
The Sandman, for those who have missed the new launch, is the brand new Netflix dark fantasy TV show based on the Neil Gaiman DC comic book of the same name. The Sandman tells the tale of Dream, the cosmic god-like being who controls all dreams, and how after he is captured for a century has to travel through different worlds to fix the chaos caused by his 100-year absence.
And, one look at the critic reviews shows just how highly rated the new Netflix show is.
Writing for the TheWrap, top critic Karama Horne says that, "The Sandman is a beautifully rendered and riveting horror thriller series with the potential to be a huge hit. Hopefully Netflix gives it another season."
While Hugo Rifkind of The Times newspaper describes The Sandman as "slick and extremely beautiful" and Lauren Sarner of the New York Post states that "The Sandman is a dazzling and imaginative show".
Meanwhile, audience critic Aaron J gives The Sandman a maximum score of 5 stars, saying that it is, "an amazing first season, and a brilliant translation of the comic books into live action TV."
The Sandman opinion: a trippy spectacle
After getting stuck in to The Sandman I can confirm that the show is indeed gorgeous. Regardless of whether you like its translation of the comic book to screen, the spectacle on display here is, at times, really impressive and very trippy. Gritty reality is often blended with hallucinogenic visuals to great effect.
I'm a fan of Neil Gaiman so I kind of knew the type of storytelling and characters to expect, and I think that means that I felt quite comfortable in the world of The Sandman before the uninitiated probably would, so I can see why some reviewers have been put off by the show after watching the first episode.
While the show's makers have Dream explain his function and the basic plot up front, literally speaking to us as the audience, you do have to have your wits about you in the first episode to stay clued in to what's going on, as it is not exactly straight forward. There's multiple planes of existence, multiple time periods and a whole host of characters, some of which are not introduced in detail.
But to bail on The Sandman as it feels alien out of the gate would be a mistake, as this is a trippy spectacle of a journey that is completely different to anything else on Netflix today in August 2022. Well worth a watch in my opinion.
The Sandman can be streamed now (opens in new tab).