‘Disenchantment’ has gone through an evolution over the years. Now, in a critically acclaimed place, exploring more lore and politics, it might be the best Netflix show hiding under the radar.
Netflix has been conquering the OTT world one step at a time. However, it’s their animated shows that have gained more and more attention with time. From ‘Big Mouth’ to ‘Tuca and Bertie’, the animated shows on Netflix go above and beyond to critique the world at large. What makes ‘Disenchantment’ the Netflix property to watch out for?
- What is the best animated show on Netflix?
- Why is ‘Disenchantment’ so special?
- The lore of ‘Disenchantment’
The Teabeanie Story
Teabeanie is the main character of ‘Disenchantment’ and she an out-of-control teenager who needs to be reigned in by her father and mother whenever something goes wrong. ‘Disenchantment’ Season 3 goes more in-depth into this problem by examining her relationships and why she carries a pathological disgust for royalty.
Now, if you’ve made it to this point, you might be wondering, what’s so special about this girl? The most underrated shows on Netflix usually tackles politics in a satirical way. The opposition to the status quo has meant Netflix has cancelled many series without giving them their time in the sun. ‘Disenchantment’ also caters to a niche in its politics. However, where it excels is in bridging the gap between niche politics and a good story.
It appears that in season 3, ‘Disenchantment’ has pushed itself into high -gear dealing with issues of corporatism, capitalism, and fantasy tropes all in one fell swoop. It is one of the best cartoons on Netflix in 2020, and it certainly pulls its punches.
Behind the Scenes
You can’t even begin to chart the history of animated series on air without mentioning ‘The Simpsons’. So, it makes sense to have Matt Groening, the creator of ‘The Simpsons’ as a showrunner. ‘Disenchantment’ has a series of writers who have worked in Comedy Central, independent comedians, and have excellent CVs coming into this story.
Of course, that doesn’t make the show an automatic success. What works for the show is the way it takes risks. While the critics have been mostly ambivalent about the three parts that have come out, there is always excitement about the show’s satirical nature and the problems it tackles.
One of the major problems is that Matt Groening has not been a very stable writer for his career. The first nine or so seasons of ‘The Simpsons’ are considered to be masterpieces, something that cemented his legacy as a comedy writer in the US for the years to come.
However, after season 9, ‘The Simpsons’ has dipped in quality. A critic and a data analyst has done some independent research, marking the points where the show declined in quality. Jonas Ceika has a popular YouTube video charting this decline where he questions the market and publicity departments affecting the show’s writing performances.
Moreover, ‘Disenchantment’ is ambitious in a way its predecessors are not. It wants to examine fantasy tropes and write things that satirize reality using those tropes. This trick was most prominently used by Terry Pratchett in his ‘Discworld’ series, which explains the criticism that ‘Disenchantment’ faces. It has simply kept the bar too high.
Netflix original animated series was a venture that was made to succeed. Over the years, Netflix has invested in popular properties and made household names out of comedians who cater to their audiences. This superstardom often comes at a high cost. When ‘Tuca and Bertie’ gets cut after a single season, or something as brilliant as ‘Bojack Horseman’ is cut short, Netflix faces an insurmountable amount of criticism.
Netflix is not helped by the fact that it has continuously been in financial trouble since its inception. The model depends on constant marketing tactics and investments to sustain licenses and new content so that people don’t divert away from it.
So, experimentation and standing apart is where Netflix has to excel. Netflix animated series for adults is where Netflix can exploit this potential. Most OTT platforms carry one or two original content designed for kids. However, Netflix has created a brand of adult humour that’s specific to its platform.
However, adult humour is complex, often being hit-or-miss in the best of circumstances. ‘Disenchantment’, by toeing the line between outright brilliance and being a damn well-written series, effectively bridges this gap. Plus, with gorgeous artwork and the easy-going atmosphere, it finds it easier to find fans than ‘Tuca or Bertie’ or even ‘Bojack Horseman’ did.
‘Disenchantment’ is going through growing pains, but for an OTT platform like Netflix, it has shown a way to market its shows and gain prominence. It might not be the best show on Netflix in 2020, but it certainly is the fare that the OTT platform would be looking to put out over the next few years.
‘Disenchantment’ lies on a shaky territory of satirizing fiction to tell a story about reality. However, Matt Groening and his cohorts have pulled out a creative coup and made a show that appeals to the masses. Despite critics being lukewarm in their responses, the show is here to stay, and we must all be looking out for the content it promises.