The Order conjures up witches and werewolves and potential in a generic but entertaining way.
The Order is a Netflix Original young adult fantasy horror series with werewolves and witches. It’s a series that has all the conventional elements that you would expect when you think of magic, werewolves, witches and a university campus. Although it doesn’t bring anything new to the scene, it’s an entertaining series with a mystery lying beneath it.
It doesn’t have a great start. It starts out a bit cheesy, with one dimensional characters, the series takes itself too seriously and the humor is a hit and miss. But once the characters are settled in and the story takes off the series will grow on you, and the humor certainly gets better. It’s doesn’t rise above its peers, but if you like urban fantasy series for young adult this is a fine series to watch.
This first season consists of 10 episodes with each a duration of 45-51 minutes. It has a mystery setup and the story arc evolves in time, creating a bigger universe in which Jack has to choose sides.
Jack Morton is admitted to Belgrave University where he tries to get into a secret organization called The Hermetic Order of the Blue Rose. And for good reason. He wants revenge on his father Edward Coventry who is responsible for his mothers suicide. He thinks the Order has something to do with it. Once a member he finds out that Edward is the Grand Magus of the Order. But that’s not all. The Order is a magical order.
On top of that a werewolf roams the campus killing members of the Order and Jack gets himself bitten. He realizes that this university hides many secrets and secret originations. Now he is turning into a werewolf he is going to be a member of both rivaling organizations; witches versus werewolves. And his new mission is to take down both Edward and the Order.
Why you should watch it
The series doesn’t have a great start. It’s too bland, cheesy, one dimensional, the humor is a hit and miss and the storylines are a bit generic and unbalanced and Jack is a bit too obtrusive and intense. But do stick around, because it does get better.
When the werewolves show up and reveal themselves to Jack the vibe of the series changes. It’s not just about magic anymore, but about a feud between witches and werewolves. The fun part is that the werewolves are in fact the Champions of good. They are The Knights of Saint Christopher and there are five of them. Their hides choose a human to merge with and then they become powerful beings who protect the innocent and fight evil.
The magic that The Order is practicing is blood magic. Each time a spell is cast a blood sacrifice must be made for it to work. And magic seems to be highly seductive and addictive, easily used for personal gain and power. But Edward is about to obtain the greatest power there is; combining the pages of the book Vade Maecum so he has endless access to magic.
Of course there’s also room for romance, when Jack falls in love with Alyssa Drake, a member of the Order. And for some college fun with the werewolves Randall Carpio, Hamish Duke and Lilith Bathory. Their dialogues and interactions are a bit cheesy and forced at the beginning, but it gets looser, more natural and more fun, but also more complex and complicated resulting in a far more interesting storyline than you would have expected.
Although the mythology is new and fresh the overall atmosphere and how the werewolves and witches are depicted isn’t. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but the series needs to find its own voice and struggles with it in the beginning. But the further the story goes the more the mythology and the characters come to life. Their motivations or actions aren’t all too logical, but the switching from loyalties, new choices and problems make sure the series is entertaining to watch.
The series evolves into an exciting story that brings in new elements that make this magical universe more interesting. Still these new ideas aren’t able to realize its full potential, yet.
My favorite part
There are some smaller elements of the story that bring in some flavor. Like the Golem called Clay who proves to be an existentialistic philosopher. Or the Necrophone, a device that lets you talk with the dead. Or the mad professor who wants to create werewolves with magic. The necromancer Renee and her twin sister. The sleeping dead knight Sir Richard and the dream realm. These are all elements that make the story more fun and it shows it certainly has potential to let this universes grow more exciting and entertaining.
Scare factor: ★★☆☆☆
Gruesome factor: ★★☆☆☆
Entertainment factor: ★★★★☆
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Cast and crew
The Order is created by Dennis Heaton, Shelley Eriksen. It stars Jake Manley (Jack), Sarah Grey (Alyssa), Adam DiMarco (Randall), Devery Jacobs (Lilith), Thomas Elms (Hamish), Max Martini (Edward Conventry), Matt Frewer (Peter Norton) and Dylan Playfair (Clay).
Music: Patric Caird. Cinematography: Mark Chow. Production company: Nomadic Pictures. Original network: Netflix.