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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TCU chapter.

Look, I didn’t want to enter this discourse.

But it must be said.

I had the incredible opportunity to interview Rick Riordan, the author of Percy Jackson himself, back in April of 2021. At the time, I had the guts to ask him about the potential TV adaptation of his beloved series. Was it really going to happen?

“Fingers crossed, we think it’s really happening. I’m very superstitious about these things, so I’m not going to be able to tell you it’s 100% going to happen. This is Hollywood, it could fall apart for any number of reasons, but knock on wood. Everything has been going really well for a year now, but until we get the series order, the green light, nothing is 100%. I think we’re close to that, I really do, but it’s been a long process,” he said.

I clung to that potential so tightly. As a lifelong fan of the book series, I desperately wanted a faithful adaptation of the books as much as the next half-blood. I watched as slowly, Riordan dropped little announcements for the fandom. The show’s approval. The casting. The sets and costumes. And eventually, the premier date.

Fast forward to 2024, the season finale of Percy Jackson and the Olympians just aired on Disney+. Over the last seven weeks, I experienced the glorious ups and downs of the TV show, finally getting to experience the story I adored so much as a kid represented on screen.

After allowing myself some time to really digest the content, I have lots of thoughts about the show. Should you have a short attention span, here’s the breakdown:

  • Casting: 10/10
  • Book accuracy: 7/10
  • Dialogue and humor: 5/10
  • Pacing and action: 5/10
  • Amount of fun I had viewing: 11/10
  • Overall show rating: 7/10

Should you crave the detailed discussion I’m desperate to provide for you all, look no further. Let’s explore these categories individually together.

WARNING: Minor spoilers for the entirety of season one and the book series!!



Our New Year’s resolution was to provide the #PercyJackson and the Olympians fandom with more bonus content. Enjoy this work of art. 🎨

♬ original sound – Percy Jackson

There’s been a lot of debate about the casting for the show, specifically centered around Leah Sava Jeffries as Annabeth. Let’s just set the record straight. These are children. These are young, talented kids who were impeccably selected by the casting team and Rick Riordan himself to play this trio of characters on the show. While I understand a desire to have the actors be perfect representations of their respective characters, looks are not everything.

Walker (Percy Jackson), Leah (Annabeth Chase), and Aryan (Grover Underwood) embody their characters’ personalities excellently. They made me giggle and tear up throughout the show. Even in moments where the writing or pacing was off, these amazing actors managed to salvage slow segments of the show.

Walker and Leah sold Percabeth like their lives depended on it. The way they interact with each other on screen is overflowing with chemistry. I genuinely gasped when she first called him “Seaweed Brain,” and an audible squeal escaped my mouth when Walker called Leah “Wise Girl” for the first time in Episode 6.

I also thought Aryan was great as Grover, but he got the short end of the stick a lot in terms of dialogue. I’m hoping the writers do him more justice next season so Aryan can thrive and translate his off-screen charisma into his acting.

Overall, I love this trio!! I want five seasons of them, please.

Book Accuracy:

One thing fans were looking forward to was an accurate adaptation of the books to the TV screen. Of course, no show is 100% reflective of every detail in the book, but with the author of the source material in the writers’ room, it felt safe to assume that the TV series would be faithful to the book.

As we now know, Rick opted to change quite a bit from the books. Some changes (like the pearl return explained in his Instagram post) made logical sense to make the story fit an episode run time. Other changes, however, felt unnecessary. For example, there’s virtually no reason to have four pearls (just to lose one), for the kids to miss the solstice deadline, to add the hefty “Who is really a monster?” plot line, or to cut the “We drowned in a bathtub,” line.

Is the core of the story similar? Yes. Were some changes well-done, logical, and beneficial to the adapted plot? Of course. As a viewer and a reader, do I enjoy the occasional surprise? Totally. However, there were equally as many changes that I didn’t love. The books are so much fun. You don’t have to reinvent them to make the story entertaining for TV.

Dialogue and humor:

I recently reread Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and I forgot how hilarious they were. The sarcasm, the witty jokes, and the wonderfully timed silly dialogue at odds with the horrific monster fights made the books warm and light, even when the actual events were terrifyingly dangerous. The characters’ interactions felt genuine, and I couldn’t help but laugh out loud while reading each book.

Unfortunately, I simply think the show falls flat here. Don’t get me wrong, there are some perfect moments (oh golly, the road’s gettin’ bumpy…), but so much of the actual dialogue and humor doesn’t land. I’m not a professional here, so I can’t explain exactly what’s going wrong. But as a reader intimately familiar with these characters’ styles of comedy, I feel their humor isn’t reflected in the show. It’s too serious and too bland. And again, no fault to the actors here, but this is one area I hope the second season can improve on.

Pacing and action:

The biggest critique I’ve seen floating around about the show is that it relies much more on telling instead of showing. It’s a common piece of advice in the writing world to show how your characters are feeling rather than telling the readers word for word. In the books, Rick can get away with a bit more direct telling since it’s a middle-grade series, but TV is the platform meant for showing!

So many of the monster encounters that should be brimming with tension are shot down by overly direct statements about who the monster is and exactly how to avoid them. Take the Chimera, for instance. We didn’t need 15 minutes of conversation with Echidna before the monster attack, and we certainly should have been running from her and the Chimera, not lazily walking to the St. Louis Arch. For me, the lack of urgency killed some of the adventure aspects that are so prominent in the book.

I think the pacing and action also suffer because of Disney’s style. It’s a show aimed at kids, so the action and violence have to be toned down. Disney sinking their claws into this idea and refusing to let go is detrimental to the overall show. This is an epic adventure story. Let it be epic.

Again, there were some strong moments, such as the fight scene with Ares in the final episode, but the amount of walking and talking outweighed the joking and fighting by far too much.

Amount of fun I had viewing:

Despite its flaws, I had a blast and a half watching this show. It’s my childhood come to life, and I can’t help but love being along for the ride. So much of this viewing experience was magical, and watching the lead-up to the release, delving into behind-the-scenes clips, and more made the world come to life for me. I almost always judge creative content like books, movies, and TV shows primarily on how much I enjoy them, regardless of technical issues. Percy Jackson is no exception. While I have some bones to pick, my heart is with this story and this cast, and I genuinely hope it gets renewed for four more seasons.

Overall Show Rating:

In the end, I have to give the show a 7/10. As much fun as I had, the quality of the production needs to be higher for the show to continue getting picked up for future seasons. With the right adjustments, this series has the potential to be a hit for readers and new fans alike!

Cross your fingers with me and wish for a season two announcement soon!

Colleen Wyrick is President of the Her Campus at TCU chapter. She enjoys writing about current pop culture events, female empowerment, and her latest book/TV interest. She loves her role and connecting with new members! Colleen is an aspiring writer/editor/publisher/professor and is a junior (*sigh*) at Texas Christian University studying English and Communication. In addition to Her Campus, she contributes to academic publications for the English Department and works for TCU’s social media team. She is very passionate about books, Marvel, chocolate, soccer, and all things comfortable. You can find her doing anything and everything because she loves new adventures!