Troy: Fall of a City in Review

In early April, Netflix released Troy: Fall of a City as an eight-episode series. While the title calls back to the 2004 adaptation Troy, featuring popular names like Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, and Diane Kruger, Netflix’s series didn’t include a well-known cast, although there were a few outliers: Alfred Enoch (Harry Potter, How to Get Away with Murder), Joseph Mawle (Game of Thrones), Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Black Sails), and David Gyasi (Containment, Interstellar, Cloud Atlas). 

(Talk about a climate change, right, Benjen?)

The retelling has received ups and downs on the reviewing board, from it’s lowly 3.6 on IMDB to a not-so-bad 67% on Rotten Tomatoes, but in the end, Netflix’s adaptation is worth watching, albeit not binging.  

The show tries to frame itself as being based on “the Greek myths,” but the plot still runs with the plot of The Iliad. Some of the low ratings may have originated from the storyline’s tendency to stray from the original story. For starters, Achilles does not play the main protagonist, but instead Paris and Helen are the main characters. Their love story, which is for the most part the direct cause of the fall of Troy, is romanticized, and even aggressive, blood-thirsty Agamemnon has some heart to him. Cassandra has been made a daughter of Priam, and now her cursed visions of Troy falling are believed. Quite the turn around in plot, right?

Despite some questionable tweaking, Hector and Andromache remain strong as doomed fan favorites. Odysseus is the truest to his character, and Mawle’s portrayal of him makes him tragically loved. Perhaps the best part kept true is the portrayal of Achilles and Patroclus, who are not just friends but lovers, because Achilles’s grief deserves to be shown in all of its rawness and realness. 

It was perhaps the blurring of lines between morality that really sold this show, or perhaps it was the trueness the show kept to the favorites, but Netflix’s adaptation showed a less black and white version of Troy’s fall and left you questioning who was right, who was wrong, and nothing is better than a show that blurs the villains and good guys. Despite the expected slowness here and there that comes with any period drama, the fast pace plot (yes, they time-skipped more than once), the action, and the actors' renditions of the characters made up for it. Although being a Netflix drama, the series did not take its full license to utilize gore, and so while there are a few scenes that aren’t quite for the queasy viewers, this series has nothing on the gore featured in Troy or other films like 300

While Troy: Fall of a City may not be Netflix’s top tier shows like Peaky Blinders or Sense8, this gem remains worth watching from start to finish and definitely doesn’t deserve to be swept under the rug of Netflix’s lost shows that get looked past on slow Wednesday nights. 

Overall, we give it a 7/10 for some female empowerment!