TV Review – The Hollywood Reporter

The clearest way to describe Syfy’s Astrid & Lilly Save the World like a happier person, less angry Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It’s a comparison that the show itself not only acknowledges, but accepts in nature. Astrid & LillyGiles’ equivalent – Brutus (Olivier Renaud), a space monster hunter – even wants to introduce himself to Lilly (Samantha Aucoin) and Astrid (Jana Morrison) as “your Giles, in terms of who you are. who can understand. ”

Aliases also received thanks in the premiere Laws & Orders: Special Victims Unit. But in three of its first ten episodes, Astrid & Lilly emerges with a shaggy charm of its own – not as a copy of what came before it, but as a worthy successor.

Astrid & Lilly Save the World

Key point

Messy but lovely, like its heroines.

Release date: 10:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 26
Cast: Jana Morrison, Samantha Aucoin, Olivier Renaud, Spencer MacPherson, Julia Doyle, Kolton Stewart
Creator: Noelle Stehman and Betsy Van Stone

After an unnecessary succinct and confusing in res media In the prologue, Astrid and Lilly are properly introduced for the first time on a mission to track down their cooler schoolmates, part of a plan to find a better way to “fit in, and not be like them.” I”. What “So us” means is clear from the first minutes, thanks to the passionate dialogue of creators Noelle Stehman and Betsy Van Stone: “This song made me write poetry in a field of daffodils, ” Lilly sighed as a favorite song played on the radio, while Astrid cracked. “This song makes me want to freeze in the back of a Burger King pickup.”

Their desperate desire to fit in leads them to a humiliating encounter with a famous bad guy (Tate, played by Kolton Stewart), leading to Lilly and Astrid accidentally opening a portal leading to another universe full of monsters, which Brutus explains they must watch now. and kill to close the backup port. Permissive premise Astrid & Lilly to balance the monster week storylines for casual viewing with episodic arcs that help reward more loyal viewers – although that sometimes leads to some inconsistency, as with the first episode either the first is forced to cram too much content or the third episode is built around a creature whose utility as a metaphor seems to be stronger than his abilities as a villain.

For a show as fun and funny as Astrid & LillyHowever, some tremors are not only forgivable but also very seductive. If the monsters look a bit burly, that’s what makes them so lovable. (Think of 2008 Intermediary to get a feel for their overall vibe.) If the plot isn’t always scrutinized, it’s hard to mind when you’re grinning at its jokes. One of the most disappointing qualities of the series is that it has absolutely no regard for taking itself too seriously. In Astrid & Lilly, a demon slayer not above performs some enthralling dance moves – and his sobbing detainees not above wonder, “I know this monster is disgusting but he’s also the sexy type?” The girls’ defense didn’t have much polish; In one episode, a humble oboe plays a key role in defeating a villain.

At the same time, Astrid & LillyThe coldness of no means the shallowness of feeling. The series is skillful at capturing both the horror and joy of high school. Lilly and Astrid begin the series on the fringes of the social hierarchy, sometimes targeted by sensationalists but otherwise ignored. Both lead roles are oversized girls with weight but no focus, a rarity for television. (In contrast, other thoughtful expressions such as Pivoting there’s still going to be a character who decides losing weight is the way to fix her whole life.) They were heartbroken when a ruthless bully called them the “Pudge Patrol,” but they got it back. this nickname later as they gain more confidence through killing monsters.

The girls themselves are not saints. When they realize that observing other students in the house for no reason can be a bit horrifying (yes!), they reassure themselves that, no, it was an Olivia Benson move. But their flaws only make them more relatable – messy heroines, rather than blameless victims. Their social status turns into a kind of power. As Brutus wisely observed: “You have a unique view of being unfairly branded as a failure, so you are really good at seeing people from the outside.”

Meanwhile, the girls find strength in their friendship. Morrison and Aucoin share the uncanny chemistry of teenage best friends, whose intense love for each other seems to act as a protective shield from the brutality of high school. Whether it’s killer aliens or garden-loving girls, there’s no difficulty without being a little easier for a BFF to whisper about secret conspiracies or taunt about stupid inside jokes. . To some extent, it’s not uncommon for everyone else to look at them with suspicion – no one else seems to speak their language.

Astrid & Lilly not naive enough to suggest that even saving the world will make the main characters’ dreams come true overnight – it won’t take longer than a few supernatural monsters to get to the top Food chain in a cafe. But the show seems to be expanding their bubble little by little, offering help from unexpected angles and finding utility in the humblest of objects. Astrid and Lilly will surely succeed in saving the world and have fun doing so; The title of the series promises much. The sweeter surprise for them could be a world truly worth saving.

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