TV Series Review: The Mysterious Benedict Society

I read The Mysterious Benedict Society a while back. Just the first book (I believe it’s a series now?), but I enjoyed it, even if it quickly faded in my memory to “book about a secret school, with students who go there under cover to save the world.” It’s a cool premise, but I couldn’t remember much more than that. But when I saw Disney had done an adaptation of the first book on Disney+, I remembered enough about the book that I thought the TV version would be worth checking out.

And . . . it was! If you’ve seen the Netflix version of A Series of Unfortunate Events, then you should know about what to expect. (Minus the doom and gloom.) It’s well produced, with a cool design that consistently pops. It stars Tony Hale (Buster from Arrested Development) and four child actors who do a decent job. I watched it with the whole family, and everyone enjoyed the whole season. (Anytime a show can pull that off, entertaining the ages of 8, 13, 17, and 40+, that’s noteworthy right there.)

I especially liked the humor of the show, which took me a bit to figure out. It’s pretty dry, but once I got it what the show was going for, it worked really well.

The general premise is as I remembered it: a group of four students are recruited to go undercover at a school for the gifted that seems to be the front for a sinister operation. They need to find out what’s going on and how to stop it, and they need to do it largely on their own. Adventure ensues.

Is it going to change my life? No, but it consistently delivered a good time. Tony Hale turns in a solid performance, and even when the show’s pace ebbed now and then, it was still fun to just watch the screen and appreciate the design work.

If you’re looking for a show to watch with the whole family, and you have Disney+, then check this one out. Not too scary, but not too simple either. 7.5/10, but not many kids shows can score that highly for me.

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