After a long wait of over 30 years, fans of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman can finally rejoice in getting a TV production of the series in the new Netflix original, The Sandman. The enthusiasm for this show extends past its release; everything from casting to plot is worthy of excitement.
This show explores some of the most intense forms of human behavior that I have ever witnessed. Episode 5, 24/7, delves into the concept of honesty and lies and ends up being one of the hardest things I have ever had to watch. The disgust, dread and hopelessness in this episode goes to depths I have never experienced before. This episode features extreme graphic portrayals of self-harm, suicide and gore, so sensitive viewers beware. But then immediately after in episode 6, The Sound of Her Wings, you watch a beautiful display of hope and empathy from Dream’s sister, Death, played by Kirby Howell-Baptiste. The love and respect that went into this show to make sure it was true to the source and how it respected its audience is something one rarely sees anymore.
Along with a fantastic plot and execution of themes, the scope of The Sandman is ambitious and vast in scale. The endless ones, entities that rule over the ethereal planes, evoked such power and stature that I never doubted for a second that they were, well, endless. The environments that this show explores feel ancient, vast, and teeming with a dark, mysterious lore. Tom Sturridge’s performance as Dream was a masterful choice of casting. He perfectly encapsulates the royal air of an endless one. Gwendolyn Christie as Lucifer could not have been more perfect. Her bright, sharp features and lush white garments almost hurt my eyes against the dismal landscape of hell.