Written by Aaron Sarnecky
OLYMPUS SERIES PREMIERE PLOT SUMMARY:
Hero (Tom York) rescues the Oracle of Gaia (Sonya Cassidy) from the Cyclops, in hopes that her visions can unlock his hidden past. Meanwhile, Queen Medea (Sonita Henry) attempts to root out the would-be assassin of her husband, Aegeus (Graham Shiels), king of Athens.
Like many popular tales, Olympus begins in the middle of the story. In this case, we find our hero held captive in the lair of the Cyclops. With so much action right off the bat, it’s reasonable to expect the show to rewind and give us some context. Instead we’re given a parallel story centered on the siege of Athens that seems to have very little to do with our hero. It’s not a good start to the show. And things only get more confusing when the Cyclops paints Hero’s feet blue, for some reason.
Yes, you read that right. The hero’s name is Hero. Well, his unofficial name. Supposedly his real name is cursed and anyone who speaks it will turn to stone. I actually thought I knew his name, because the happenings in Athens seem like flashbacks. But they’re not. And there just happens to be a character that looks like him, Lykos (Wayne Burns), who has similar abilities.
Believe it or not, I had a hard time telling several characters apart. They either have the same haircut, don’t have their name said enough, or dress the same. A scene featuring the king and another character makes this painfully apparent. Don’t ask who is who. I’m still trying to figure out why Lykos is important.
Speaking of Lykos, he and Hero can both tap into the “lexicon” of the gods, which will lead to the gates of Olympus. This could be an interesting concept, but as of now there are no stakes. There’s no indication that getting to Olympus will stop the siege of Athens. It won’t help Hero learn the truth about his past either. Or why his feet are blue!
I think it all comes down to the writers assuming we will accept the mythology without question, even though it doesn’t make sense. This is perfectly summarized in the anatomy of the Cyclops. In Olympus the Cyclops’ eye is not on his face, but in his mouth. It’s an interesting design choice, but let me ask, how does he see anything? Half the time his mouth is closed, so how could he have possibly captured Hero? And how does he intend to eat Hero? Does his eye shoot up to his head when he eats? If so, why isn’t it always there?
To the show’s credit, the visual effects for the Cyclops are pretty decent. But this is mostly because his dark cave masks any noticeable mistakes. However, the rest of the show does not benefit from the cover of darkness, and it shows immediately. Locations look unfinished, almost like they are still in the pre-visualization phase. Every other scene looks like it was shot in front of a green screen, and it just kills the mood and any real sense of adventure. I do realize this is Syfy, but most of the channel’s shows at least have the decency to shoot on location or on an actual set.
And since I mentioned that this is on Syfy, let me make clear that this isn’t like Sharknado. It’s not trying to be bad. The show is taking itself seriously, trying to be a sort of Grecian Game of Thrones. The dumb things the characters do just amount to bad writing (like when the Oracle lets Hero fight her brother). With characters this incompetent, effects this poor, and a plot so confusing, it’s hard to care about anything. I’m just still wondering why Hero’s feet are blue.
Rating: 3 out of 10 (Bad)
OLYMPUS AIRS THURSDAYS AT 10PM ON SYFY