REVIEW / SERIES OPINION – While making the news for the wrong reasons, Joss Whedon returns to the small screen with “The Nevers”. A fantastic series in the middle of the Victorian era led by extraordinary women.
HBO kicks off its year with The Nevers
At the start of the year where the serial offer is not very stimulating if we except the “Marveleries” and some surprises made in Netflix, we place good hopes in The Nevers. First cartridge released in 2021 by HBO, whose releases are usually one level above average.
Besides the pandemic, the series falls into a particular context. Its creator, Joss Whedon, continues to be singled out for his questionable behavior during previous projects. While his involvement on Justice League is singled out, former employees denounce a tendency to harassment. The dad of the magnificent series Buffy the vampire slayer is therefore in turmoil, to such an extent that it did not go to the end of the production of The Nevers, giving way to Philippa Goslett. Without this liability, his return to the small screen could have been a real cause for celebration. Joss Whedon remains someone who brought good things to the world of the series.
The Nevers sets up his plot in a retro Britain, in the middle of the victorian era. When a strange event occurs in London, a small part of the population develops magical powers. Mainly women, who will quickly be identified as the Touched and become a possible threat in the eyes of others. Two of them will set themselves up as strong heads of a community that cannot find its place.
A feminist series
From its opening sequence, the series portrays the place of women in society through several situations. It is clear that the period which serves as a framework was not the one which offered them the most freedom. Men dominated, had a monopoly on decisions and organized the world as they saw fit. The Nevers presents almost a repeat of a witch hunt with these women with magical powers. They are perceived as a threat because they denote in relation to others, more docile. A statement that resonates with our times, where the place of women must be reassessed to move the lines. A certain irony emerges, however, when we know that Joss Whedon was recently accused abusive behavior with actresses in the past.
The big asset put forward by The Nevers is his universe. The choice of the Victorian era directly establishes a very precise atmosphere with a solid reconstitution. We particularly appreciate small steampunk / retro-futuristic touches that slip into the background. The series has the good idea not to overdo it and to create a homogeneous whole where each element that denotes provides a surprise to the viewer.
Neither failure nor excellent
Failing to ogle at stunning originality, the mix works to give the series a pretty pleasing identity. The installed framework accommodates a fairly large gallery of characters but this diversity is not necessarily an asset because the treatment given to each is revealed. unevenly interesting. The characterization of the two main heroines works, which is already very important. Beyond that, seeing them correcting men is clearly not unpleasant. The first fight scene kicks off hostilities with a heavily charged blow aimed at the genitals of an enemy. Later, other men flee banged up when they see that they cannot compete with Amalia (Laura Donnelly).
Once the subject and the universe have been assimilated, The Nevers highlights its limits fairly quickly. The proposal, pleasant after all, does not pass the course which makes it enter the higher category. To say that the show doesn’t work would be wrong. She has honorable qualities and a desire to mix a modern subject with an entertaining form. Unfortunately, that is not everything. This first part of six episodes has more of a rough draft than a clear success. The ingredients are on the table but the lack, for the time being, of refinement and efficiency, quickly puts a ceiling on this program that we dreamed of as the first great success of 2021 on the part of HBO.
The Nevers created by Joss Whedon, from April 12, 2021 on OCS in US + 24. Above the trailer. Find all our trailers here.