Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Atlantis: Season 1
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on December 27, 2013
When I initially stumbled on this show, I was not keen on watching it. The first time I attempted to watch it I turned it off after the first 5 minutes. I gave it another chance and actually found myself loving it. The first 10-15 minutes of the first episode is rather dull and requires that you suspend belief. However, each additional episode gets better, is far more entertaining, and witty. I love the comedy, and the mishmash of the character traits and mythological stories. It makes it far more appealing, refreshing, and entertaining. I love the camaraderie between the characters and the zaniness. I was initially unhappy with this version of Hercules, but I find myself loving his character more and more. This show is a mishmash of Merlin, Once Upon a Time, and Hercules. All in all it is definitely worth watching. If you like the shows Merlin, Once Upon a Time, Xena, Hercules, or the movies Immortals, or Journey to the Center of the Earth then you will like this as well.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon December 6, 2013
A young man arrives in a legendary city ruled over by a tyrannical monarch, where a mysterious prophet waits in an underground cavern, telling him of his great destiny as a future hero. Throw in a bromance, a rebellious princess, a few CGI beasties, and a new spin on familiar legends, and I've just described "Atlantis".

I've also just described Merlin. This not a coincidence, as both shows share the same producers, writers, directors, and occasionally the same actors. Even some of the sets and sound-effects are the same (fans of the earlier show will instantly recognise that the screams of the Furies are just like the Dorocha). It's pretty clear that this is an attempt to recapture the success of "Merlin", which for the record - isn't a bad thing. Heck, it's good business. The problem lies with the fact that the brains behind "Atlantis" seem to be almost comically misinformed about what made "Merlin" such a success. If anything, all they've done is recycle the *worst* components of its predecessor.

Jason (Jack Donnelly) is a young man searching for his missing father, who takes a submarine down into the depths of the ocean, only to wake up some time later on the shores of a strange beach. He explores further and finds himself in Atlantis, ruled over by King Minos and Queen Pasiphae, and the beautiful Princess Ariadne. Soon enough he makes friends with Hercules and Pythagoras (Mark Addy and Robert Emms) and is told by the Oracle living in the Temple of Poseidon that he's been brought there for a reason - though she will not say what.

Yet having established that Jason has apparently travelled back in time, this is never again brought up. If you were to start watching from the second episode (or even halfway through the first) you'd have no idea whatsoever that Jason was from the contemporary world. Did he just forget about it, along with the search for his father? We learn absolutely nothing about his life before coming to Atlantis: his mother, his friends, his job prospects, his hobbies - nothing. He's just a blank slate. Furthermore, he seems to have no problems whatsoever to acclimatizing to living in an ancient civilization. Does he miss hot running water? Electricity and medicine? Television and the internet? Apparently not, though as any fan of Sleepy Hollow can tell you, there is a lot of fun to be found in fish out of water scenarios.

Only occasionally does Jason demonstrate knowledge of the Greek myths that make up this world, though that only leads to another problem. See, the underlying premise of "Merlin" was that it was a prequel to Arthurian legends. This provided the writers for opportunities to explore elements of the familiar story in what could be quite clever ways (the creation of Excalibur, the origins of the Lady of the Lake, the forming of the Knights of the Round Table). You can tell that "Atlantis" is trying to do the same thing here by including such characters as Medusa and Odeipus, figures whose fates are already known to the audiences (and Jason).

Yet the problem with this that unlike the Arthurian legends, which have a distinct beginning, middle and end, the diaspora of Greek myths are varied and largely unconnected to each other. The show comes across as somewhat random as a result, not helped by the fact that real historical figures such as Pythagoras exist alongside the mythological ones. So is Jason in the distant past? Or another dimension? Is this meant to be the "true story" behind the Greek myths that were distorted over time, or is it a completely different world where all bets are off? The show gives us no clue at all, and plays so fast and loose with the content of the Greek myths that it's impossible to figure it out.

The characters are likeable enough, but not hugely interesting. You could probably remove Pythagoras from the show entirely without it having much effect on the overarching storylines, and though the presence of the famous mathematician and philosopher should lead to scenes of lateral problem-solving or thinking outside the box, he's really just there to be the mildly geeky sidekick. You could count the number of times he mentions triangles on one hand, and his interest in them is just used for a running gag anyway. Meanwhile Mark Addy plays his usual role as the loud, boisterous, drunken womanizer. Here Hercules is characterized as a man whose reputation is wildly exaggerated in order to cover for his gambling, drinking and womanizing ways - you'll either find this amusing or tedious, but given that Addy is given first-billing, he ends up dominating the show, even to the detriment of Jason.

Then there's the female characters. These show-runners were notoriously bad at doing right by the women in "Merlin", whose female characters came in three flavours: evil witches, distressed damsels, and dead plot-devices. In five years I think there was only one exception to this rule, and the trend continues well into "Atlantis". Evil Queen? Check. Evil Witch? Check. Evil Cult of Evil Priestesses? Check. Of our two main female characters Princess Ariadne is given virtually nothing to do expect stare at Jason and exchange snarky comments with her stepmother, and though Medusa is afforded a little agency at first, she's soon relegated to hostage, victim, and love interest to a man who used an enchantment to brainwash her into loving him. She'll no doubt go the way of Morgana: sweet and kind at first, only to become evil off-screen without any warning. Oh, and take a shot every time a woman gets drugged or enchanted against her will. These writers *love* that one.

Edit: in a late episode, they do finally manage to introduce a female character who breaks the mould: one who is capable, benevolent and survives the episode. I was genuinely astonished.

In the interests of fairness, the production values of the show are very high, with above-average sets, costumes, and CGI. Much of the show was filmed on-location in Morocco, and the actors are likeable enough. Sarah Parish in particular plays the role of evil queen with panache, and many of the guest stars are familiar British thespians who've turned up for a bit of fun.

But if you think I'm being unfair by comparing it to "Merlin", that's simply because it tries to replicate so many of its predecessors' components that it's almost impossible to judge it on its own merits. Perhaps if I hadn't been aware of the production team behind it - but I was, and thus the similarities are obvious. There's lots of shirtlessness, a slew of fat jokes, a lack of continuity, and plenty of plot holes (how exactly did Jason become a master swordsman overnight?) Also, is Atlantis even an island? The characters cross deserts and visit other large cities, giving no indication whatsoever that the city of Atlantis, famed for sinking below the waves, is in any way surrounded by the ocean.

Basically, it's a diverting enough show for youngsters (though your daughters deserve much better representation than this) and popular enough to be renewed for at least one more series. As light fluff it's enjoyable enough, so you may well enjoy it for its entertainment value without the need for any particular depth.
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on February 9, 2014
This is a fun, lighthearted series that gives a nod and a wink to mythology. The three main characters have great chemistry, and the writing mixes humor with drama. I will definitely be buying the first season on DVD, and I am looking forward to Season 2 - apparently the series is a big hit in the UK and has already been renewed.
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on August 25, 2014
Atlantis is shiny, well-lit and well-acted. It's funny, exciting, and even surprises you occasionally. It can be good for taking your mind off work, and with minimal gore or explicit content, it's probably suitable for teens and pre-teens, not just adults. But it's clearly an adventure series without much to interest the more thoughtful viewer. Viewers interested in heavier, more emotionally involved series or shows that use their time to tackle tough social issues (think: Battlestar Galactica, Fringe, Outcasts, Game of Thrones, Continuum, or even Avatar the Last Airbender), will probably get bored with Atlantis' superficial themes of heroism, power struggle, and mythology come alive in an ancient Greek society, and its comparatively transparent plot arcs. It's a shame that such a quality-produced show doesn't have more behind it.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon March 31, 2014
A young man arrives in a legendary city ruled over by a tyrannical monarch, where a mysterious prophet waits in an underground cavern, telling him of his great destiny as a future hero. Throw in a bromance, a rebellious princess, a few CGI beasties, and a new spin on familiar legends, and I've just described "Atlantis".

I've also just described Merlin. This not a coincidence, as both shows share the same producers, writers, directors, and occasionally the same actors. Even some of the sets and sound-effects are the same (fans of the earlier show will instantly recognise that the screams of the Furies are just like the Dorocha). It's pretty clear that this is an attempt to recapture the success of "Merlin", which for the record - isn't a bad thing. Heck, it's good business. The problem lies with the fact that the brains behind "Atlantis" seem to be almost comically misinformed about what made "Merlin" such a success. If anything, all they've done is recycle the *worst* components of its predecessor.

Jason (Jack Donnelly) is a young man searching for his missing father, who takes a submarine down into the depths of the ocean, only to wake up some time later on the shores of a strange beach. He explores further and finds himself in Atlantis, ruled over by King Minos and Queen Pasiphae, and the beautiful Princess Ariadne. Soon enough he makes friends with Hercules and Pythagoras (Mark Addy and Robert Emms) and is told by the Oracle living in the Temple of Poseidon that he's been brought there for a reason - though she will not say what.

Yet having established that Jason has apparently travelled back in time, this is never again brought up. If you were to start watching from the second episode (or even halfway through the first) you'd have no idea whatsoever that Jason was from the contemporary world. Did he just forget about it, along with the search for his father? We learn absolutely nothing about his life before coming to Atlantis: his mother, his friends, his job prospects, his hobbies - nothing. He's just a blank slate. Furthermore, he seems to have no problems whatsoever to acclimatizing to living in an ancient civilization. Does he miss hot running water? Electricity and medicine? Television and the internet? Apparently not, though as any fan of Sleepy Hollow can tell you, there is a lot of fun to be found in fish out of water scenarios.

Only occasionally does Jason demonstrate knowledge of the Greek myths that make up this world, though that only leads to another problem. See, the underlying premise of "Merlin" was that it was a prequel to Arthurian legends. This provided the writers for opportunities to explore elements of the familiar story in what could be quite clever ways (the creation of Excalibur, the origins of the Lady of the Lake, the forming of the Knights of the Round Table). You can tell that "Atlantis" is trying to do the same thing here by including such characters as Medusa and Odeipus, figures whose fates are already known to the audiences (and Jason).

Yet the problem with this that unlike the Arthurian legends, which have a distinct beginning, middle and end, the diaspora of Greek myths are varied and largely unconnected to each other. The show comes across as somewhat random as a result, not helped by the fact that real historical figures such as Pythagoras exist alongside the mythological ones. So is Jason in the distant past? Or another dimension? Is this meant to be the "true story" behind the Greek myths that were distorted over time, or is it a completely different world where all bets are off? The show gives us no clue at all, and plays so fast and loose with the content of the Greek myths that it's impossible to figure it out.

The characters are likeable enough, but not hugely interesting. You could probably remove Pythagoras from the show entirely without it having much effect on the overarching storylines, and though the presence of the famous mathematician and philosopher should lead to scenes of lateral problem-solving or thinking outside the box, he's really just there to be the mildly geeky sidekick. You could count the number of times he mentions triangles on one hand, and his interest in them is just used for a running gag anyway. Meanwhile Mark Addy plays his usual role as the loud, boisterous, drunken womanizer. Here Hercules is characterized as a man whose reputation is wildly exaggerated in order to cover for his gambling, drinking and womanizing ways - you'll either find this amusing or tedious, but given that Addy is given first-billing, he ends up dominating the show, even to the detriment of Jason.

Then there's the female characters. These show-runners were notoriously bad at doing right by the women in "Merlin", whose female characters came in three flavours: evil witches, distressed damsels, and dead plot-devices. In five years I think there was only one exception to this rule, and the trend continues well into "Atlantis". Evil Queen? Check. Evil Witch? Check. Evil Cult of Evil Priestesses? Check. Of our two main female characters Princess Ariadne is given virtually nothing to do expect stare at Jason and exchange snarky comments with her stepmother, and though Medusa is afforded a little agency at first, she's soon relegated to hostage, victim, and love interest to a man who used an enchantment to brainwash her into loving him. She'll no doubt go the way of Morgana: sweet and kind at first, only to become evil off-screen without any warning. Oh, and take a shot every time a woman gets drugged or enchanted against her will. These writers *love* that one.

Edit: in a late episode, they do finally manage to introduce a female character who breaks the mould: one who is capable, benevolent and survives the episode. I was genuinely astonished.

In the interests of fairness, the production values of the show are very high, with above-average sets, costumes, and CGI. Much of the show was filmed on-location in Morocco, and the actors are likeable enough. Sarah Parish in particular plays the role of evil queen with panache, and many of the guest stars are familiar British thespians who've turned up for a bit of fun.

But if you think I'm being unfair by comparing it to "Merlin", that's simply because it tries to replicate so many of its predecessors' components that it's almost impossible to judge it on its own merits. Perhaps if I hadn't been aware of the production team behind it - but I was, and thus the similarities are obvious. There's lots of shirtlessness, a slew of fat jokes, a lack of continuity, and plenty of plot holes (how exactly did Jason become a master swordsman overnight?) Also, is Atlantis even an island? The characters cross deserts and visit other large cities, giving no indication whatsoever that the city of Atlantis, famed for sinking below the waves, is in any way surrounded by the ocean.

Basically, it's a diverting enough show for youngsters (though your daughters deserve much better representation than this) and popular enough to be renewed for at least one more series. As light fluff it's enjoyable enough, but if you want a higher quality BBC period drama/adventure series for the whole family, then definitely check out their latest rendition of The Musketeers instead. It's better in every respect.
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on December 5, 2013
It's only been two episodes. I don't think it will hold on to long. The lead character is from 2013, but he doesn't make any references to the time, or talk about his previous life at all. That's unrealistic. You can't move from one culture to another and not want to talk about your life in the previous one. He's on a research ship, piloting a million dollar submarine by himself, but there is no mention how or why. Is he a botanist? An ocean researcher? Treasure explorer? What is he an expert in? If so, why doesn't he use any of his knowledge or talk about it? In the first episode, he's very clumsy with a sword, in the second he's an expert? Really? The writers need to start filing in the holes, or the series won't last. With that said, it is interesting to watch, and I'll watch more to see what happens. But it needs some fleshing out.
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on October 2, 2014
Entertaining, but the script lacks a little sophistication. Good show for the younger crowd.

I only gave it three stars because the series hasn't addressed certain missing details of Atlantis such as the lack of concentric canals, that this Atlantis doesn't appear to be an island but a desert, and the occupants don't seem to be technologically superior to other civilisations of the time. The writers haven't tried to sell any of those points that we heard about Atlantis. Consequently, it is very easy to forget that they are in Atlantis until the characters refers to it by name.

May serve to confuse the young viewer who haven't been exposed to greek mythology in school.
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on June 9, 2014
This is one of the best shows I've seen in quite some time. The three main characters work very well together, the story lines are good, and the production values are also very good. The show has drama, humor, danger, adventure, mystery, treachery, and a little dose of love - everything you could want in a show like this. I look forward to owning and enjoying the second season. I also plan to look into the Merlin series, which I understand the people involved in making this series were also responsible for the Merlin series.
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on August 31, 2014
I wanted to like this show. I tried to like this show. The lead is personable. The premise has potential.

Searching for his father, Jason stumbles into Atlantis, which turns out to be a parallel earth. Why they bother with this plot element, I have no clue. After episode one it seems to lose any significance. The writers might as well have started us in the mythical Atlantis and give the character a decent back story.

Atlantis is depressing. You'd expect some kind of civilization, maybe some steampunk neatness, or an inexplicable pseudo-science. Instead you get a bastardized ancient Greece, in which everyone speaks English until it's time to pray or cast a spell--then everyone speaks Greek.

Jason's bumbling friends, Pythagoras, who has no personality or character and, Hercules, who has been comically reduced to a cowardly slob, are irritating at the best of times. Most of the other recurring characters are bland and generic. Jason has somehow ended up living with Pythagoras and Hercules (why do they live together?), and at no point seeks to move on in search of his father, destiny or decent lodging. While somehow not knowing anything of the customs of Atlantis, he manages to kowtow to its rules regarding Ariadne alone, Rather than seeking after the obvious love interest, he drags his friends into one seeming catastrophe after the next due to his lack of knowledge regarding how life works in Atlantis. You'd think after the first or second time his friends would sit down and lay out the rules for him...

The absolute most annoying feature of the series is its obsession with bad chase scenes through dirty Aladdin-esque streets. Every episode so far has featured a chase scene in which the characters masterfully outwit the guards by hiding behind obvious objects as they run by or by climbing up onto the roof of a building.

This show is a disappointment and fails to achieve the campy goodness of Xena, Hercules and Merlin. I'm fairly certain that Atlantis has only run as long as it has because of the protagonist's frequent displays of partial nudity. He spends almost as much time with his shirt off as he does running through the beggar-ridden streets of Atlantis
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on June 30, 2016
I like this series and think anyone with an interest in Greek Mythology would probably like it as well. I watched the entire series, but my husband watched only 1 episode and said it was too cheesy for him. He prefers movies, etc that have a more realistic/serious subject matter. (His rating was a 2.) If you are of the same mindset, you probably would want to pass on this series. But, I think it is an entertaining diversion and would buy it again. There are violent scenes in this series, so you probably would not want small children to watch.
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