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The Fluco Beat

  • February 20FCHS will be offering the ASVAB test to interested sophomores, juniors, and seniors. For details, please email [email protected]
  • February 20The FCHS Music Department is hosting a "Night at the Movies" Concert at 6pm on Thurs. Feb. 22. Tickets are $5. See Ms. Harkrader in room 1517 for details.
  • February 19The FCHS Library will be hosting a Read-A-Thon on Thurs. March 7. It is $1 per 30 minute block or $10 for the entire day. Funds go to Dolly Parton's Imagination Library.
  • January 20Juniors and seniors taking the SAT in March should check their email for information and a calendar invite from Ms. Blevins. Email [email protected] with questions.
The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The movie poster for the Disney+ series Percy Jackson and the Olympians (2023). Walter Scobell in Percy Jackson and the Olympians (2023). by IMDB courtesy of Disney+

Pick Your Percy Jackson

If you’re a fan of Percy Jackson, there seems to be no end of ways to get your fix on the character.  There are the books, which are pretty well loved. You have the movies, which many of the book fans really dislike. Then you have the new TV show, which is now on Disney+. So where do things rank on the Percy fan “faithful” meter?

Let’s start by looking at the way that the characters are portrayed, and how their arcs are done in the “Lightning Thief,” the original book that kicked off the Percy universe.

Percy starts out as someone who was described as a “troubled youth.” However, throughout the book, Percy learns to embrace his identity as a demigod. He also goes from being alone, with only one friend in Grover Underwood, to having two deep friendships, with both Annabeth Chase and Grover. I feel like the movie handles this arc a little bit better compared to the series. I don’t feel like the chemistry between Annabeth and Percy in the series is as good as it seemed at this point in the book. I can tell that the two of them are friends, but I don’t feel like they are as close as they were at similar points in the book. One interesting thing is that Percy is a 12-year-old in the book, but in the movie, he gets aged up to 16, while in the series, he’s the proper age of 12.

Next is Percy’s close satyr friend, Grover Underwood. Grover’s timid personality has had some series fans label him as weak. However, throughout the course of the book, Grover starts to defy this label. He also has a goal, which is to achieve his searcher’s license that allows satyrs to look for the lost god Pan. This plot point, which is one of Grover’s main motivations in the book series, is completely ignored in the movie, while the series does an so-so job at capturing this arc.

In addition, the movie has Grover sacrificing himself and staying in the Underworld so Percy can rescue his mother. The only reason Grover survives is an unknown, unshown deus ex machina. The TV series is much more faithful to the books for this plot point. I also enjoy the casting. The actor for Grover in the series, Aryan Simhadri, manages to capture Grover’s timid nature of Grover.

The final member to join the original trio, Annabeth Chase, is the planner of the trio, smart enough in both battle tactics and mythology to be able to figure out a plan and save the day. Throughout the book, she learns that family connections are extremely important, thanks to Percy’s determination to save his mom, and swears that she will grow a relationship with her family. The streaming series does a good job of having this arc, and even ending it in the same way, which is always good. In the movie, she is portrayed much more one-dimensionally, with a focus on her fighting skills and smarts, rather than as a pre-teen who is still learning about her emotions. I think that the TV series does a much better job at making Annabeth a character who is extremely competent, even as a 12-year-old.

Moving away from the characters, let’s look at the biggest part of the story, and that’s the plot. Looking at the major story beats, the series hits every single one. The series is pretty good about hitting these beats, and it’s much better than the movie. Even though I knew some of those beats were coming, it was still hit hard watching some of the pieces click together, such as [spoiler alert!] when Luke betrays Percy at the end.

Looking at some of the other details, it’s a mixed bag how the movie and show fare compared to the book. For example, during the movie, they actually fight the hydra. The book doesn’t even mention a hydra. However, the TV series shows the fight in the St. Louis Arch, which the movie left out. It’s almost like a trade off between the movies and the show.

Both series, however, do leave out some of what I thought were really important details. In the book, the entrance to the underworld is in the DOA Recording Studio in Los Angeles. In the movie, the entrance is hidden behind the Hollywood sign’s H. In the series, the entrance that they go through is in Crusty’s WaterBed Palace. While details are always important, it is important for an adaptation to get most details right, and I feel like the series gets more details right than the movie.

Overall, I’d say that the TV series actually follows the book pretty well, so I highly recommend it. If you are a Percy Jackson fan, or are looking to get into the series, I would recommend starting with the show. The 2024 show can be found on Disney+, the 2010 movie on Amazon Prime, and the book series can be found at both the FCHS Media Center and at the Fluvanna County Library.

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