So, this series. So strange, yet so good. At first, I thought it was about wanting to belong: some random girl getting in trouble because she was naive. But as the series advanced, I realised that I was completely wrong. I was wrong about pretty much everyone’s motivations. I failed to predict a lot of things. This fact in itself makes this series one of my favourites. It’s hard to find something that isn’t done exactly by the book, so if you’ve “read the book”, you know where things are going. Innovation is a keyword here.
Another surprise: it’s in Dutch. I had never watched anything in Dutch. Its production quality is outstanding (believable effects, great recording, talented actors). The writing (plot, scenes, transitions, etc.) is excellent. I wasn’t thinking about genres when I watched this one; I binged it till the end. It’s rare when I finish a series. If I had to attach some genres, I’d say fantasy/horror/drama. There are no heroes and villains; they’re all in similar bags. I’ve read some reactions to the series and some people hated a few characters, but I can’t say I share their opinion. While I rationally disagree with many of the characters, they are very believable, well-developed and relevant.
I was recently watching a series called Warrior Nun and, in it, all the characters are made from the same dough. They’re just their archetypes with poor writing. But in Ares, while all the characters could be fit into archetypes, the main characters are each very distinguishable in their personality traits, their needs and desires, their points of view, etc. I found myself getting interested in seeing how others developed, what their goals were, what they would do when specific points were reached, and simply trying to figure them out.
The storytelling is heavily unconventional. I was delighted by the fact that this is not a Disney film or just another Hollywood portrayal of society. When you watch a Marvel movie, you know their “anti-hero” is just someone who’s a bit more violent and has a tragic past. They’re a bit rough on the edges, but that’s just humanity peering through. But in Ares, they take this to an extreme that I appreciate. This is an anti-hero. However, while this show is very gritty, it wasn’t at all hard to watch. I think it’s a display of talent that such unconventional elements were mixed into such a compelling story.