Netflix has taken a much-needed hit with a project that many believed would not be filmable. At least that has been the prevailing opinion for the past 35 years, including from its creator, Neil Gaiman.
But Gaiman was finally convinced could are done with the freedom, budget and runtime of prestige TV, which is why he finally came to help make this Netflix series, and it looks like it’s going to work for everyone.
The Sandman immediately debuted at #1 on Netflix’s Top 10 list in the US, knocking out Virgin River and ignoring the likes of Stranger Things, Keep Breathing, and Uncoupled. You’ll usually see a new big show debut on #2 or 3 until word of mouth spreads, but Sandman seems to have shot to the top right away, indicating a very strong start.
Other indicators are also promising for The Sandman, as we wait and see if it will get a second season after its debut here. The show is clear expensive, which you can see in the Dream and Hell realms if you’ve seen the first few episodes, but this can hit the Netflix trifecta of high watch time, high critics scores, and high audience ratings.
Although the scores have dropped a bit since yesterday, The Sandman still places certified fresh 84% on Rotten Tomatoes with critics, and 88% with fans, who I expected would be hard to please with the pressure that’s on. an adaptation of such a beloved classic. But everyone seems to agree that they’ve done a pretty good job here.
I find it somewhat ironic that this is a DC comic adaptation and a Warner Bros. on Netflix in an era when WB finds it difficult to get consistent quality from its own DC projects on film or higher on HBO Max. I’m not sure of all the details on how this production came about, but it seems like this was probably something in the making, predating all current WB drama, like how Netflix has a ton of Marvel shows before the great Disney Plus purge took place.
While it might be unwise to predict what Netflix will or won’t refresh, given how arbitrary those decisions sometimes seem, I’m pretty sure I can say this kind of performance from Sandman, both in terms of these scores and this first placement. in the top 10, indicate to me that they will continue to invest in a second season, even if there are cuts elsewhere. They need to take their wins where they can get them, though I wonder if the deal with WB could make the show a little vulnerable, as Netflix likes to own its greatest hits in full and has done away with many co-produced deals in recent years. We’ll have to wait.
follow me on Twitter, YouTube, facebook and Instagram. Subscribe to my free weekly content newsletter digest, God rolls.
Get my sci-fi novels on the Herokiller Series and The Earthborn Trilogy.