“When the waking world leaves you wanting and weary, sleep brings you here to find freedom and adventure. To face your fears and fantasies.“
I’ve seen The Sandman on bookshelves for the longest time and for the longest time, I debated buying them but just never did. However, I was highly interested in the show when the trailer came out. I liked the first season of Good Omens, so I was expecting something similar in this world that Neil Gaiman created.
He’s also an executive producer so that already gave good news to the graphic novel fans.
Header credit: Netflix
The King of Dreams
When we fall asleep, we go to entirely different worlds and places, and the king of the Dreaming world is named Morpheus (although most call him Dream, and to which I’ll be referring him to for the remainder of the review.) He’s the Sandman and he creates dreams and nightmares and makes sure none of them go array in the Waking world.
The show starts out with a man named Roger Burgess who seeks to capture Death in exchange for reviving his dead son. Instead, the spell he casts captures Dream. Meanwhile, a nightmare by the name of the Corinthian is on the loose and just in the midst of Dream destroying him, Dream’s imprisoned for over 100 years.
While Dream is in a cage in the basement of Roger Burgess’ house, the Waking and Dreaming worlds experience chaos. In the Waking, people either won’t wake up or can’t fall asleep. In the Dreaming, Dream’s realm starts to fall apart.
After a series of events that allows Dream to break free, he returns to repair what was broken in his absence.
Dreams Don’t Die
It’s really after Dream escapes that the world starts to come to life as you learn more about the Endless, which are what Dream and his siblings Death, Desire, Despair, and more are, and their roles within humanity like not interfering (which definitely does happen.)
I really want to applaud the show for its diversity, especially with how many LGBTQ+ characters there are. It got to a point where I was surprised to see a straight character, which as someone who is Bi, I really appreciate.
But the characters are also more than that and even though some only have one episode to meet them, they leave lasting impressions like Lucifer and Death. Death’s episode, “The Sound of Her Wings,” is easily one of my favorites of the entire show as you can imagine, death is the subject but it’s done so well from Death’s perspective and how she views it.
On a personal note: this is one of my favorite iterations of Death. In the end, you want to have some like her there.
Her episode is six, which comes after five (very good, Meagan) which is one of the most eerie episodes of the season and is much needed after watching it. Minor spoiler but I want to note a strong trigger warning for that episode. It’s done so well and yet is so disturbing.
Season one follows Dream and the consequences of the King of Dreams being absent for over 100 years. Most people might think like Roger Burgess and that capturing Dream isn’t a big deal but the show really emphasizes how important and powerful dreams are.
With such a diverse set of characters and a well-thought out world, it’s easy to get into the show. Although, I’m happy to report that I refrained myself from binging it except for the last three episodes.
As I was writing this review, a bonus 11th episode came out that doesn’t have much to do with the events within the season, but adds some nice world and character building.
The Sandman is one of the most entertaining watches I’ve had all year. There are so many twists on characters that you’ve heard of before like Lucifer or Cain and Abel. Obviously, I can’t comment on how close it is to the source, but I’m excited to read the graphic novels in the future.