Folks, I grew up chasing Carmen Sandiego and Co. across the pixelated globe on the screen of our very first computer. I remember the sounds, the graphics, the sheer excitement when we managed to catch someone.
We played this game so often that we needed only a single clue to know where to go next, and we could guess who the suspect was based on little more. And when the game show came out, we never missed an episode.
So you can imagine how excited I was when I learned Netflix made a Carmen Sandiego series.
I’m happy to say the series wasn’t a letdown, despite the hectic pressure brought on by childhood memories and nostalgia, or my huge love for spy and thief stories.
If anything, the series surpassed my expectations.
From the moment the first episode begins to the finale, the series is filled with action, quick quips, and loads of intrigue, delivered in the coolest art style.
The writing is tight, more advanced than one would expect from a kids’ show. In fact, many of the jokes are probably aimed at a mature audience, so if you watch this with your kids you’d be entertained too.
The same can be said of the story in general. I was excited to find a pretty intricate plot with twists I didn’t see coming.
I thought the balance of action and drama was perfect, with as much character development as kick-arse scenes. I also love that Netflix made this one kid-friendly, without removing the essence of the story.
Carmen Sandiego is a thief, after all.
Carmen’s crew consists of some of the coolest characters ever. The banter between Player, Ivy, and Zack is hilarious, and I love that they can all think in their feet, even while they’re supposed to be funny. They’re not only there to bring the laughs, their diverse skills make them each a useful part of the tribe.
I appreciate that the police aren’t made out to be the bad guys. Though one agent is the goofy comic relief, he has a perceptive partner who brings a refreshing level of maturity to the show.
As for the bad guys, most of them have more depth than your run of the mill cartoon villain. Each of them has at least one humanising moment, most of them more than one. I love the depth put into each of them developing alongside the heroes.
Plus, some of these bad guys are hilarious in their own right. Some are downright creepy.
I mentioned the cool art style above, but I’d like to take an extra moment to appreciate that. I’m such a huge fan of the direction Netflix has been taking with its original kids’ shows. Each series has a unique look and feel, and is wonderful to watch just for the art aspect.
Carmen Sandiego is a catchy Robin Hood retelling, but with all the elements we loved about the game and show back in the day.
I really loved this show and can’t wait for the next instalment.
Featured image belongs to Netflix.