Julie and the Phantoms Netflix Series Review: This all-ghost rock band charms you despite its flaws.
Sajid Ali -
What is the story about?
Julie and the Phantoms circles around Julie (Madison Reyes) who loses the ability to play music after her mother’s demise. But she regains the interest when she plays an old CD after three ghosts appear from the ’90s who take Julie’s life in a different direction. What happens further forms the crux of the series created by Dan Cross and David Hoge, and directed by Kenny Ortega.
Officially adapted from a 2011 Brazilian show called Julie E Os Fantasmas has choreographer turned director Kenny Ortega helming the series. This teen drama is no different from any other musical you’ll find on Netflix. It’s just that it has a fantasy angle to it which may or may not be a little in relation to Bill & Ted, keeping the music as a common factor.
Even if you go on arguing that the premise doesn’t make sense at all, I believe you need to take a pause and reflect that it’s purely made to entertain the audience. And it being a no brainer was pretty intentional.
The first two episodes are kind of very slow, but when Julie starts singing the series gains momentum and in no time you’re done with the season. The series tries to bridge the gap between the 90’s and the current Gen-Z, and the musical factor was a very nice touch which in fact is the biggest highlight of the series. Music and dance will never go out of fad and Hollywood is going to cash on it endlessly until one or the other stops existing.
The series has very good potential as a commercial entertainer but if tweaked a little bit it might become the perfect getaway you’re looking for. I’m sure Netflix has a target audience for this show and in no time we might see it topping the chart. It did get better as it progressed and in the end leaves a good lead for the second season. So, let’s wait and watch what happens to Julie and the Phantoms in the upcoming season.
The performances were not really great but at the same time, they’re not bad either. It’s this genre that doesn’t give much for an actor to explore their full potential. By the looks of it, the central cast is very formidable and is seen bringing out the best from the characters they’re bound to play.
Madison Reyes (Julie) does make a good impression as the average American Teenager, a clichéd character which the writers didn’t bother to put in an extra effort to make it look a teeny bit different. And of course, the boys charm their way with the boy band. The performances Charlie Gillespie, Jeremy Shada, and Owen Patrick Joyner were commendable and did a good job. My favorite was Jeremy Shada who brought in a few genuine quirks.
Music & Other Departments
The music was fabulous, you’d definitely enjoy the songs and they were composed well backed with beautiful lyrics. The stage performances surely add zest to the entire series. The cinematography was delectable and backed by crisp editing. The VFX was not bad either.
I know you must’ve seen this coming; the music is one of the highlights in the series besides its zesty episodes.
It followed all the tropes of the genre like a textbook and didn’t bother to give this fantasy-teen-musical a fresh spin. And there were instances in the series which really put you off lame one-liners.
Did I enjoy it?
I enjoyed the music thoroughly, but the series I enjoyed it in parts. As I mentioned earlier, this is something that is made with a particular set of audiences in mind and if you’re one of them, you’re in for a treat.
Do I recommend it?
I recommend it. It’s not bad if you’re looking for something to chill and a no brainer, this serves well if you couple it with a tub of popcorn and a huge guzzle of cola.