The Sandman is a fantastic ad for the Sandman comics on Netflix

The Sandman is a fantastic ad for the Sandman comics on Netflix ...

Television in the streaming era is a beast with a vested appetite. It must be fed entire series, seasons, and cinematic universes all at once, just to be entertained for a weekend. These business-oriented desires to reduce art to chum or content have driven recent developments in other media, which have suddenly overcome all obstacles.

The Sandman, a beloved comic book series from 1989 through 1996, was considered unfilmable due to its serial nature and surreal visuals as lovingly depicted by a host of artists who would follow the dream of Kieth and Dringenberg, but it never came to fruition as a screen adaptation, many years later: Will it prove that the medium, which is so singular, is unadaptable?

The Sandman, by the way, is perhaps the finest imaginable TV adaptation of the comic book. While also making some necessary compromises for its new medium, for comic readers, theyll discover a strange and listless series that moves with strange rhythms and avoids traditional conflict. It's a story that's both captivating and entertaining if you stick around for a while.

Roderick Burgess, an amateur occultist, gathers the last few things with bad vibes he needs to perform a ritual that he hopes will grant him immortality. Instead, he captures Death's brother, Dream (Tom Sturridge), the king of dreams known by many names including the Sandman, and imprisons him in order to deprive him of what he desires.

After almost a century in prison, Dream escapes during a moment of neglect, and The Sandman takes shape. The first half of the season follows Dream as he rebuilds himself, serving as an introduction to the world. Theres London past and present, the world of the Dreaming, and even a trip to hell itself to meet Lucifer (Gwendoline Christie). Then, in the second half of the season, viewers meet Rose Walker, a young woman who may inadvertently destroy everything Dream

The Sandman is a superbly faithful adaptation, which also highlights its weaknesses in the source materials: For instance, its opening line fails to make the most sense for the story the viewer is embarking on. When The Sandman does explain itself, it is in a blunt manner that goes against the contemplative nature of the story, making the episode feel all the more stuttering.

The revered status of the comic may make many of the series' adaptations unintentionally funny. Dream, for example, is depicted in the show as a ghostly man with stars for eyes, an ethereal presence that cant really be portrayed on screen without extensive makeup and perhaps some computer animation. This isnt necessarily a bad thing when you learn that he is but one of the Endless, with older and younger siblings who also personify abstractions like Death (Kirby Howell-

Patton Oswalt's performance as a talking Raven named Matthew, is funny, funny, and somewhat aimless on screen.

The Sandman is an attractive and sometimes odd advertisement for the comic book, which sounds like a lot of praise, but may actually be the desired outcome. Part of what made the Sandman comics so popular is the way they were a place where queer people walked freely along with regularity, at a time when that was a rarity. Sandman would develop into a story about all stories, from Shakespeare to ancient Greece to superhero comics.

The Sandman on Netflix isn't exactly a Netflix adaptation. It's still a project that must respect the platform's limitations and aspirations, to create a bingeable experience that's destined to be a monster smash hit. All of the ways this might compromise the original work are already present in this series visually, tonally, and structurally.

Thats the difficulty in bringing dreams to life. The reason they stay with you isnt the parts you see clearly, but the images that are so far out of reach, so real yet difficult to describe, a vapor no one except you knew was there.

The first season of The Sandmans is now available on Netflix.