Enter The Sandman: A Dream come true.
There are a handful of writers I take an exciting delight in reading, their approach to telling their unique stories can sometimes be mistaken for being laidback or carefree, but as you begin to familiarise yourself with the world in which writers like Mr Gaiman build your brows start to lift in the realization of the wonderful art being created.
For fans of The Sandman like me, it has been well worth the wait to see Dream come alive on screen, especially when taking into account the many attempts Hollywood took at adapting such a beloved piece of literature.
American Gods was a book I couldn’t get enough of upon a first read so seeing the TV adaptation become this convoluted and dense creation, often losing its true essence for the sake of including as many folklore & mythological characters into it as possible, I initially feared The Sandman was at risk of experiencing the same fate. Then Good Omens happened.
The thing about Neil Gaiman’s stories is the casualness with which otherworldly incidents/characters/plots are introduced to the reader. It almost feels as if you were supposed to know Leperchuns were 7 feet tall, not dwarves with mangled legs, and if one sat beside you, you weren’t going to cause a scene. There was a level of familiarity Gaiman gave his characters, some sort of groundedness that reached beyond the pages and tugged at you to make an attempt to understand them and their motives.
This was truly interpreted in Good Omens with the two main characters; Aziraphale and Crowley, two otherworldly beings placed on earth from the beginning of time to help usher the end of humanity and the world. Good Omens didn't quite pull it off but the signs of what a Neil Gaiman adaptation could be with him as one of the shot callers began to take shape, and I dare say, The Sandman on Netflix is the culmination of this journey of actualization for the accomplished writer, now expert producer.
There’s a lot to enjoy about The Sandman on Netflix. We are introduced to a King of Dreams, who isn’t so much a king as he is a servant. Bound to rule over the land of dreams, a realm worth ruling over because people do actually dream. Dream/Morpheus is one of a family of concepts called the Endless; Destiny, Death, Dream, Desire, Despair, Destruction and Delirium. Inherent qualities in every living being who walks the earth.
The Sandman season 1 follows Dream through very interesting experiences as he interacts with humans for various reasons, we watch as he gradually begins to appreciate his unique role in their lives while dealing with situations and creatures of his own making, directly or indirectly. The Sandman isn’t in any way action-filled, nor can it be described as an epic. It is a delicate fantasy drama played out by humans and otherworldly beings contending with themselves and the world around them.
This adaptation is endearing and truly a labour of love and dedication. Panel for panel from the comic books there are scenes translated directly to screen that become more endearing, taking on larger-than-life meanings beyond what we perceived on paper. I hope you make out time to watch The Sandman on Netflix. #JusticeforGregory