Netflix’s The Hollow surprised, later disappointed
Another Netflix show not on my radar that I randomly discovered on Netflix is The Hollow. A Canadian animated series described as science fantasy adventure mystery, oh my! It looked unique and decided to check it out since it’s only 13 episodes and I was in for a treat. The show is all kinds of different things and while never amazing it’s something special and a unique experience that is worth the time and a show I would’ve loved as a kid. The show is all kinds of things at once and it works for it more than it does against it. So let’s take a look back..
The show begins with 3 teenagers in a room having no idea how they got there and from there on they start to realize they need to solve puzzles and clues to get out of there. What lies after that is a series of adventures that can range from sci-fi with space ships, fantasy with random fantastical creatures, horror creatures like Zombies, superpowers, a genie and even Death shows up and all kinds of weird situations. And somehow it all blends very well for some reason and most of the times it feels like what you’d want in a new Mighty Max cartoon as it’s the only other franchise that mixed all magic and technology in a cohesive world.
The art style is rather weird for the type of show and I have mixed feelings about it since I do like the character designs but it doesn’t seem to fit the world very well as they’d be more at home in a comedy show. I especially loved Mira’s design and how her hair doesn’t make much sense and I was left wandering a few episodes if the long parts was actually her hair or some type of clothing. I wish their outfits had changed or at least gotten dirty through out the series since it did stick out and made the cartoon feel like it was more flash animated than it should’ve. The animation is nice as well and for those reasons I’m divided on the art style, it’s not what I think it fits it but it’s nice so I can’t complain.
The writing of the show isn’t the best you’ve encountered in a cartoon but for an animated show with kids as the target audience it could be a lot worse, especially since Netflix usually aims low in the writing of their cartoons. So, while this is no Avatar: The Last Airbender it’s not bad for a kids show either. The mystery is a lackluster but I’d argue that the adventures in finding the answer is what made the show good and not the mystery. The show does have a definite ending which is refreshing but at the same time I’d love to watch another season. I became a fan and recommend it to any animation fan.
As far as the ending of the show I’ll go into a few details in this last paragraph to finish off the review. The quest only being a Virtual reality game show while fine, I felt it didn’t use the VR concept enough like say Kiss Me First, since it was the twist ending and that’s a shame. It also solidifies my point that the art style was not adequate, a more human like art style or even better CG would’ve made that ending work so much better. The random live action ending was still fun though and as mentioned I hope we get to see more of the hollow or another series by the people who made this in more 1 season cartoons that finish.
But in general the twist that it was all a VR game works a lot better than the random one in the Dragon Quest animated movie. So overall I think it’s great and it was a great series. A sequel series could take advantage of this however the show continued with a second season that is animated but is supposed to be in the real world, again there’s a mystery if what they see is real. The mystery works well enough in the beginning but it does feel like a retread so a bit less fun, especially since it’s the same characters. They go out of their way to let you know that every other person is gay in the first few episodes which feels a bit forced but it doesn’t really affect anything else in the show so that’s fine. We get some extra characters which is good since the original cast gets a bit stale after spending more time with them.
The second season of the hollow however feels completely pointless. It continues the story in a way that is not satisfying, it’s a retread of the original but not as interesting since the twist is gone. The twist they try at the end of them staying in the hollow is boring and overall a huge disappointment.
Should’ve left it as a one season show or tried something completely different for the second season, the show got cancelled so no third season and I’m not disappointed. That first season was so original that the second season dampers the first ten episodes. Season 2 has its moments and it’s not awful but none of that makes up for the fact that it makes the original run feel less special.
For more VR articles check out WeaR VeaR where I have written some articles and continue Ravin’.