Carmen Sandiego Season 1 Review

January 18, 2019 at 9:21pm
By Jason Stettner

This is an animated Netflix Original Series that acts as an origin story for the classic character. It follows Carmen Sandiego in a somewhat modern setting as she attends an academy for thievery and then goes out into the world to forge her own path. It's an interesting take on the character, but a very vanilla one as well. It doesn't aim to really provide any depth, with goofy characters and mostly silly plots. It's not too much of a negative I suppose, but there isn't any deeper meaning or an attempt to be anything other than something to watch.

It retains some educational aspects in terms of geography, history and minor other elements while at the same time not entirely focusing on it. This isn't a long season to watch and it does go by rather quickly. The episodes do have an overall story, but each episode is basically standalone. They tie together in an interesting way, but leave things relatively open while not exactly resolving or having a cohesive completion of any particular goal. It's basically, here's a bunch of fun spy/thief type episodes. The titular character is joined by a couple team members that are a sibling brother sister pair and they were fine. There's also a police faction that evolves over the course of the season and a direct enemy group against Carmen Sandiego.
Carmen Sandiego Season 1 Wallpaper
They brought some neat changes to the character while retaining that classic look and heading towards more of a younger perspective. This works well with the target audience and it could be an interesting way to show age and maturity if she continues to grow over the series. There were already some various changes and this could be a well handled dynamic if properly showcased with the passing of time.

The visuals were rather basic, the characters had some good art but the backdrops left something to be desired. The show had a very basic, yet colorful series of backdrops. I desired a bit more as again, this came across as simplistic in terms of the animation quality. The voice work was fine here, variety of unique characters and it's varied for the most part. They visit neat locations, have various foes come into the picture and for the most part there's some sense of discovery.

The Conclusion

Carmen Sandiego Season 1 presents an origin story for the character by taking her in a new direction, it mostly works. This show in general comes across as fairly generic and bland however. I enjoyed watching it, but it really didn't have much substance to it. It's a quick viewing and is a fine start if they want to continue further from this point. The animation work is rather simplistic, but it gets the job done. They visited some neat locations across the globe and did put forth a valiant effort for adding bits of educational content along the way.

It's mostly a typical spy/thief story set against doing things for the right reasons and factions getting mixed up with one another. I didn't find it particularly funny despite there being a few jokes, might not exactly be the target audience I suppose. This was decent, I'd watch future seasons assuming there are some. It's neat to get this type of set up and I hope they push the aging forward to show a proper sense of progression as that's what they seemed to be aiming for here.

Carmen Sandiego Season 1 Review at Home with Streamed Viewing

Rating Overall: 6.5

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner