“The Mysterious Benedict Society” is an adventurous show about four intelligent orphans who are recruited to go on an undercover mission that could possibly save the world. Based on a compelling young adult book series by the same name, “The Mysterious Benedict Society” is a captivating story with likeable characters, an interesting plot, and themes of friendship, loyalty, and adventure. As an avid fan of the book series, I think that the show adaptation is doing a wonderful job of capturing the fun, offbeat nature of the books so far.
Although the plot is interesting as well, this series is more character-driven than plot-driven. The four main characters are Reynie, Sticky, Kate, and Constance. Reynie is very intelligent and kind. He has a very strong moral compass, and he cares deeply for those around him and helps others often. Reynie’s powerful sense of empathy and authentic kindness made him a very likeable character in my opinion.
Another one of the main characters, Sticky, is also very intelligent. Nicknamed “Sticky” for his amazing memory (everything “sticks” in his head), he is very helpful when the team needs to recall a certain passage from a book or newspaper. Sticky also has a strong sense of empathy and morals, although he can sometimes let his fears get in the way of doing what’s right. Kate, another main character, is very energetic and brave. Her fearlessness is very useful in most situations, but she can also tend to act without thinking. I liked how Kate’s character had a strong contrast to Sticky’s, and how they were still able to work well together despite their differences.
Constance, the last member of the Mysterious Benedict Society, is very grumpy and disagreeable. According to Eric Parrish’s interview with the author of the book series, Trenton Lee Stewart, Constance’s character was meant to be a bit of an outlier compared to the other three main characters. “I created the first three characters and came up with their abilities and personalities, and I thought they all worked well together. And it occurred to me that they were all pretty nice, and they all got along pretty well, and I thought, well, they need more trouble than that! There should be somebody who’s cranky and difficult to work with, and that’s what led me, ultimately, to come up with Constance.” Despite Constance being so unpleasant, she adds some humor to the show and becomes more likeable and easy to get attached to as the series continues.
I think that the show is doing a great job adapting the book series so far. The casting fits the characters very well, and the colorful, distinct sets and costumes work very effectively with the unique nature of the books. I also like the music choices, and I think that each song fits well with the scene it’s in. I like how the plot is very similar to the books, and how they were able to expand upon the settings by making each set very visually interesting. However, the plot does seem a little rushed, especially when compared to the books. This can sometimes be a good thing, as the plot isn’t super over-explained, but it can also make the story feel a little unrealistic.
Overall, I’ve really enjoyed this show so far. I would recommend it to anyone who has enjoyed the books or offbeat shows like “A Series of Unfortunate Events”. You can watch the first few episodes of “The Mysterious Benedict Society” now on Disney+, with a new episode being released each Friday.