Review: The Barbarian and the Troll 2020
The Barbarian and the Troll is a new live-action puppet comedy series that premieres on Nickelodeon at 7:30 PM ET/PT on April 2. The series comes from Drew Massey and Mike Mitchell who serve as executive producers and follows the troll Evan (Massey) looking to go on an adventure and Brendar (Spencer Grammer) who must defeat an evil demon. Nickelodeon was kind enough to provide me with the first two episodes and I have some thoughts.
From co-creators and executive producers Mike Mitchell and Drew Massey, The Barbarian and the Troll follows Evan (Drew Massey), a bridge troll in search of adventure, and Brendar (Spencer Grammer), a fierce female warrior on a quest to defeat the evil demon who has imprisoned her brother.
First things first, the puppets are really well-made and look great. The puppets do create their own unique charm and humor. There is a catch, though. The action scenes feel very awkward. While puppets are great for comedy and even drama, action moments feel very weird and kind of laughable. If you’re okay with awkward action scenes, you’ve got nothing to worry about and everything to get excited about.
The writing for the show isn’t bad, but it’s definitely geared towards middle school-aged children. It’s written to be a step up from young children, but still feels very much like a pre-teen show. That doesn’t mean that The Barbarian and the Troll isn’t enjoyable. There is some clever writing and some of the jokes definitely got some laughs.
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All in all, The Barbarian and the Troll is a fun show aimed at middle school children. Some adults will find the show enjoyable, and I can see it gathering a bit of a cult following. If you like the trailer, I would definitely check it out. Otherwise, you probably won’t find anything surprising in the series.