Netflix's new show Shadow and Bone looks like it could be the streaming service's next big hit. First off, it's a fantastical story of Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li), an orphan who discovers that she has special powers that take the form of creating a powerful light. And then Starkov then gets enlisted into an army of similarly super-powered persons, to fight the sentient darkness that is tearing up their world.
Oh, and Shadow and Bone has a built-in audience, as it's an adaptation of a series of best-selling young adult novels (from author Leigh Bardugo). And once you watch the trailer below, you'll see that Shadow and Bone has a bunch of the other big hallmarks of popular fantasy books and adaptations.
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It appears that Shadow and Bone has many serpentine twists it will go down. After Starkov joins the Grisha army, we soon learn that they might not be as noble as they seem. It appears that even the army may misuse her powers.
The trailer teases that Starkov is going to be a singular force in a larger story for mankind, and the imagery of her having a magical moment while touching an animal in a forest is reminiscent of your Harry Potters and Narnia books.
Right now, a popular magical YA series is maybe one of the few categories where Netflix's competitors (His Dark Materials over at HBO) are hitting and Netflix is not.
Li's costars include Archie Renaux (as Malyen Oretsev), Freddy Carter (as Kaz Brekker), Amita Suman (as Inej), Kit Young (as Jesper Fahey) and Ben Barnes (as General Kirigan).
Shadow and Bone fans will note that the inclusion of Kaz, Amitra and Jesper reveals that this show will not only adapt the main series of Bardugo's Grisha books, but include some of the Six of Crows spinoff world as well.
Netflix may not need anything, as it produces more content than anyone can watch. That said, Stranger Things is winding down, and HBO Max is stealing a lot of the conversation with its big movies. Shadow and Bone could be the big fantasy YA hit that the service could definitely use right now. It's got all the trappings of a big hit that leaves fans waiting from season to season, and we're keeping our eye on it to see how it hits with the public.