The Mysterious Benedict Society Review: A Deliciously Whimsical Ride

Another Disney wonder

When it comes to the adaptation of fantasy-fiction novels it is often seen that in its journey from the pages to the screen, two things happen to the story. Either it loses that special something which makes it extraordinary or it is not a faithful adaptation and leaves out crucial elements which then makes it worth watching only for those who have read the book(s) as they can fill in the glaring holes in the storyline. So, when we sat down to watch Disney’s TV adaptation of The Mysterious Benedict Society based on the best-selling young adult novels of the same name, we were understandably worried, especially because we had never read the books it was adapted from. We would never have been able to connect the dots or fill that glaring hole if it had any but thankfully, our fears were unfounded. 

What we mean to say is that this wonderful adaptation of The Mysterious Benedict Society novels is a treat for everyone, no matter whether they have read the books or not. From the very beginning, there is a delightful vibe of whimsy and mystery. Not for one second does the mysteries feel dull or dragged out so while we would love to instantly know what happens next, we are 100% invested in this amazing ride. And strictly speaking, this review comes from a person who has never read the four The Mysterious Benedict Society novels, so yes we don’t know what is in store for its interesting characters and no we won’t entertain spoilers. 

The story of The Mysterious Benedict Society starts with an explanation of how a phenomenon, known as The Emergency, plagues the world. We then meet Reynard “Reynie” Muldoon (Mystic Inscho) who is an orphaned boy living in the Stonetown Orphanage. He is considered as being different and weird by the rest of the students and only his tutor, Miss Perumal shows any care or interest in him. One day, she comes across an advertisement in the newspaper which calls out children who are special to apply to their tests and if they pass, they will be admitted into the prestigious Boatwright Academy. Perumal encourages Reynie to apply and he passes the increasingly odd and tricky tests. 

He then meets three other gifted children: George “Sticky” Washington, Kate Wetherall, and Constance Contraire. They all share one common aspect- they have been ridiculed for being different and are all alone but still care for others. 

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But then comes the moment of truth- the ad for Noatwright Academy was a ruse as the children have been recruited by Mr. Benedict, the organizer of the tests, and his subordinates Number Two, Rhonda, and Milligan. He tells the children that the Emergency is the result of secret messages that are hidden in television and radio transmissions that are creating an illusion of chaos. Someone is doing this to hypnotize the world and this mystery sender is someone at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened “L.I.V.E.” Only children are allowed in this school and that’s why Mr. Benedict needed gifted children whom he can send as students [read: spies] into the institute and learn who is behind this global scheme. Initially reluctant, the children end up agreeing as they do care about the world and what happens to others. But every team needs a special name, so they name themselves The Mysterious Benedict Society and embark on their risky mission, which is only getting more and more twisted and dangerous. 

Till now, the pacing, the performances, the vibe, the plot, everything seems to be perfect and not just for children. And we have very strong hopes that The Mysterious Benedict Society will continue to be as wonderfully whimsical for the next six episodes. 

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