Disney+ ended the year successfully with its new young adult show “Percy Jackson and the Olympians.” Many fans had been on the edge of their seats waiting for the show to premiere after Rick Riordan, author of the beloved young adult book series of the same name, pitched the idea of the show to Disney back in 2019. Anticipation for the show has continued since the subsequent casting of Percy Jackson and the rest of the show’s cast. With its incorporation of Greek mythology and the typical woes preteens and teens face as they begin the transition from childhood to adulthood, the show and the books have become beloved fixtures on many people’s bookshelves.

The show follows 12-year-old Percy Jackson, the titular character played by Walker Scobell, as he begins to embrace his new identity as the son of Poseidon and begins to acclimate into his new life as a demigod, though it isn’t easy. Upon learning that he is a demigod, Percy is accused by Zeus of stealing his lightning bolt, making the transition much more difficult as he is alienated by the other half-bloods at camp who doubt that he successfully killed a minotaur minutes before arriving at Camp Half-Blood — a sanctuary and training camp built to protect demigods. Additionally, Percy is also reeling from the loss of his mother Sally Jackson (Virginia Kull) who seemingly dies trying to get Percy to safety. Percy finds himself leaving camp as he embarks on a quest to find the real thief and to rescue his mother from the Underworld, though he is not alone in this endeavor.

Percy is accompanied by his best friend, Grover Underwood (Aryan Simhadri), a satyr tasked with protecting Percy, as well as Annabeth Chase (Leah Sava Jeffries), a daughter of Athena who has been living and training at Camp Half-Blood for five years. Together they embark on a quest across the country, fighting many Greek mythological monsters and discovering the kind of people they want to be — in Annabeth and Percy’s case, what it truly means to be a demigod.

The show has only aired five episodes as of Jan. 15, with the remaining three episodes being released in the coming weeks. Critics and fans alike have been dishing out praises to the actors, show writers and Riordan as well.

Since the show deals with preteens and the struggles of growing up, which can be a sensitive topic, the show has done a great job portraying just how impactful these struggles can be to anyone, from teens to adults. It portrays a journey of self-discovery and discovering one’s true potential, as well as being able to achieve one’s goals even in the face of adversity. Incorporating those struggles into a teen show is very important, as it will be what shapes the minds of the children watching. As the show is aired on Disney+, it was created with the idea of appealing to a new generation of preteens as well as longtime fans of the series. Since the show is meant to cater to a younger audience, with the main characters being around the ages of 12 to 16, much of the acting is juvenile in the sense that no unnecessary violence is presented in the episodes.

Out of many praiseworthy aspects, viewers particularly enjoy the loyalty to the source material. As the show progresses, many have been noticing all the similarities with the first book of the series, “The Lightning Thief,” as well as the many new additions that cater to a wider audience as well as the original fans of the book. Much to the delight of the fans, many aspects of the novel have been kept in the show including the famous chapter titles being used as episode names, like the opening chapter title “I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-Algebra Teacher.”

However, other aspects such as the three main actors have changed from the book to the TV series. There was initial discourse about the casting of the main three characters of the show — Percy, Annabeth and Grover — with many saying that they did not agree with the casting as it was not faithful to the descriptions of the characters in the books. Jeffries and Simhadri, who play Annabeth and Grover respectively, were the targets of many racist comments on social media after the casting of their characters was announced. Riordan, as well as many other cast members, were quick to show their support to Jeffries and Simhadri, as he defended them saying “If you have a problem with this casting, however, take it up with me.”

Considering that the show has been praised by critics and fans alike, currently averaging a Rotten Tomatoes score of 96 percent, the casting is no longer put into question considering the impressive way that the actors have brought the beloved characters to life.

The last three episodes of the show are being released within the next couple of weeks, and many are expecting it to be as impressive as the first five have been thus far.