Julie and the Phantoms Season 1 Review

With awesome songs and performances at its wake, "Julie and the Phantoms" surprises as it finds a way to be enjoyable even way beyond its target audience. While it definitely ain't perfect, this could easily be the next sleeper hit for Netflix.

With the sudden passing of her mom, high schooler Julie (Madison Reyes) lost her passion for music. On the cusp of losing everything she has aspired to be, she suddenly finds herself tied to the ghosts of three musicians from the 90s (Charlie Gillespie, Owen Patrick Joyner, Jeremy Shada) who died tragically just hours before they could perform at their dream venue at The Orpheum. As their unlikely friendship grows, not only does Julie start to sing and write songs again, but the ghosts also discover that others can see and hear them when they play. They soon decide to work together and create a new band called Julie and the Phantoms.
"Julie and the Phantoms" had a pretty rough start. From the get-go, the series has this very light tone. It was obviously designed for a very young demographic so it was unsurprising that it suffered with very basic and very flat characters as it focuses more on heavy-handed humor and script than deep character development. In fact, there will be a lot of questionable and unexplained things in the show even after Season 1 ends and it certainly failed to explain a lot of its paranormal aspects clearly - so that may easily frustrate those who want a comprehensive back story to its interesting concept and lore. With each episode running around 25-35 minutes long and the show working with a very predictable structure, events move too quickly at times to really provide enough context and depth to build up its conflicts. This also meant that the first few episodes had some pacing and tonal issues that audiences might decide not to continue with the series. At this point, the show sounds like it was bland and uneventful - - but here’s our advice, push through the first few episodes and things eventually gets a whole lot better and what you’ll find is a very rewarding experience.
What really defined our great feedback on "Julie and the Phantoms" were the songs and accompanying performances. Each song was well-written, well-performed and well-integrated to each episode and could be easily be hits outside the show. It elevated "Julie and the Phantoms" to extremely enjoyable and even very emotional territory especially in its last few episodes. It also helps that each performance had great cinematography and choreography that captured the magic and wonder each song had. The acting was good but nothing special. But the chemistry between Charlie Gillespie and Madison Reyes was right in there. Overall, "Julie and the Phantoms" may have been designed for a very young core in mind but its songs and accompanying back story to each song was wonderful and moving both at the same time.
Rating: 3 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- the songs and performance were very entertaining
- the premise and lore were actually interesting

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the first few episodes were very rough
- this was designed for a veyr young audience in mind
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