It's taken 30 years to make it to the screen, but Netflix's new series was worth waiting for

cancel your weekend: the sandman is streaming, and it’s spectacular
(Image credit: Netflix)

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According to The Guardian, Netflix’s new fantasy series The Sandman is “2022’s single greatest hour of TV drama”, a “dark, engrossing” and “lavish” show that “features an emotional depth that’s almost unheard of in fantasy epics.” 

That’s good news for writer Neil Gaiman, who says (opens in new tab) he’s had “three decades of stopping bad ‘Sandman’ adaptations from happening. By hook or by crook, by fair means or foul, I blocked and stopped so many bad ‘Sandman’ movies.” There have been so many failed attempts to make The Sandman that many fans had given up on ever seeing it on screen, but it’s finally here and you can stream it all on Netflix right now – and you should, because everyone loves it.

If you’re not familiar with the comics, the titular Sandman – aka Morpheus, The Endless and The King of the Dream Dimension – is an immortal being who creates dreams and nightmares. He travels to Earth to capture an escaped nightmare but gets captured and imprisoned, and when he finally returns home he finds his realm is very broken. To fix it, he has to recover three powerful items. And that’s going to be tricky.

The Sandman currently has a mighty 92% audience rating and 88% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and the reviews have been overwhelmingly good. If you like epic, complex and multi-layered storytelling, cancel your weekend plans and watch The Sandman instead.

Is The Sandman worth watching?

The show is “a dream of an adaptation”, writes IGN’s Amelia Emberwing. “While it’s just about impossible to live up to the kind of expectations that come with such anticipation, Gaiman, Allan Heinberg, David S. Goyer and the team behind the new Netflix series didn’t just meet them – they exceeded them.”

Film and TV bible Empire gives the show four out of five stars, concluding that “with its attention to the source material, its impressive cast, and the kind of expansive world-building that surely demands more seasons, The Sandman is what dreams are made of.” Collider says it’s “a dream come true”, and our friends at Techradar say it’s “authentic” but “oh-so-nearly brilliant”: it takes a few liberties with the source material that won’t delight everybody, but overall the show will “delight established fans and newcomers alike.”

I’m not usually into fantasy shows but I think Gaiman is an incredible storyteller and I’m really excited by this. No prizes for guessing what I’ll be streaming this weekend.

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