I don’t know if it’s on your calendar, but March 29th is “International Mermaid Day.” As a kid, I was obsessed with mermaids thanks to The Little Mermaid, Splash, and Sabrina Down Under. So when I heard that FreeForm had a new series about mermaids, my inner child began flipping his fins. And when Laughing Place Writer Jeremiah went to the Mermaid Museum in Hollywood, a marketing campaign for the show, my excitement for the series was about as high as Sierra Bogess’ top note of “Part of Your World.”
In the premiere episode, I was shocked by how little happens. After a fisher boat accidentally catches a creature that attacks one of the crew, the government shows up to confiscate both the catch and the victim. Almost immediately, a strange young woman who calls herself “Ryn” shows up in Bristol Cove, a coastal roadside attraction famous for reports of mermaid sightings many years ago.
I was intrigued enough by the pilot to stick around for the second episode, “The Lure,” which also airs on March 29th as part of a 2-hour premiere. As Ryn picks up a little English, she communicates to the local mermaid shopkeeper that she’s looking for her sister, the creature captured in the pilot. And Ben, a young man she encountered in the pilot, is going to help them in the search.
I have two big problems with Siren. The first is that I prefer mermaids to be magical and fun, whereas the portrayal here is creepy. Like vampires on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, they go from looking normal one minute to terrifying the next, with too much power and teeth that suddenly sharpen. Creepy mermaids, me no likey.
My second problem with Siren is that in two 60-minute episodes, it was all premise and little action. It feels like they had enough plot to justify a mini-series and are now trying to stretch it to fill a full season. The series unintentionally becomes as dry and flakey as Ryn’s skin when she’s on land.
Siren is not bad, it’s just not that good. I don’t plan to stick around for any further episodes, but expect it to be moderately successful with teenagers, to whom the show is targeted. Compared to your average Freeform series, it seems almost watered down, pun intended.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.