Wow. I’ve been going through a whole bunch of premieres of various shows, and for a lot of them, my initial reaction is often that it is a quirky premise, not much plot, and nowhere to go. I just watched The Order (Netflix) and it has plot, room to grow, and a whole of mystery out the wazoo. Holy cow, it’s awesome.
So here’s the basic premise. A secret society known as the Hermetic Order of the Blue Rose selects 7 pledges each year from a private university, of which 3 are then invited / selected / winners of entry. The other 4 forget all about it. And success in the contest / selection process leads to power to unlock your potential. With a key element being magic.
Jack Morton is a young man, ready for college, and hoping to go to the special college and join the Order so he can help his grandfather solve the murder of his daughter (Jack’s mom) at what was believed to be the hands of the father, a member of the Blue Rose. The nature of her death and the mystery isn’t exactly clear, but it seems like the gist. Grandpa is a bit obsessed to be honest, and Jack is heavily focused on figuring it all out. But first he must make it into the Order. In Ep1, he arrives on campus, gets selected, gets some hints, makes it to the finals, and then, just for fun, gets attacked by a werewolf. Yes, a werewolf. Which has been killing other pledges (with 2 dead already).
Jack is played by Jake Manley, and I vaguely remember him from Heroes Reborn. Here he is great. Very serious, very friendly, a fantastic lead to keep the mystery alive and grounded in a motivated fish out of water take on the new happenings. Meanwhile, an upper year member, Alyssa Drake has taken a returned-interest in him, and she is played by Sarah Grey. I’ve seen her in small roles on Lucifer and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, but didn’t recognizer her here. She’s pretty great, has the girl-next-door thing going on that is the classic look and love interest of every show ever written about guys in college, and she’s pretty dang good. I’m amazed at how comfortable the two of them seem together. Like best friends, not work-buddies on a new show. There isn’t much sexual chemistry yet, it’s early days, but they sparkle together.
Grandpa is played by Matt Frewer, and whether he was Max Headroom or running a #CloneClub, Frewer does an amazing job on simple emotions or seeming like a grade A whackadoodle. Awesome here for both. Love his character, even if the first EP doesn’t really give you full insights into him or where he fits in.
Some other members of the cast include Sam Trammell (True Blood) as an ethics professor, Katherine Isabelle (Being Human) as the Chancellor and local head of the Blue Order for students, Jedidiah Goodacre (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) as a jerky head of initiation, and Hiro Kanagawa (Altered Carbon) as the police detective trying to figure out who’s killing college kids. All four are relatively solid.
And did I mention plot out the wazoo? There is so much room for this show to go, and the lead actors were good, so I have to predict RENEWAL.