Okay, let’s get this straight from the beginning: Siren is not The Little Mermaid. There’s no Disney sing-along theme song. And there’s no “cuddly” pet fish named Flounder. The mermaids in this dark fantasy series mean business. They’re downright mean too. And they’ve got teeth that put Jaws to shame. They’re called sirens and follow the age-old design of being beautiful but deadly as they sing their song, luring lusty young men to their deaths beneath the waters. Cheery stuff, ey?
But with the doom and gloom of what you’re seeing onscreen comes a really good story that develops properly in Season 2. Eline Powell’s siren character Ryn spent the first season being attracted to a hottie marine biologist while she was ashore in human form. But this time round, she’s back where she belongs under the waves because her people are being attacked.
The season has been split in half (because thankfully it was renewed for 16 episodes rather than the 10 we got in Season 1 – and there will be a third season as well). The second half of the season is exclusive to Showmax again here and will deal with s-e-x because thanks to humans, ocean pollution is at an all-time high and mermen and sirens can’t reproduce. So Ryn is going to have to find another way to get knocked up with merbabies.
The introduction of topical subjects like ocean pollution gives Siren a somewhat realistic feel because everywhere you look these days, there’s a message about plastic, littering, pollution and protecting the planet. It’s the only one we’ve got, so we need to protect it for the mer-people, okay?
The really nice thing about the show is that while Siren has the horror aspect – remember those teeth we mentioned earlier? – it’s not going to give you nightmares and leave you worrying about something hiding under your bed. The CGI is good and creating something monstrous out of the typical mermaid imagery (think Little Mermaid) hasn’t been taken lightly.
The fact that it’s not your typical mermaid story makes it worth the watch because you’re getting something unexpected. Yes, it has its episode ups and downs and you won’t love every plotline, but you will come back for more each time. Critics have given it a double-thumbs up because it’s got everything you want from a series: progression, heroes, villains, danger, empathy and fresh life in an age-old story.
IMDB rating: 7.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 94%