REVIEW: Netflix’s ‘The Order’

Netflix released its newest horror-drama series The Order on March 7. Created by Dennis Heaton and Shelley Ericksen, The Order tells the story of a college freshman, Jack, who has plotted with his grandfather to be inducted into The Hermetic Order of the Blue Rose, a secret society that they believe will help them avenge his mother’s death. Turns out that the Order isn’t just an exclusive fraternity – it’s a magical society helmed by none other than Jack’s biological father, the man responsible for his mother’s death. Jack eventually earns his spot in The Order, but is also selected for another secret society, The Knights of Saint Christopher. And they’re werewolves who are the sworn enemies of the Order and all magic. A war soon erupts between the dark magicians of the Order and the werewolves, and Jack is stuck at the very center of it.

While I’m a sucker for supernatural dramas starring pretty people, I can’t help but feel like I just dedicated ten hours of my life to a bargain-rack knockoff of The Magicians. Don’t get me wrong, I love bargain racks. It’s my first destination whenever I walk into a store. But when it comes to my TV, I prefer the designer labels.

So let’s get these similarities out of the way. Warning – spoilers abound!

  • First, The Order has even borrowed from The Magicians’ casting pool. Adam DiMarco, who plays Todd on The Magicians, has a much larger role here as Randall, Jack’s RA who is also, naturally, a werewolf.
  • Am I the only one who sees a resemblance between Jack and Quentin?

    Second, Jack (Jake Manley) even looks a little bit like Quentin (Jason Ralph). Puppy dog eyes, shaggy hair, and a permanently sad expression? Check.

  • Third is the setting. The Order is set at Belgrave University, a posh college somewhere in New York. There’s a fancy old house where the werewolves like to hang out. Does this ring any bells for anyone else?
  • Lastly, there’s even the older male student who is a spectacular mixologist and basically an alcoholic. In The Magicians, it’s Eliot. The Order has Hamish, the lead werewolf.

There’s plenty to love in The Order. It can be funny and dramatic, there’s a decent romantic plot, the central story is certainly gripping, and werewolf Lilith (Devery Jacobs) is my new role model. My problem is that it feels tired. First we had vampires, and those got over-exposed too fast; then we did the same with zombies. I think magic is getting a little too common and this isn’t a compelling enough show, nor is the magic on it original enough for it to really hold its own against competitors like Chilling Adventures of Sabrina or The Magicians.

Jack is inducted into the Order

While the story is satisfactorily completed by the end of episode ten, the showrunners leave an opening for a second season, if Netflix renews the show. After successfully defeating his father, Jack and the other werewolves’ memories are wiped by members of the order, who reclaim their artifacts from the werewolves’ den. This was probably the moment that caused the strongest emotional reaction in me – erasing their memories felt like such a cop-out. All I wanted was for my sweet little werewolf pack to be happy, and instead Jack can’t even remember his own name. The story could end there, with the characters never remembering what happened, or a second season could follow them as they rediscover each other. Despite my tepid response, I’d certainly watch a second season – I just don’t know if Netflix will deliver it.

All ten episodes of The Order’s first season are streaming on Netflix now. You can check out the trailer here.

So readers, do you think a second season is likely for The Order? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!