Title: The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself
Released: 2022

Fix: YA Adaptations, Teenage Witches, European Witches, Gruesome Magical Powers, Crappy Sibling Relationships
Platform: Netflix

Source Material
Title: Half Bad (The Half Bad Trilogy #1)
Author: Sally Green
Published: 2014
Series: The Half Bad Trilogy

Netflix Summary: 

Sixteen-year-old Nathan Bryne tries his best to fit in at school and at home, but his father’s deadly legacy casts a long shadow.

FYA Summary:

Nathan Bryne is the illegitimate son of the most feared and most hated Bloodwitch in all of England. When his mother died shortly after giving birth to him, Nathan and his half-sister were given to their grandmother to raise, but the Fairborn witch council (England’s “good” witches) kept a close eye on Nathan, lest he turn into a Bloodwitch like his father. (His mother was a Fairborn, so he could have grown up to be either.) 

With his seventeenth birthday looming—the age at which all witches come into their power—Nathan’s taken to train with the hope that he’ll someday become powerful enough to take his father out. But there is a lot of information Nathan’s not privy to, and there are many witches who want to see him taken out of the picture, purely because of who is father is.

Familiar Faces:

Jay Lycurgo as Nathan in The Bastard Son and the Devil Himself

Jay Lycurgo as Nathan

Jay’s the only person I recognized from this show, and that’s only because I watch DC TV shows and movies. (He’s Tim Drake on Titans and had a small role—not Tim Drake, weirdly—in The Batman.) He was great in the role of Nathan, finding the right balance between naive innocent and possible madman.

(Karen Connell, who plays Ceelia, is my new hero, though. What a stunning Amazonian badass!)

Couch-Sharing Capability: Book Club Special Session

The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself is a live-action adaptation of Sally Green’s Half Bad Trilogy. I’ve not read the books, so I’m not sure if it covers just the first novel or all three, and I’m also not sure if this is, in any way, a faithful or even half good (see what I did there) adaptation of Green’s story. Regardless, I always have a great time watching adaptations of YA novels with the other members of my FYA Book Club, whether they’re good, bad, or so bad they’re good.

Recommended Level of Inebriation: Viewer’s Choice

There’s nothing overly cringey about The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself, nor are there an overabundance of awkward moments that might have you diving for a drink to distract yourself. I feel like this is a good show to watch with a social drink of whatever strikes your fancy. Word of advice, though—I wouldn’t eat while watching, especially if you’re at all squeamish about gore. Because there is a lot of it in certain episodes.

Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Worth the Price Increase

The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself kinda flew under the radar, and it doesn’t look like the show will get more than one season. (Thankfully, the ending is open-ended but not a cliffhanger.) That said, it’s an entertaining watch with a cast that I hope we’ll see more of in shows and/or movies in the future. It might not be the best thing on Netflix right now (that honor probably goes to Wednesday), but it won’t let you down.

Of course, if you have read the books and take a chance on this show because of my assertions that it’s good only to find out that it’s terrible, please don’t hate me forever.

Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, son, and dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.