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The Student News Site of Olathe West High School

Owl Post

The Student News Site of Olathe West High School

Owl Post

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The Clever Series Inspired By Dickens: ‘The Artful Dodger’

The Artful Dodger leaves audiences wanting more after season one of this new original series.
Photo courtesy of IMDb
“The Artful Dodger” leaves audiences wanting more after season one of this new original series.

As a Hulu original series, “The Artful Dodger” was released on Nov. 29, 2023, earning high remarks from fans and audiences. This series has a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes along with an 8/10 on IMDB and it is no surprise why this show receives such high remarks.

This series follows Jack Dawkins in 1850s Australia, around 15 years after the events from the novel “Oliver Twist” by Charles Dickens. Trying to leave a life of pickpocketing behind him, Dawkins becomes a well known surgeon. As events from his past start to catch up with him, he is swept up in the world of crime again.

Even though the storyline follows the events of “Oliver Twist,” you don’t necessarily have to read the book before watching the show. As someone who did not read the book, I understood the show perfectly fine. 

To put it in perspective, reading the book would almost be like reading a prequel. It may add more to the story overall, but as a whole, you are still able to enjoy the plotline happening in front of you. 

From the very first episode, this series sucked me into a whole new world. This period piece was so engaging to watch and I managed to finish it in two days. Considering the fact that each episode is 40 minutes to an hour long, I spent a lot of time getting to know the characters. 

Something that allowed me to get through this series so quickly was the driving plot line. From the very beginning, the plot continues to build, never leaving the reader bored at any point. You are thrown into the operating room in episode one as Dawkins performs surgery for a live audience on a man in excruciating pain.

The character of Jack Dawkins (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) was my all around favorite from this show. Even though he is the main protagonist and all the attention is on him anyway, his personality and decision making traits drew me to love him even more. Even though he makes some questionable life decisions, Dawkins keeps the viewer engaged and supports him through the end. 

One aspect that I thoroughly enjoyed as well was the main female character Lady Belle Fox (Maia Mitchell) as she persevered through stereotypes of that period. Fox had her hopes on becoming a surgeon and not just another housewife the the rest of the women in the town. Her surgical aspirations led her to form a connection with Dawkins.

As Fox’s and Dawkins’ romance blossomed, their time together became more complicated and they must face challenges that aim to separate the pair. 

There was some comedy found in this show as well, seen through the banter of Dawkins and Norbert Fagin (David Thewlis). Dawkins and Fagin were former crime partners, however, Fagin betrayed Dawkins in the past leading to their separation until the first episode. 

Listening to their banter was like listening to two friends who pretended/wanted to hate each other. To each other, the insults cut deep but to the audience, they were nothing more than side remarks that showed their tough love for one another. 

As the story progresses, Dawkins catches the suspicion of Captain Lucien Gaines (Damon Herriman). Captain Gaines tries to catch Dawkins doing something illegal, but falls short each time. 

These scenes kept me on the edge of my seat as I waited and watched Dawkins go on his missions while Gaines was not far behind him. This aspect of action set the show over the top for me and I knew I could look forward to the same feeling just about every episode. 

Watching this show for the first time is something that I can never experience again, and that notion brings a great sense of sadness. I won’t be able to laugh over the banter, hold my breath as Dawkins runs from Gaines and I won’t be able to smile ear to ear seeing how Dawkins and Fox navigate their feelings for each other. 

Even though I cannot watch this again for the first time, I wouldn’t do it any other way. I do what everyone does when they say goodbye to a loved show; recommend it to everyone who listens.

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About the Contributor
Bryce Mallory, Editor-in-Chief
This is senior Bryce Mallory’s second year on the Owl Post staff. This year, she is excited to take on the role of Editor-in-Chief, in addition to being a writer for the newspaper. Bryce is involved in the National Honors Society, Quill & Scroll and orchestra. Outside of school, Bryce loves to read books, watch romcoms, and go to dinner with her friends. She is looking forward to new print papers and loves having a community of friends to work with every day in the newspaper room. 

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