Syfy’s latest original series Astrid & Lilly Save the World was not the show I expected it to be. Fun, campy and the best kind of weird, the series follows two high school girls, Astrid (Jana Morrison) and Lilly (Samantha Aucoin), who are outsiders amongst their peers. They are given the task to save the world. Simple, right? Guided by the mysterious and charming Brutus (Olivier Renaud), they must do what they can to stop the monsters and their threats to the world before they can do too much damage.
From the outset, the show knows what it wants to be, fully embracing the weirdness of it all and the humor of the situations Astrid and Lilly find themselves in. At the same time, it has some real deep moments of reflection, diving into the inner workings of the girls and how their past struggles affect them. It also provides for some great inner growth for their characters.
Jana Morrison and Samantha Aucoin quickly embody their characters and feel at home with them. The bond between Astrid and Lilly is what makes the show shine along with the use of humor to offset the more brutal and bloody moments. The quick humor and heavy pop culture references reminds me of the more humorous parts of other recent Syfy series like Wynonna Earp and Resident Alien.
As a fan of “the little show that could” type of series, aka fun, low budget, Canadian sci-fi series, it makes the most of it. The premise doesn’t aim for anything too lofty and explains their goals flat out. The girls have most of the keys to saving the world, now it’s time to get it done. Using their unique view on the world as an upper hand in their quest, they do the best they can with what they have at their disposal. The weapons needed to take down these monsters each episode are often hilarious and seemingly random, yet lethal af.
The kids at school are often over the top rude and it can feel heavy handed and overwhelming at times with the constant streams of unjustified insults and cruelties tossed at Astrid and Lilly. Characters often verbally beat them down without a breather, harping on their weight and appearance. At times, it almost feels as if Astrid and Lilly relate more to the monsters they are hunting and it wouldn’t take all that much to have them turn on their initial guiding mission. Instead, the girls grow more confident with each episode and in turn, the show feels more confident in the series it hopes and aims to be.
There are a few side storylines, like a religious focused storyline which has just begun to become more prominent and has the potential to become a bigger issue for the girls. It’s very much on the nose and they ham it up and play into it. It also acts as a connecting thread that involves most of the main characters in a way outside of them just being classmates.
A few characters like Eggs (Michael McCreary) and Valarie (Christina Orjalo) have shown up in the first few episodes which I’m excited to see more of. As the girls get deeper into their mission to save the world, I’m certain these characters and others will come into play in big ways. Some characters’ intentions, most noticeably Candace (Julia Doyle), seem to shift from episode to episode. Then I remember they’re high school kids, so it can be seen as teens just being teens. There are also signs of budding romance which play heavily into the awkward high school dating trope which should provide for lots of shipping moments to come.
One of my favorite parts of each episode has to be when Brutus shows up. He often walks the line of becoming an annoyance to the girls, while also helping the girls with whatever situation they find themselves in that day. His interactions with Astrid and Lilly usually happen at inopportune moments, and left me laughing. There’s a hint of mystery to the character which will likely be explored as the season goes on past the initial first episodes.
Astrid and Lilly may not be the traditional heroes of stories, but Astrid & Lilly Save the World breaks the mold of what a hero looks like. This fun, campy and silly series with its horror elements and charm is sure to amass a cult following.
Astrid & Lilly Save the World premieres January 26 at 10 on Syfy.