Swamp Thing

Credits

Cast

Network

Reviewer

Kristin Smith

TV Series Review

Abby Arcane never thought she’d return to her hometown of Marais, Louisiana. But some places have a way of luring you back.

Now a specialist working for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Abby has been sent to Marais in response to some strange calls. Apparently, a deadly, mutating virus has taken over the town’s swamps and sickening those who wade in its waters. Her job is to find out what is going on.

Good thing she’s not alone. She’s working with her good friend and reporter, Liz, as well as officer Matt Cable, to uncover whatever nasty secrets the swamps might hold. And she was working with the towns discredited scientist, Alec Holland, until he went missing in the bog. Now, the only thing Abby has left are the remains of Alec’s research, her own professional instincts and the mysterious sightings of some sort of demented, plant-like creature.

But will that be enough?

See, the rumor is that a mutagen accelerator has been dumped into the swamps for some time now. If that’s true, Abby’s powerful adoptive parents (her biological parents died when she was young)—who secretly fund the chemical research and distribution in Marais—should know something about it. But when she asks them, they dismiss her concerns with barely a thought. Is it because they still blame Abby for the death of their daughter, Shawna? Or is it for another, more sinister reason?  

The deeper Abby digs, the more she finds that there is an evil being worked into the mires. And the only way to solve this mystery is to confront the swamp-like creature and forsake the only family she’s ever known.

Nothing New Under the Swamp

Swamp Thing may be living on the CW in 2020, but that’s not where it was born. Back in 2019, the 10-episode horror series was created for the DC Universe streaming service by Gary Dauberman and Mark Verheiden. It was cancelled after its first season.

Now, the CW has opened up its platform for Swamp Thing to live once again, with a few necessary trimmings.

Each episode has been cut down from one hour to fit within the parameters of broadcast television. Oh, and the profane language has been toned down a bit, with some intentional bleeping out of harsher profanities (although it’s still obvious as to what’s being said).

Since the show is just beginning, it’s hard to tell what other content may arise. The original comic series was aimed at mature audiences, and it didn’t shy away from nudity and graphic violence. The show—at least at this early point—seems a little less extreme. While violence still exists, it’s not extremely graphic. And so far there’s been no nudity. Not yet, at least.

But there is a lesbian couple in the show, as well as some dark spiritual elements at play. Like a mother losing her daughter and working to call her spirit back to life with the help of a fortune teller and witch doctor. Like I said, dark.

Yes, we find a few spots of light in some of the character qualities of Abby and her friends, but they’re not bright enough to illuminate the problematic issues within these muddied waters.

Episode Reviews

Oct. 13, 2020: “Worlds Apart”

Disease specialist Abby Arcane returns to her hometown of Marais, Louisiana to investigate a mysterious and deadly virus found in the swamp. A young girl believes that a creature in the swamp needs her help.

Police officers discuss a boat explosion that resulted in some grizzly deaths. A man stabs a game warden with a spear, nearly killing him (we see this happen from afar) as blood spurts from his open wound. This same man tries to kill a young girl after she witnesses his violent act. Tree limbs come to life and split a man into pieces, killing him. (We only see him entangled by the limbs as the rest is insinuated.)

A mother grieves her dead daughter and seeks out a fortune teller to try and call her daughter’s spirit back to life. The fortune teller sees the possessed, seemingly dead girl and is haunted by her spirit. Both the fortune teller and seeking mother are thrown against the wall by an evil force and collapse, screaming. Creepy horror movie posters hang on a wall. A dead girl lays next to her mother. A mascot features a blue devil.

Two women share shots of hard liquor. A woman wears short shorts. A lesbian couple kisses.

A woman exclaims “oh my god” a few times. Multiple f-words and s-words are bleeped out, though it’s clear which profanities are being used. Other language includes one utterance each of “h—,” “d–mit,” “a–” and “son of a b–ch.”

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Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).

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