Monstrous mermaids aren’t exactly a new concept. After all, while the first sirens were half-bird and half-human rather than half-fish and half-human, they were nonetheless famous for using their voices to cause sailors to shipwreck themselves upon either rocks, shoals, and other obstacles in the sea. Likewise, the Slavic rusalkas were spirits of the restless dead who had either drowned themselves or being drowned by others, so it should come as no surprise to learn that they were prone to visiting similar fates on those who were unsuspecting. In fact, even British mermaids can run the range from good to evil, with some being perfectly willing to help out humans by healing human illnesses and others being perfectly willing to use their appearance to send Good Samaritans to an underwater grave.
However, modern depictions of mermaids are often influenced by Disney’s The Little Mermaid, which in turn, was based on one of Hans Christian Anderson’s much-beloved fairy tales. As a result, modern mermaids tend to be much tamer than their predecessors, though there are clear exceptions, with an excellent example being the new TV show Siren.
What Has Been the Reaction to Siren?
So far, no more than a small number of episodes have been released for Siren. However, what has been broadcast suggests that the TV show as a whole is rather promising, meaning that interested individuals might want to check it out in their spare time.
In part, this is because of one of the two main characters Ryn, who is played by Eline Powell. She is interesting in that she has a number of roles in the TV show’s narrative, which are played with exceptional skill by Powell. First and foremost, Ryn is a mermaid searching for a missing family member on land, meaning that her lack of familiarity with human society makes up a significant part of her character. However, the TV show makes it very, very clear that while Ryn isn’t familiar with human society, she is far from being harmless, as shown by her feats of superhuman strength as well as multiple reminders that she occupies the top of the food chain in her native environment. As a result, the character occupies a curious position that combines part of the naif with parts of the apex predator, thus resulting in something much more intriguing than either one on their own.
With that said, there are other selling points to Siren as well. For example, it is an original series in more than one sense, meaning that it could come as a welcome surprise to people who are sick of seeing the same basic premises re-hashed again and again. Furthermore, it should be mentioned that the TV show is perfectly willing to play with genre conventions, as shown by the fact that its opening as well as a significant part of its plotline seem more like something that would come out of a government conspiracy thriller rather than its YA paranormal romance-seeming setting. Overall, there can be no doubt about the fact that Siren is something both new and exciting, which is a combination that is a lot more unusual than it should be in an ideal world.