On DVD this week from SHOUT! Factory comes an amazing opportunity to see a series that has one of today’s biggest stars portraying “Young Hercules: The Complete Series.”
The series tells the story of a young Hercules (Ryan Gosling), who is training to be a warrior while attending Cheiron’s Academy. Studying with Cheiron the Centaur (Nathaniel Lees), he also makes friends with Corinth Prince Jason (Chris Conrad), who is a future king, and Iolaus (Dean O’Gorman), a thief who is at the academy instead of prison.
Hercules is also friends with Lilith (Jodie Rimmer), not only a female cadet but the first female cadet at Cheiron’s Academy. Together they find their place in the world but more importantly Hercules discovers what it means to be a hero!
Gosling as the Young Hercules is actually quite endearing. I know it’s surprising to know he was a part of this show, but after watching Young Hercules, it is clear that Gosling was meant to be an actor. Actually starting to be noticed in 1995 with his appearance in “Are You Afraid of the Dark?,” that would be followed with “Goosebumps” and “Kung Fu: The Legend Continues.” He would move to the big screen in 2000 with his role as Alan Bosley in “Remember the Titans,” and there is no looking back from there!
Surrounded by a cast that includes Dean O’Gorman and Chris Conrad there is adventure and fun. The best part of this is that it is really fun to watch and I did — with my family.
After a few episodes, we forgot that this series was made in 1998 because we were having a good time watching the story unfold and getting to know the characters. That means that “Young Hercules” would be amazing in any one’s family library.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “Young Hercules: The Complete Series” four tubs of popcorn four of five. I absolutely loved all 50 episodes — probably because it reminded me of how stories like this took their time in the telling. They weren’t crammed together in ten episodes in one television season.
“Young Hercules” is executive produced by Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert who also brought “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” and “Xena: Warrior Princess” to fans who still to this day watch these shows.
This series is a prequel to “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” that allows Gosling to explore an earlier age of light and dark with the half man/half god hero. What is even more amazing about this is that “Young Hercules: The Complete Series” has all 50 episodes in the DVD set and a featurette: “Writing the Legend of Young Hercules.”
In the end — he is a hero like no other!