Spoiler-Free Review of “The Nevers” on HBO Max: Steampunk Buffy

*This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!*

“We’re meant to be as we are…”

The Nevers premiered on HBO and HBO Max on April 11th 2021. The series is set to air six weekly episodes for part one and then the remaining six episodes of part two will air at a later date. The series stars Laura Donnelly, Ann Skelly, Olivia Williams, and James Norton. Each episode runs for approximately 50-55 minutes.

The latest series created by Joss Whedon is set in Victorian times, following a group of women who are “touched” with special abilities. Our main characters run an orphanage and try and protect other women with these unique abilities from unknown threats in this fantasy steampunk-esque new world.

Here is the trailer:

The Nevers may seem extremely similar to Whedon’s other shows at first glance, but it does have a new unique setting to explore with a mysterious plot tangled in a tale of female empowerment. Does it do enough to stand out from its predecessors? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

The Nevers Spoiler Free Review 1

Images courtesy of HBO Max

Leading ladies worth our time.

The dynamic duo of Amalia True and Penance Adair is a dream come true and these two won me over immediately. They have great chemistry together and will immediately give you some Buffy and Willow nostalgia. 

Amalia is very much like Buffy in a lot of ways with her quick wit and fighting skills while Penance’s quirky humor and strengths involving technology scream Willow. While many critics see this as as a con, this formula works.

I did see the similarities which helped me connect with them as a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but I am confident we will be able to peel back more layers of each character as the episodes air and hopefully we will get to see what truly makes both of these ladies tick and how their abilities work.

Either way, we’re off to a good start because if I don’t care about the characters, it’s hard to keep me invested.

The Nevers Spoiler Free Review 2

Images courtesy of HBO Max

Fun fight scenes with flair.

I’m all for a well thought out fight scene and some clever puns and maybe that’s the Buffy fan in me, but it makes for some pretty entertaining television.

The fight scenes were really fun and I loved the costumes and setting. This show could have easily fallen into the trap of too much talking and fluff in Victorian times like The Irregulars, but there is already more action and humor embedded in to balance things in a better way.

The Cons:

The Nevers Spoiler Free Review 3

Images courtesy of HBO Max

Villain rip-off.

I didn’t mind a lot of the similarities I saw during the show. I’m all for a show about female empowerment and the quirky friendship already felt authentic to me just from the pilot episode.

That being said, I thought the new villain, Maladie was a bad rip-off of Drusilla, who is one of the most iconic villains in television history for me. It just felt overdone and stale and I expected a lot more here.

Messy start and a bad rep.

There’s a lot going on in the opening episode which left me confused about a lot. We are introduced to a lot of characters and this show can easily lose focus if it isn’t careful. I think that as long as it focuses on the main characters and the mystery behind the “touched,” it will do enough each episode to keep us coming back for more.

I want to judge this show on pure entertainment value, but there are already a lot of unfavorable reviews and a lot of discussion involving Joss Whedon, who created the series. Even though he left the project and we will have a new showrunner for part 2, the show feels very much like a Whedon show.

Olivia Williams appeared in Dollhouse, Jane Espenson was a writer on Buffy, and the themes and characters follow a Whedon formula so it will be hard to separate him from it completely. 

So am I in or out?

The Nevers Spoiler Free Review 4

Images courtesy of HBO Max

I’m in!

There will certainly be a lot of talk about this show for a while, but I’m going to give it a chance because I think there is enough substance there. The characters are really likable and I kind of really dig the steampunk Victorian vibe. 

The show started off a little bit messy and all over the place, but I think once it finds its groove and settles into its main plot, it can be pure magic. The ending of the pilot episode had me on the edge of my seat and I immediately wanted to watch the next episode. 

I think that as long as you go into this show with an open mind, you will be entertained.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on The Nevers in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!


Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl


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It was only supposed to be temporary…but when Olivia Crewe accepts a new position that seems too good to be true, she soon discovers that twelve other girls previously had the same job as her. Only none of them lasted for more than thirty days. No notice. Nothing…right before they mysteriously disappeared without a trace.

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