Carmen Sandiego Review (spoiler-free)

Carmen Sandiego is a four-part series based upon the wildly popular 1980’s videogame. It centers around 20-year-old Carmen Sandiego. When Carmen was just a baby, she was abandoned by her parents. The people who found her took her in as their own. However, these people were not just ordinary folks; they secretly ran a worldwide thieving organization. She never went to a traditional grade school. However, tutors from all over the world came to teach her. This lead to her fascination with other cultures. Since no one knew her name, she took on the alias of Black Sheep.

Eventually, she enrolled in the school for the thieving organization, also known as VILE. Even after several years of training, she failed the graduation test and was not permitted to join the rest of the class on their first mission. In desperation, she stowed away on the plane and joined the class on their mission. That’s when she discovered that the organization was not what she thought it was and found that it was not an import-export company as she had been told. It was evil. Upon this discovery, Carmen escaped the island, donned a red coat and fedora, changed her name, and escaped VILE.

From this point on, she used her skills to steal valuables before VILE had a chance to get to them. Then, Carmen would return the “stolen” valuables. During her missions, she had the help of a 14-year-old hacker named Player and a pair of 17-year-old siblings, Zack and Ivy. Together, they stop VILE from stealing valuable items.

Carmen Sandiego is a top-rated show on Netflix, and since its release in 2019, it has only gained popularity. This show not exclusively for kids. The dramatic plot and exciting adventures of this show can appeal to adults as well. Also, if nothing else, it can teach culture and geography to individuals who watch the show. In each episode, Carmen is set in a different cultural landmark.

Something interesting this show does is it shows that there is no clear-cut right or wrong. It also shows that bad people can seem good and good people are not always seen like that. For most of the T.V show, Carmen was wanted by Interpol, an investigation company, and especially by Chase Devenoue, an agent in said company. However, Carmen was not the villain in this situation.

Moral standards are still clear enough so that children are not badly influenced by this show while still conveying an important message: good people can seem bad, and likewise, bad people can seem good. Carmen was good friends with many of the VILE agents, and she assumed that they were good people because they did not seem outright villainous.

The show also teaches respect for other cultures. Carmen is fascinated by the different cultures and geography of the place. The whole reason she steals valuables before VILE does is not that she believes that they are wrong -though this is a contributing factor- it’s that she wants to protect the cultures of different places. Artifacts are an essential link to culture.

An important question to ask when reviewing a show is: “Was there character development?”. Even if it has the best plot ever, character development is what brings the story together. Character development is when a character changes mentally, physically, spiritually, or emotionally. Unfortunately, the main characters do not have any significant character development. Zach and Ivy become less aloof throughout the series; however, to the rest of the characters, there were no major changes. (Spoiler) Shadow-san, Carmen’s new allies were one of the only characters to undergo a noticeable change. He had been on the “dark side” for years until he found a certain baby girl. His love for this child changed his heart. However, this development happens early in the story and after that, not much happens. (Spoiler over)

Besides, the ending seemed rushed and inconclusive. In the end, her mother is not revealed, we don’t get to see life after happily ever after, and no one knows precisely what happens to Carmen or Gray (a vital side character).

Carmen Sandiego is binge-worthy despite its flaws. It’s not for everyone, but everyone should try it.