TV Review: Primal

Primal, the latest animated manifestation from the mind of Genndy Tartakovsky, is a brutal and beautiful journey through a fictional ancient Earth. 5 episodes of the 10-episode show aired during the week at midnight timeslots. I ‘series passed’ the show on Apple TV and binged this half a season in a feature-length viewing. What unfolded in front of me was 110 minutes of television the likes of which I had never seen.

This show is uncompromising in its vision of a merciless primordial world right from the off. The savagery shown in the opening of the first episode (Spear and Fang) sets the standard for what is to follow. Though Adult Swim has been existence for nearly two decades right from the off Primal lets you know that animation is not “just for kids”.

The level of storytelling in this show is just unreal. Not a word of dialogue, bar some yelling and grunting, is spoken in any of the 5 episodes. The performance from the animators is key to telling the story. The shot choices and scene compositions are at the level that Tartakovsky achieved with Sym-bionic Titan and Samurai Jack. It’s pure cinema on the small screen and if not for its episodic stories it would be right at home in a theatre.

I could not be more in love with this series. Even in spite of some triggering events that are unflinchingly delivered moments into the first episode. I could write so many more synonyms about this wonderful creation but I’ll stop short of entering into fanboy love letter (if I haven’t already crossed that line). If you like tough, adrenaline pumping shows with lots of blood and action then jump onto this. The show can be quiet and reflective but at its core it’s a killer show about killing dinosaurs. Dig it.

If Genndy was looking to silence any Hotel Transylvania critics he just delivered:


Written by Benjamin Boekelaar