"The Mysterious Benedict Society, Disney+'s newest live-action series, has all the components a great kid classic needs," says Petrana Radulovic. "Judging by the two episodes provided for critics, the show evokes the same sensibilities as Spy Kids and Netflix’s adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events — and not just because kids are the heroes. Certainly having children in situations where only they can save the day is part of the appeal in all three cases. But there are a good number of bad stories with kid heroes. Spy Kids and A Series of Unfortunate Events are memorable for the way they draw on unique visual palettes to create distinct settings. The Mysterious Benedict Society replicates that feat, making the first two episodes visually memorable." She adds: "While the characters are interesting and the plot tentatively exciting, the first two episodes really highlight the show’s setting. The set design and costumes carefully create a funky world that is nebulous in both time and place. There are references to real-life countries, animals, and plants, but the locations the characters visit are named Stonetown and Harbor Island — completely vague, and easy to adapt to most countries. Visually, the show draws on a slightly retro look, with characters sporting mid-century outfits. Televisions exist, but they’re the pre-flatscreen kind, with knobs and wheels. The Mysterious Benedict Society doesn’t feel like a period piece, so much as it feels like it takes place in a universe just left of ours. But it isn’t only pleasing to the eye. The set details also deliciously augment the plot."