Similarly to Netflix's short-lived series adaptation of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Disney Plus has taken a stab at bringing another beloved children's book series to life. Premiering in June 2021, The Mysterious Benedict Society follows a group of gifted orphans who are hand-selected to help save the world, naturally. Created and written by Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay, the family-friendly show is based on the New York Times bestselling book series of the same name by Trenton Lee Stewart.
"After winning a scholarship competition, four gifted orphans are recruited by the peculiar Mr. Benedict (Tony Hale) for a dangerous mission to save the world from a global crisis known as The Emergency. Reynie (Mystic Inscho), Sticky (Seth Carr), Kate (Emmy DeOliveira), and Constance (Marta Kessler) must infiltrate the mysterious L.I.V.E. Institute to discover the truth behind the crisis," the official Disney Plus synopsis reads.
The sinister culprit appears to be Mr. Benedict's twin brother, Dr. Curtain (Tony Hale), and the prepubescent gang will do whatever it takes to take him down.
Boasting sweater vests, daisy prints, corduroy, and a lack of addictive portable computers, The Mysterious Benedict Society screams of a particular era ... sort of. So, when is the whimsical series adaptation set?
What era is Disney Plus's 'The Mysterious Benedict Society' set in?
To be quite frank, it seems as though The Mysterious Benedict Society's time period is supposed to be ambiguous. There's no concrete answer regarding its era, which was likely an intentional move (just like 2014's It Follows). This vagueness only adds to the show's cryptic quirkiness.
As for what it "screams of," the technology, automobiles, costuming, and decor lead us to believe the series takes place in the 1960s or the 1970s.
Insider detailed that the show "delivers a dazzling display of sets that feature a retro 1970s vibe that feels like what Wes Anderson must dream about at night." We must admit, the saturated yellows and greens did remind us of 2012's Moonrise Kingdom.
Then again, ComicBook.com wrote that The Mysterious Benedict Society "is set in a vague time period that looks stuck between the 1950s and early 1960s." The publication went on to suggest that the story's societal values are more so reminiscent of present-day, as "the Emergency could be viewed as an allegory for the proliferation of misinformation online."
Our favorite analysis of The Mysterious Benedict Society's time period comes from Polygon. Though the inherently weird series borders on being a period piece, "it feels like it takes place in a universe just left of ours."
The first two episodes of The Mysterious Benedict Club Season 2 premiere on Oct. 26, 2022, on Disney Plus.