Merlin - Medieval TV Series
I was very interested when Merlin first came out. A show about medieval England! Merlin and Camelot! King Arthur and Lancelot!
I was really quite let down when the show actually began. It was VERY clear from the onset that these writers cared little for history or accuracy. It was in essence a teen-flick set with magic and skin. It took me an episode or two to get through my disappointment and try to accept the show for what it was. It was about awkward teenagers with "known names" - Merlin, Arthur, and so on - but NO bearing on any actual history at all.
For example, Arthur's father has built Camelot and has raised him. Arthur is an arrogant prince all his life. Merlin never knew Arthur's father (or helped get Arthur conceived) - instead, he just shows up as a bumbling commoner who knows the forbidden art of magic. The various women of the series are all in the castle too - Morgana is a ward of the King, Gwen is her servant.
There's a lot of petulance and teen-age angst here. Merlin whines, 'if I can't use magic, I might as well die." The castle is Disney-clean for a building in the middle ages. The outfits border on ridiculous. There are scenes right out of Disney too - one shot of Merlin improperly using his magic to do household chores is right out of the Sorcerer's Apprentice.
Still, there's a bit of charm and humor in here, and you do see the characters growing and learning episode by episode. I understand why they called it Merlin - to lure people in. Would people watch if it was just "bumbling strangers in a magical world"? Still, I find it unfair of them. None of the characters have anything at all to do with the story. Why not call them "Robin Hood" character names? Or Biblical character names? It would be just as meaningless.
I would have stopped watching this, but my boyfriend finds it amusing so we'll see how long it lasts on air. Maybe they can afford some better special effects soon - some of those monsters are very rubbery looking.
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