Merlin

April 17, 2010
Normally, I am not a great watcher of television, but during spring break I found myself bored and flipped on the TV. It happened to be on the Syfy channel, and I could rant for ages about how much I hate all the lame movies and shows infiltrating my former favorite channel. Still, there was a show on called Merlin (and yes, it is a show about Merlin, why do you ask?). It piqued my interest, so I sat and watched.


The series, originally produced by BBC, a company in the UK is a retelling of the classic Arthur story, but for those who are bored by or dislike King Arthur, the show deviates a lot from the most well-known legends and stories. To those who are, however, interested in Arthur but sticklers for details, the series is still good on its own merits. Merlin takes place in Camelot, a kingdom ruled by Uther Pendragon, where magic is banned. A young warlock named Merlin comes to Camelot to live with his uncle Gaius, and soon meets Uther’s son, the headstrong and obnoxious Arthur. The two do not exactly see eye to eye at first, but as the series progresses, their relationship improves. All the while, Merlin tries to keep Camelot safe from evil sorcerers trying to destroy it while keeping his own magic a secret. Like all things, the series has its goods and bads.


On of the pitfalls with the series is that most of the romances come off excellent, except for the one for the official couple of Arthur and Guinevere. Their romance is rushed too much, in my opinion, and sort of comes from nowhere. Also, the series’ episodes seem to follow the same basic plot most of the time with a sorcerer planning to destroy Camelot or kill Arthur or Uther, Merlin and Gaius finding out about the plot, Uther completely ignoring them, and Merlin having to find a way to save them. Also, although admittedly beautifully done, the relationship between Merlin and Arthur seems to change and vary from episode to episode. Over all, the two overcome their animosity and slowly become friends, but ever so often, there is an episode where Arthur and Merlin seem to backtrack.


Also, the series is admittedly a little cheesy, as are some of the effects at certain parts. At times, it also seems as if everyone in Camelot is a complete idiot for not realizing Merlin has magic. Again, if you love the original King Arthur tales, you may not be happy with some of the changes (such as Arthur being born and raised as a prince, Merlin being his servant, Lancelot being a peasant, and Guinevere being African American).


However, the series is still excellent, and I recommend everybody who loves fantasy or drama to watch at least one episode. The actors are all great, particularly Colin Morgan (Merlin) and Bradley James (Arthur), who play the growing friendship between their characters very well. The characters of Merlin and Arthur are simply amazing, and every time they have a scene together it’s either downright hilarious or heartwarming (sometimes both). There are also several surprises and plot twists in the series along with longer arcs that make for a deeper plot. Backtracking a bit to the cast, though, the actors are (I’m a little embarrassed to admit) very attractive. Colin Morgan is absolutely adorable, and Bradley James is just hot. It’s rather reminiscent of the cast of Supernatural.


The show is an amazing mix of humor, romance, drama, and fantasy. I highly recommend it as I think it has something that would appeal to everyone. Thus far, there are two seasons, although not all of the second has been released in the U.S.A. Still, the show can be watched on the Syfy channel or on-line. Overall, it is a cute, fun series, and even if it’s not the most perfect show on television, it’s very addicting, so watch with caution.





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Saphirra said...
Sept. 19, 2011 at 9:54 am
I totally agree with you! Merlin <3 I found it online, you're so lucky you can watch it on Tv :D Your review was very detailed, giving the insight on the good and the bad.  Great Job! :D
 
HeatherG said...
Jan. 29, 2011 at 7:23 pm
I, living in the U.S., found the show from an internet site and became addicted. It may not be true to the original Le Morte'D Arthur but as you said, it's good on its own merits. And, as you said, Colin and Bradley are very good looking men. The whole cast is gorgeous, which acts as a side bonus to the great acting and episodes.
 
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