When a fantasy series lasts five seasons, I figure I've got to give it a chance, even if it never really caught my interest the first time around. So, today I'm checking out the BBC, then NBC, then SyFy series Merlin, and I'm hoping those of you who have a little more experience with the show will help me out. Specifically: should I bother with it?
Below are my observations of he first episode.
0:01- That haircut seems neither Merliny, medievaly, or protagonisty. And a neckerchief?
0:04- Is the narrator Mr. Ollivander?
1:20- I was just talking to my girlfriend last night about how no one does opening credits where they flash scenes from the series anymore. I stand corrected.
1:52- Cool looking backpack.
3:08- King Giles is tough, but fair.
3:50- Were there no real old women available for this part? I'm predicting she gets young or has a daughter/granddaughter at some point.
5:38- Oh good. Another world where "magic" = "telekenisis."
5:44- Victor Meldrew—I don't believe it! (Alright, I admit that's a pretty obscure pull, but if you know what I'm talking about, you can be pretty sure you are a true British TV nerd.)
7:46- I like the set dressing here.
9:45- Torchwood lady (whose name I don't remember even though I watched every episode)!
11:08- That seems like it wastes a lot of the advantage of using a poppet to kill someone.
11:30- Alright, I was technically wrong at 3:50 (But now I'm back to the "Why couldn't they hire an actual old lady?" question).
14:35- This can't be the best music available for this scene.
15:37- Jerk Arthur is a nice idea.
20:04- He's the chosen one!
20:40- I feel like if you destroy all the dragons, then keeping one alive as an example might not really be necessary.
22:48- I love, love, love a character who is just immediately ready to throw down regardless of the odds of success. My love for Merlin has gone up considerably.
29:25- So, we've established that everyone knows that magic exists. Why wouldn't people assume that someone was using magic if they saw something magical happening (or are guards just rock stupid in this world)?
30:50- Dragons pretty much always make a show better.
34:00- There's a thin line between "comedy of errors" and "pervy."
39:25- So, the spider webs. Does the song make magical spiders live here who spin webs and live out their little spider lives? Is it just magical decoration like you get at the Halloween store?
41:00- I worry about the Smallville effect, where he always has to use his powers in secret, so the circumstances that prevent people from seeing him become more and more ridiculous as the series goes on.
42:33- I like that he's not a reluctant hero. He seems ready to get to business.
Overall, I thought this show seemed kind of promising. When I adjust for the fact that the early episodes of a series are often the weakest, I'm even more optimistic.
So what do you guys think? Those of you who have stuck it out, what would I have to look forward to? For those of you who didn't, why didn't it work for you? I'm eager to get your thoughts!