Sometimes the old ways are best. No, I don’t mean living in a microwave-less world. (THATS PURE MADNESS!) I mean sometimes it’s fun to fall into an era of kings, knights, and sorcerers. Classic castle stories are a breeding ground for imaginations to run wild.
With the fun idea of Smallville and it being such a success (as in 2001-2003ish, not so much the following 8 years), someone connected the dot to Merlin, King Arthur, and his Knights of the Round Table. Alright, so before even getting into the show let’s pause and ponder on the inspirational piece of gold that could be. Hmm. What would Merlin’s life be like in his “before” years? Let’s add all the classic and lovable characters that we hear about through verbal legends. Arthur, Guinevere, Morgana, Lancelot, Mordred, and…yeah let’s throw in Excalibur. Hmm. It could work. Magic, chivalry, young humor to appeal to…well, not great granpappy. Yes! Yes! It could work!
It does work…to an extent. The show is written by a couple of semi-successful Brits in the TV business aiming for relatable dark ages dialogue. The plots are completely predictable, as Smallville once was. (Mostly because you’re watching a show you already know the ending of, you’re just along for the journey.) The computer graphics are mediocre. It’s…a show you have to want to watch. It won’t pull you in. It won’t astound you. But those who care to find it on Netflix, Syfy, or BBC will enjoy the epic quest Merlin has set upon. Let’s not forget the biggest pull! As Smallville was, Merlin will be the most powerful man in his time saving incalculable lives and enforcing times of peace…but first he must fight the underdog fight. Everyone loves the underdog. Everyone.
I actually like this show quite a bit. I’ve never connected well with the soldier archetypes, (like King Arthur, Luke Skywalker, or Superman) I’ve always gravitated to the men in the background handing out wisdom and when needed will step into action (like Merlin, Yoda, or Batman). It’s more fun that way. Who wants to swing fists when you can formulate an inspiring phrase to stir the heart?
Anyhoo, Merlin. Check it out. It will underwhelm you while you slowly become addicted. Enjoy a guilty pleasure TV show relapse.