Media Review: Merlin

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Image belongs to the BBC

Title: Merlin
Media Type: TV Show
Genre: Fantasy
Season/Episode: 3.1-3

Summary: (made up from the top of my head, cause I couldn’t find a decent one anywhere). Merlin moves to Camelot to live with his mother’s friend Gaius, court physician to Uther Pendragon. Once there, Merlin finds himself servant to the King’s son Arthur, and struggling to hide his magic in a society that outlawed magic 20 years before.

Review: This show is what would happen if you took the characters from the famous Arthur legend, and then took the rest of the story and chucked it out the window! Arthur raised by Sir Kay? Gone. Merlin living his life backwards? Nope. Sword in a stone? Yeah right! Well, not yet anyways. Call me a BBC freak if you want, but I just love it. (Just to point out – I started watching the show when NBC bought the rights last summer, and I had no idea it was a BBC show when I started.)

One of the things I highly enjoy is the relationship between Merlin and Arthur which couldn’t be there if there was an age difference, or if Merlin was Arthur’s tutor. Merlin is so snarky about Arthur and somehow manages to teach him how to not be a knucklehead at the same time. One of my favorite lines in the entire series is from the very first episode. Merlin has just met Arthur for the first time, and Arthur has been particularly annoying. Merlin asserts that he could best Arthur in a fight despite his smaller size (boasting about his magic without thinking about the consequences).

[Arthur] I warn you, I’ve been training to fight since birth.
[Merlin] Really? And how long have you been training to be a prat?
[Arther] You can’t address me like that!
[Merlin] Right, I’m sorry. How long have you been training to be a prat [pause] Milord. (sarcastically)

OK, so you have to watch it, but really, you have to watch it. The CGI is fairly impressive – one of the main characters is a dragon, imprisoned in the basement of the castle. The actors play strongly written characters and are so wonderfully cast that even the “backstage” moments (yes, I’m that much of a dork) seem to be about the characters.

Now, obviously, as we’re in the third season, I’m going to be specifically reviewing the third season. Anyone who wants to watch this from the beginning of the first season SPOILERS AHEAD.

The beginning of this season was a little disappointing for me – I’ve seen what they can do and as a premiere the first two episodes felt a little anticlimactic. We just got rid of a character that I was getting tired of in the finale of the previous season and by the end of the first episode they had shown up again. There’s another character (I’m trying very hard not to spoil, can you tell?) who has started to annoy me, not because of the poor job the actress does, but because of the way the character has progressed. I was almost sure we had finally made a turning point, but it only seemed to make it worse. I mean really, how stupid can Uther get? And no that’s not who I’m most annoyed at, I’m just annoyed that he doesn’t notice! UGH!!!

I thought the same would be true of the third episode. From the trailer it looked like a filler episode, and fillers on Merlin are rarely more than mediocre. It exceeded my expectations in every way. This is probably one of the most hilarious episodes in the entire series. The Goblin Merlin releases creates havoc, which I spent the whole time laughing at, and seriously? Bradley James as a donkey? Soooooo funny! As far as I can tell he did it entirely without artificial help, and it came out pretty much perfectly. On the other hand they found a way to make it really serious in the end, making me believe it in the end.

And the music is fabulous, as usual. Rob Lane has his own strange little style that I can’t tell if it’s quoting on purpose or cleverly using topic theory to create something new. I especially loved the new tracks I heard, and I can’t wait for the release of the next soundtrack.

So, overall, great show that I personally think everyone watch. Then again, why would I keep watching through the third season if it wasn’t good?

Upcoming Reviews:
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

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One Response to “Media Review: Merlin”

  1. Maidenveil says:

    Aaaahhh! Meeeeerlin!!! 😀 I can't wait to get on to season 3! 😀

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