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Hello, Merlin

Hello, Merlin

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Peeps have been telling me to watch this show for practically a year! I don't know how I feel about it, since the plotlines are kind of boring and there's not really a lot of development and/or shirtlessness going on. But the characters are fairly interesting:

1. Merlin -- Simultaneously the smartest and the stupidest character. He runs around getting into the same magical trouble in every episode. He has mad skillz but is exceedingly naive, and relies on his charm and good luck to save the day. Merlin is adorable in a very Finn-ish way. He often sports a hipster-style scarf.

2. Arthur -- Struts around being buff and delicious, but looks ridiclous in every costume he wears. He usually sports one-shoulder armor that makes him look like a cyborg; when dressed up in hooded chainmail, he resembles a walking phallus. The entire show is just a teaser while we wait for the scene where Arthur takes his shirt off.

3. Morgana -- The king's mysterious ward whose purpose is to look hot and wear anachronistic dresses. She variously resembles Kat Dennings, Keira Knightly as Lizzie Bennet, Scarlett Johansson, Dianna Argon with dark hair, or Anna Kendrick. Morgana and Arthur have weird romantic tension where they act either like siblings or like they're betrothed.

4. Gwen -- The girl next door. She is Morgana's lady-in-waiting but also has hobbies like flower arranging and sewing, and she has plenty of free time for hanging out with Merlin. She's kind of bland in a cutesy/earnest way, but she does kiss Merlin when he wakes up from being poisoned. Gwen's costumes are horrible.

5. Gaius -- Court physician who is right about everything, but everybody usually ignores him. He constantly forgives Merlin for being an idiot, so he was probably a hardcore partyer in youth. Gaius has long shiny hair that is always perfectly straight despite the circumstaces. He is possibly the lovechild of Albus Dumbledore and Carol Channing.

6. Uther -- The bald king and Arthur's father. He needs to be reminded who Merlin is in every episode. He is a harsh ruler and usually reluctant to consider alternatives to his point of view; he is also not very good at single parenting.

So far, my favorite moment in the series was when Arthur says that his father never apologizes for everything, and then went and told Merlin he was sorry. Big man! I think the weird thing about this show is that the level of bromance is really low (or I've just been corrupted by SPN and Narniafic). I feel like Merlin/Arthur would be the lamest ship ever!

But, five episodes in is not a lot, and I'll keep watching the hope that things get hotter and more interesting. And more shirtless. Right?
  • I guess I made it through about 5 or 6 episodes of Season 1 and gave up on it and didn't even bother with Season 2 which apparently really, really pisses off the fans. Every single plot is exactly the same and I find the increased pandering to the slash base irritating as it is then accompanied by Gwen hate for no real reason other than the fact that she's not Merlin and she kisses a few men. She is, therefore, a slut. Season 3 was exactly like the previous: Magic is banned; someone comes to Court intending harm to Uther and/or Arthur using banned magic; Merlin saves the day using banned magic. Lather, rinse, repeat. The production values are also really, really low. The first time I felt a connection to the show was actually this last episode with the Fisher King. I really enjoyed this last episode even if it begins with Arthur wet and shirtless and then in white and barefoot.

    The fact is, I find the production values so low, I'm embarrassed for the actors. I have very empathetic responses to media -- it's why I'm so visually sensitive, and I frequently have a hard time getting through a full episode without muting it a few times. Like SPN, I want to like these shows because everyone else does so I can join the conversation, but it's not really working for me.
    • Cho Chang syndrome? WTF?! The only complaint I have about Gwen is that she is boring. Morgana at least challenges the king sometimes and she has those prophetic dreams. Fandom, stop being so sexist and fail. The annoying thing is, judging from her costumes and lame storylines, it's like the writers *want* us to hate her! And the production level OMG. If only the episode stories were so amazing that we could ignore it. The historical inaccuracies are PAINFUL. LIKE OMG WHERE DID THAT DISNEY PRINCESS CASTLE COME FROM MEDIEVAL ARCHITECTURE FAAAAAAAIL. I didn't mention that (and a million other issues) above because I am trying to stay positive. Really. And I'm currently on ep.10 and I can tell you they getting are slightly better.

      P.S. Your SPN input is invaluable/hilarious/epic OMG. <3333
  • I do understand what you mean - it gets really frusterating when the show doesn't seem to get ANYWHERE. And then there are a few episodes that DO feel like something's going to happen, which sucks me back in again, only to disappoint. On the other hand, I really super like this portrayal of Merlin-the-character, which is what keeps me watching.

    But really, your summation above is exactly right. I laugh because it is so very spot on.
    • Exactly! I feel like there are some moments of tension that would be way cool if they weren't handled so lamely. There could be some mondo awesome politics at a court like this but there totally aren't, and I think that's really what I want the most. But everybody just stays the same! Nobody ever mentions anything from previous episodes and that's really holding it back. I will keep watching, though my heart yearns for controversy. And angst. And Castiel.

    OH MY GOD.



      I mean, I can see a lot of potential for romantic drama/angst but there's like, none. ALSO WTF CREEPY TALKING DRAGON THAT I FORGOT TO MENTION. WHY ARE WE LISTENING TO HIM HE IS A DRAGON.
      • Basically it gets much, much better as it progresses. Right now I wouldn't say it is like an objectively good show but man, it hits all my emotional kinks SO HARD.

        Also, they're really weird with ships for the first half of season one, just let it be.
        • Okay so I just watched 1x10 where they go back to Merlin's village to fight off the bandits and I REALLY liked it! Nice change up! A+ for women fighting too, Morgana taking names, more backstory, and the upped level of bromance! Arthur really has grown on me.

          So far, so good on a positive slope! Please tell me we actually do see Arthur learning Merlin's secret in the future. Yay development!

            Er, um, well. Not yet?
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