Saturday, 18 September 2010
Merlin, show of lost uppertunities.
Merlin, the 2008 BBC show.
oddly enough, it haven't been in the search light of geeks across the enternet. Neither have I detected anyone one who actually spoke of it, or even nit picked on it.
I find it kind of odd, as it does touch upon geeky and interesting subjects, the Arthurian myth, and is for all intense and purposes. is an adventure fantasy series for younger people and teenagers. perfect show material for role playing people and its likes.
For me though, this is very much the show of lots opportunities, because it have the opportunity for greatness. all the components are there, and they are right. It just lacks the courage to take that extra step into the realms of dangerous and dark story plotting. it simple just needs to stop being a children's show and take itself seriously.
What the show is about is the young Merlin, in the future to be exceptionally powerful and grant wizard Merlin.
Now though, he is just a teenage boy, already he have very powerful magic within him, but he doesn't know how to control it yet.
Somehow he ends up being the private man servant of Prince Arthur, the future king of Chamalot.
Here's where stuff get's sort of interesting. the current king of Chamalot is King Uther, and according to him, everything that has anything to do with magic or the unexplainable is evil and must die. He is actually paranoid and wants to kill people, just because that happen to have magic gifts. and I mean everyone, so Merlin must keep his powers a firm secret to the world. kind of an old fashioned Superman formular really as Merlin continuously safe the day but must keep his actions hidden.
This situation is kind of a fascinating setup, ad Uther is a very fascinating character. his idea of killing everything magic is wrong yeas, but not entirely. because to be perfectly honest, all the bad shit that does happen have always something to do with magic, and I mean always. It is only in Uthers best interests to protect his Kingdom and people whom he is extremely dedicated to, he is sincerely a selfless man, and he sincerely believe he does the king a favor so by killing off anything magical, children, women and creatures a like. all is done in the best of intentions, yet his actions was from day one extremely self destructive as magic is clearly a huge integrated part of his kingdom, not just a little thing that can be ignored, which just gives him all the more reason to fear it. And that makes Uther by far, the best and most complex character of the show, he is a wonderful character in a unique and complex situation. At first glance you think he is a villain, but the truth is that he isn't. only sometimes and in specific situations.
Merlins own situation seemed intriequin at first, how he must run around pretending just to be a servant boy but is in reality such a powerful wizard and is in reality in constant life threat on the same time as he develops a friendship with Arthur whom he must keeps secrets from. But it didn't take long for that situation to become really boring, because it doesn't goes anywhere at all. yeas their friendship is growing stronger, and their interactions are both funny and amusing, but that's kind of it, and Merlins situation reminds to much of loads of stuff I have seen before about superpowered teenagers who must keep up a secret identity. It's dull.
All though, it needs to be say he is an amusing character and very well casted, he is likable and funny, and the character withholds great potential, as with everything else in this bloody show that needs to get moving with it's own development.
Arthurs situation is a little more intrequin and manage to keep interest a little more. he is crown prince and he knows that he is destined to be the future king of Chamalot. as he is young, naive and have a big heart he is actually able to see the wrong in his fathers actions as well as the goods and his reasons. So Arthurs more often than rare finds himself in very compromising situations where he have to choose between his fathers righteous believing that is apparently in the best interest of the people, or his own judgement.
You will be surprised how often he actually do end up with the first option and only does the latter in secret. He loves his father, and he can understand his fathers actions, yet his heart is big and as a young man he is not able to kill people just for them being able to preform magic. which also makes it's so frustrating for the audience that he doesn't know yet that Merlin is a wizard, we are dying to see his reactions all though we pretty much already know them. of cause he is going to stand by Merlin, and that will leave him in a granter compromising situation where he needs to keep Merlins secret from his own father.
The trouble just is, the show is standing still, each and every single episode ends on a reset button and we are back to where we started. it frustrates me so much as all the key ingredients are right there for an amazing show.
And not only that. The show is british and is one of does who have 14 episodes pr season, same as Doctor who.
Difference is that Doctor who is really using it's time and goes places, each and every single episode matters and builds upon the plot to take the characters to new places and situations. why does Merlin not draw inspiration from that? It purely baffles me.
One of the thing that annoys me the most about this show is the Dragon.
I hate that dragon, the idea was good but is being way overused, and the Dragon is a big major to easy plot solver. Almost every single episode in the first two seasons ended in Merlin going down to the dragon to ask for a spell that could fix whatever problem the episode was concerned about. and he would always get the spell!
What the hell? why? it's the same as when Star Trek techno babbles itself out of problems, it's lazy writing!
What especially annoyed me was the in the last episode of the first season, we had pretty much set up a situation where the Dragon would not be used any more, I applaud that.
But already at the first episode of the second season.. he bloody goes down to the dragon again!? why? you just said you didn't want help from it because it almost killed your mother, why writers why? and that mother incident is never mentioned again.
Then in the ending of second season I really thought we had gotten rid of it as it was let loose, but no. bloody first episode of third season which came out last weekend. the Dragon come and saved Merlin.
big bloody sarcastic hurrah from my end of the line. And the worst part is, it wasn't even needed, you could easily have rewrote the situation to that Merlin escaped himself by using his own powerful magic that can do almost anything anyhow, depending on what the writers fells like.
That dragon just annoys the living hell out of me as it is one of they key things in the show that keeps the show from growing and developing.
So what do I think should be done to make the show move forward and be as great as it could have been.
cause it really could, the set up is great in imaginative, the characters are great and well casted, the universe is fascinating. It is all there.
Well, this may shock people. other than getting rid at the Dragon for good, the way I see the show go if it should move forward.
Kill off Uther.
no really. but didn't I just say he was by far the best and most complex and interesting character? I did, and I stand by that statement. but he needs to be removed to let the show grow, he sincerely needs to die. And Chamalot needs to fall and become divided in order to set up what will happen in the real Arthurian legend where Arthur must regain his throne and collect the country under a united banner.
That Uther will be killed by the uprising people is the only logical outcome of what have happened so far and his behavior. his behavior towards the people, how good intended it might be, are extremely self destructive non the less, to many wants him to dead, to many are ready to rise against him. He is already doomed, the only question just remains when the series will show balls enough to actually do it, go ahead and kill a main character and put itself on shaky grounds where the safe frame of the castle and somebody attacking the castle is a concept thrown over the shoulders and in the garbage can, become the past of the show.
In the star of the third season I was almost fooled as there was set up a grant big battle for Chamalot, it seemed like a no win scenario, and Chamalot should have fallen for the show to move on. though as should be expected, it did.
All though, it did set up Morgana as a firm evil villain. this is indeed interesting, she is Uthers ward and he loves her as a daughter, and she will have no second thoughts in killing him.
This puts Uthers position in his clear, and his future undoing is to obvious and will happen for one unlikely sorce of reason, the reason why most heroes triumph he will be conquered. His heart, Uthers heart is to big and love to much, his love to the people blinds him when seeing any potential danger, which magic very much is, his love to Morgana keeps him from seeing her deadly evil nature.
The show must move forward, to hell with the same frame that is sat up, a firm ground is only sat so you can do the impressive acrobatics later, but Merlin never ever takes that jump into the realm of unsudenty, it's so close, so often it's so close which just makes it even more bitter for me when it doesn't happen.
It would be like pulling the carpet away from the fetes of the writers, but it is what needs to be done. Kill Uthor and let Chamalot fall, then let the show be about Arthur and Merlin traveling the country trying to unit it and regain the throne while fighting all the evil sorceress. this time as somebody on the run.