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Four more to go...

Just a few quick bits on the latest Merlin

That wasn`t as atrocious as last week - but then, surpassing that would have been a tall order. Still, it was pretty pointless. This enchanted Gwen plotline did absolutely nothing but tread water storyline wise, do nothing with Mordred (except a bit here but it was also water-treading in essence), still had Gwen as some utterly perfect blameless Mary Sue, humiliated Arthur`s character in ways that makes even watching Saw less of torture porn AND seemed to take a rather mean-spirited glee in trying to destroy the central relationship of the show: Arthur and Merlin.

Guess it`s to desensitize viewers to the shitty ultimate ending where Arthur dies and Merlin walks away? I mean, this ain`t a spoiler but my speculation, we`re all expecting that, right? Yeah, that might work with your adult viewers, you wankers, but you have a big kid audience as far as I know (and the consistent slapstick comedy and simplistic storytelling tells me you want it that way) and I guarantee they will be horrified by the ending I foresee you doing. From what I hear it`s gonna air on Christmas no less. Wow, this is just wow.

Now this episode also made something crystal clear again in starting with Arthur in the know and being a co-conspirator with Merlin and Gaius, just like the Elyan ep last year - namely that this show could have been SOOOOOOOOO infinitely much better had a reveal taken place in say, early Season 2. I`m willing to let Season 1 stand as it is because it works pretty well without one.

If Arthur knows, there is no reason to make him look stupid and easily fooled or mean-spiritied or anything. Because the second he doesn`t know again, like the ending with Dolma, they play that crap that Merlin is simply "forgotten" and underappreciated and yada yada. Though, I will say this: the actors, especially Bradley, all played the last scene as if they knew exactly Merlin had taken up crossdressing as a cougar. The notion that Arthur, Gwen and Mordred simply walk off and forgot Merlin like Kevin in Home Alone looked ridiculous even in the context of it being their usual slapstick/comedy bit at the end.

Imagine this show if Arthur had been in on it for years now, first helping to protect Merlin from Uther and then, after becoming King, them being together as prophecized as Warrior and Sorcerer, uniting Albion together. It could STILL have fallen in the end but that would have been so much more profound and tragic. And the journey would have been so much more entertaining.

Alas, was not to be.

So the episode as was, okay. Mordred - still nice and loyal. Check. Gwen - perfect and blameless again and apparently with either no recollection or no care what she did while puppeetered. Check. The epic love of Arthur and Gwen that few but the writers believe in. Check. Merlin being bitter. Check. Arthur being just kinda there these days. Check. Some magic shenanigans. Check.

The best bit was undoubtedly the drag act and Arthur and Mordred`s reaction shots to it.

Comments

( 10 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )
merlenhiver
Dec. 2nd, 2012 01:18 pm (UTC)
Imagine this show if Arthur had been in on it for years now, first helping to protect Merlin from Uther and then, after becoming King, them being together as prophecized as Warrior and Sorcerer, uniting Albion together. I could STILL have fallen in the end but that would have been so much more profound and tragic.

Oh yes, it would have been! I feel quite cheated of the tragedy and drama, to be honest. I WANTED to hurt during the finale, to be reduced to tears, but at this point, I care less for Arthur and Merlin than I ever have. Thanks to the crap writing, and the way they demolished the characters and their relationship this season.
astri13
Dec. 2nd, 2012 01:56 pm (UTC)
I feel quite cheated of the tragedy and drama, to be honest

Me too. If a show never really shows any potential to be more than barely average, that`s one thing but the cheesiness and kid-friendly writing aside, this one could have worked on a whole different level as well. The set-up of Season 1 and the character dynamics showed so much promise. Some years back I read it described somewhere as "charismatic jock and sarcastic bookworm come together and change the world". Yet they threw it all away.

. I WANTED to hurt during the finale, to be reduced to tears

And it wouldn`t have even been totally without hope. The legend itself has an almost concilliatory ending. Arthur may be dead and Camelot fallen but a redeemed Morgana brings him to Avalon and there is a destiny that awaits them all still. They even introduced that into the show. But at this point it`s so pointless.

but at this point, I care less for Arthur and Merlin than I ever have. Thanks to the crap writing, and the way they demolished the characters and their relationship this season.

It started out okay enough but over the last four episodes, they have turned a sledgehammer on the relationship.

This might actually be the one and only show in the history of television where viewers would welcome a "Bobby comes out of the shower" twist a la Dallas and have a complete do-over. The cast is charming and the production crew ain`t doing a bad job either. The only thing that needed to go is the producers. They have so get some good writers and start fresh.
undead_begonia
Dec. 2nd, 2012 02:49 pm (UTC)
A timeline reset would be the only hope for this show now.
tanous
Dec. 2nd, 2012 02:36 pm (UTC)
Amen sister. That sums it up beautifully and eloquently. Its the waste that hurts the most isnt it?
undead_begonia
Dec. 2nd, 2012 02:47 pm (UTC)
Imagine this show if Arthur had been in on it for years now, first helping to protect Merlin from Uther and then, after becoming King, them being together as prophecized as Warrior and Sorcerer, uniting Albion together. I could STILL have fallen in the end but that would have been so much more profound and tragic. And the journey would have been so much more entertaining.

I was going to say 'Amen Sister' but Tanous beat me to it.

However, the above paragraph sums up EVERYTHING, every single hope that I had for this show in the beginning. I feel like crying that that is precisely what we have NOT seen for the last three years, and what could have been.
astri13
Dec. 2nd, 2012 02:54 pm (UTC)
However, the above paragraph sums up EVERYTHING, every single hope that I had for this show in the beginning. I feel like crying that that is precisely what we have NOT seen for the last three years, and what could have been.

I hear you. And the producers pretty much said that there had been lots of pressure on them for years to do a reveal, I heard Bradley wanted just the above-mentioned scenario, too (can`t blame him, his character suffered because of the non-reveal) yet they stubbornly wouldn`t do it because hey, they were so in love with their "keep the magic secret" mantra, they literally couldn`t envision how the show would go on after a reveal. I can`t even. *hands*

Worst storytellers EVER.
astri13
Dec. 2nd, 2012 02:50 pm (UTC)
Yes, it does. It would even still have potential now with some big course corrections. For example, I would make it so that once Merlin grew closer to Arthur to a point where he feared losing the relationship more than losing his life after a magical reveal - and he clearly has been there for some time - his own magic unwittingly camouflaged himself from Arthur.

That is, all the moments Merlin did magic right there in front of him or acted suspiciously or just knew stuff, Arthur was struck literally magic-blind.

Now force the reveal presto, make it about the emotional fall-out as should be and remove that roadblock from their relationship. They don`t have to instantly get over everything the other did and didn`t do in the last few years - in fact, they better not - but they could work together for political and strategic reasons at first and rediscover their friendship, only better, stronger and more honestly.

Also, Johnny Capps and Julian Jones should do a guest stint as some dim-witted villains who end up in the the stocks and get thrown rotten vegetables at them as a meta joke.

Sigh, I guess I`m still not desensitized enough to stop fantasizing.
kuhekabir
Dec. 2nd, 2012 02:51 pm (UTC)
When I realized it was going to end with this season, I felt cheated. I mean they dragged the reveal out for so long...if it comes now, IF it comes, then it will be bad...too little too late.

And everything points to it ending like the legend...which would be fine if a) they weren't aiming at an audience full of children, like you said, and b) if they had actually given Arthur a chance to build his kingdom...I mean if he dies now, what basis would the legend have? He hasn't had time to establish anything worthy of remembering...sure, he's a good king but nothing special...he didn't get a chance to unit all of Albion yet...and isn't that part of the legend, even the legend used in the show?

So if they are ending it with the last battle, what the fuck have they been playing at for the past three seasons? We would need at least one season to deal with the fall out of the magic reveal, to give all the characters a chance...and now they are rushing it? If they know the end was coming, there was no point in rushing it!

Frankly I wish I could officially complain. Will not make a difference but at least they know how much they fucked up a decent show.
astri13
Dec. 2nd, 2012 02:56 pm (UTC)
and b) if they had actually given Arthur a chance to build his kingdom...I mean if he dies now, what basis would the legend have?

I know, they took the Arthurian legends and rendered them utterly pointless. Arthur isn`t some legendary king and Merlin isn`t some legendary sorcerer either. There are just a lot of prophecies and magical dipshits who claim they will be at some unspecified time in the future.

Now it`s increasingly clear that future is not going to happen so the entire show was pointless. Argh.
kuhekabir
Dec. 2nd, 2012 03:54 pm (UTC)
It just baffles me. They claim to have a five year plan...where is it? They could fix it with one more season...if they use the magic reveal at the end of this one, and the build from there...maybe have time pass between airings...I don't know.

But with it ending now? Well, I will keep on hoping until I see it but I LIVE IN FEA!
( 10 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )