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Merlin... WTF?

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Posts

  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Havelock wrote: »
    TeaSpoon wrote: »
    KalTorak wrote: »
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    KalTorak wrote: »
    From what I saw, Camelot apparently came around before Merlin, and Merlin was actually a pretty boy-band wannabe who defended weak page boys from the knife-throwing medieval equivalent of frat boys.

    Huh. And here I thought Merlin was a wizard.

    Don't be silly, we can't market old dudes or even middle-aged dudes to the OC crowd!

    From the first episode, I can tell you that Merlin isn't a wizard, he's a teenager with superpowers.

    They somehow managed to make Merlin the farmboy who goes on a quest. Damnit, BBC. Wrong archetype! There is no point in calling him Merlin if he's not the older mentor figure, the one who out-Gandalfs Gandalf. He's not interesting if you keep him young.

    And since Young Merlin is an ignorant country bumpkin, his magic has to be inborn to justify it. A fluke of fate. Something he has absolutely no hand in achieving. He didn't study or work for it. He just has it. A swear to god, Harry Potter ruined wizards forever. Used to be that magic was a side effect of great knowledge and wisdom, something attained through effort and cunning. You didn't mess with a wizard, not just because he can call down lightning, but because he was smarter than you.

    Nowadays, you have to be born special.

    So yeah, Merlin is a teenager dealing with bullies and peer pressure who secretly has a superpower he tries to keep hidden. Evil forces are afoot and the great future hope of the kingdom is a spoiled jock. The premise is retarded. The plot is retarded. Don't watch it. Ever.


    :^:

    This makes me wish the Sam Neil "Merlin" min-series was on. That was a great mini-series. The sequel, less so.

    Wasn't the sequel a botched attempt to turn it into a regular series or something?

    NBC's miniseries of "The Odyssey" was pretty kickass as well.

  • HavelockHavelock Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Hell yes, "The Odyssey" was bad ass. Armand Assante got laid so many times in the original airing that it was ridiculous, Odysseus was such a man whore. They cut a ton of shit out when it went to video, though.

  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Havelock wrote: »
    Hell yes, "The Odyssey" was bad ass. Armand Assante got laid so many times in the original airing that it was ridiculous, Odysseus was such a man whore. They cut a ton of shit out when it went to video, though.

    Was there a female character in that series that Odysseus didn't bang? Besides Athena (btw, best casting ever of Isabella Rossellini? I think so).

    Also, the throne room slaughter at the end was fantastic.

    So were Scylla and Charybdis. Fuck, the whole thing ruled.

  • WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    TeaSpoon wrote: »
    Harry Potter ruined wizards forever.

    Don't write me off as some Harry Potter nut because I certainly don't think its the end all be all that a lot of people think it is. Its fun certainly but... anyway, I digress. You are wrong.

    If anything Harry Potter is a great example of magic as skill. Sure you are either born with the ability to do magic or not, but how good you are at it is not guaranteed. Its like a limb. You are either born with it or not... but it doesn't guarantee that you will be good at sports.

    Hell it was a pretty strong theme in the books considering the were hrmm... at a school to study magic.

  • HavelockHavelock Registered User
    edited June 2009
    KalTorak wrote: »
    Havelock wrote: »
    Hell yes, "The Odyssey" was bad ass. Armand Assante got laid so many times in the original airing that it was ridiculous, Odysseus was such a man whore. They cut a ton of shit out when it went to video, though.

    Was there a female character in that series that Odysseus didn't bang? Besides Athena (btw, best casting ever of Isabella Rossellini? I think so).

    Also, the throne room slaughter at the end was fantastic.

    So were Scylla and Charybdis. Fuck, the whole thing ruled.

    All I know is that for a prime time mini-series movie, there was a ton of violence and sex in it.

    And Christopher Lee playing Tiresias, the prophet that Odysseus speaks with while in Hades.

  • TeaSpoonTeaSpoon Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    TeaSpoon wrote: »
    Harry Potter ruined wizards forever.

    Don't write me off as some Harry Potter nut because I certainly don't think its the end all be all that a lot of people think it is. Its fun certainly but... anyway, I digress. You are wrong.

    If anything Harry Potter is a great example of magic as skill. Sure you are either born with the ability to do magic or not, but how good you are at it is not guaranteed. Its like a limb. You are either born with it or not... but it doesn't guarantee that you will be good at sports.

    Hell it was a pretty strong theme in the books considering the were hrmm... at a school to study magic.

    Basically, the books are about special people. Sure, some are even more special than others - Harry, for instance, is the most special of all because he's got that nifty scar and famous dead parents. That could be interpreted as hard work having some value, but only within context of the school, which is filled with other special people.

    You shouldn't forget that Wizarding society is only part of mankind as a whole. And the muggles in the books are either hated or, at the best scenario, kindly looked down upon. The moral of the books seems to be that racism is bad, but the usual reasoning just doesn't apply with Wizards and Muggles. In the book, if you're not a wizard, you're either an asshole or a victim, and unimportant in either case.

    In the end, the good guys conclude that muggle genocide is bad because... well, killing people for no reason is bad in general. However, never does it put muggles on the same level as Wizards. That's the whole point of the first book. Harry's life was crappy until he discovered he was special, after which he had his comeuppance. No one would have cared that this kid is forced to live in a staircase, had he been a muggle. The first book would have been called Harry Potter and his Experiences of Child Abuse. There wouldn't have been a second.

    So, yeah, it's better to be born special.

    I'm not saying that Harry Potter started this trend, but now that everyone and their dog has read the books or seen the movies, this version of the Wizard is stuck. Forever and ever. It might have made sense in the middle ages, like this one poster mentioned earlier, but this message seems wrong for children of today.

  • ClevingerClevinger Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    That isn't anything new at all and is pretty much the standard of fantasy stories in general. The protagonist and his friends are special people with special powers on a special quest to do special stuff.

  • ThomamelasThomamelas Bro!Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    TeaSpoon wrote: »
    I'm not saying that Harry Potter started this trend, but now that everyone and their dog has read the books or seen the movies, this version of the Wizard is stuck. Forever and ever. It might have made sense in the middle ages, like this one poster mentioned earlier, but this message seems wrong for children of today.

    There are days in which I deeply miss the eye-rolling emoticon. What you're describing is really a post Tolkien take on it. The idea that you approach magic as a science is really something you see popularized in the 50's with Vance. The idea that Merlin's power is an innate ability is closer to the vast majority of Arthurian legend then what you describe. There is more then enough room in Arthurian legend for both types of Merlin, just as there is room for the stories from the Lancelot cycles in which Merlin is evil. But the idea that only your view is a valid one on the off chance some child's sense of wonder might be enhanced by affinity for a character who is born special is silly.

  • TeaSpoonTeaSpoon Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Thomamelas wrote: »
    TeaSpoon wrote: »
    I'm not saying that Harry Potter started this trend, but now that everyone and their dog has read the books or seen the movies, this version of the Wizard is stuck. Forever and ever. It might have made sense in the middle ages, like this one poster mentioned earlier, but this message seems wrong for children of today.

    There are days in which I deeply miss the eye-rolling emoticon. What you're describing is really a post Tolkien take on it. The idea that you approach magic as a science is really something you see popularized in the 50's with Vance. The idea that Merlin's power is an innate ability is closer to the vast majority of Arthurian legend then what you describe. There is more then enough room in Arthurian legend for both types of Merlin, just as there is room for the stories from the Lancelot cycles in which Merlin is evil. But the idea that only your view is a valid one on the off chance some child's sense of wonder might be enhanced by affinity for a character who is born special is silly.

    I'm not sure what you're saying here. On the most basic level, I'm saying that the moral "everyone can be special with enough effort" is healthier than "you're only special if you're born that way". And that's why I prefer the first type of wizard over the second.

    I'm not saying one version is more valid, authentic, or real. I'm saying that I hate to see the version where wizards are created rather than born vanish from modern fiction. It annoys me.

    Most of that post you quoted was me arguing that Harry Potter values being special a whole lot, more so than Wassermelone claimed. As such, I'm angry with Harry Potter, which I believe helped popularize the innate magic wizard due to the books' huge popularity, especially among an audience that has never before read fantasy. An entire generation grew up reading Harry Potter.

    I'm willing to concede I'm entirely wrong about when or where this type of wizard (or any other) first came about and gained a foothold in imagination. (Though I don't thing I ever claimed to know anything about Merlin or how he historically got his powers, just that I hate how he is portrayed in this stupid show.) I'm sure you know more about it than I do.

  • ÆthelredÆthelred Registered User
    edited July 2009
    There aren't power levels in Harry Potter, right? Magic simply happens when you say a word with the correct pronunciation. So why are some wizards more powerful than others? Did they have a bi-lingual parent?

    - The BBC Merlin is hilariously bad. I love it. That episode with the snake/shield - the guy who got bitten and falls into a coma, the one Merlin needs to wake up to prove there's nefarious magic afoot.. the first thing he says when he wakes up is, "His shield has snakes in it!" The show is also gay as hell. I would love the BBC forever if they made Arthur and Merlin a couple. Half of the programme is already like the build-up in a yaoi.

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  • David_TDavid_T Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    The idea of being born special really started with Jesus.
    Spoiler:

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  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    There aren't power levels in Harry Potter, right? Magic simply happens when you say a word with the correct pronunciation. So why are some wizards more powerful than others? Did they have a bi-lingual parent?

    Yeah, IIRC they never really explained it. Some people are better at certain kinds of magic than others (Voldemort, Hermione), some people are better at all kinds of magic than others (Dumbledore), some people are just average. Other than getting a good wand match, I just sort of treated it as any other skill, like some people are better at basketball or calculus than others.

  • Lady EriLady Eri Registered User
    edited July 2009
    This is all eye candy for me. I don't even care about the mythos, I have seperated it from all the stuff I have read and know. Cute and handsome boys running around in fantasy land with Xena+ production values? Yes please.

    The Wheel of Calculadon turns, and then suddenly? Orbital lasers.
  • CangoFettCangoFett Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Man, ive watched the first 4 episodes of Merlin, and have liked it progressively less
    Spoiler:

  • CarcharodontosaurusCarcharodontosaurus Registered User
    edited July 2009
    CangoFett wrote: »
    Man, ive watched the first 4 episodes of Merlin, and have liked it progressively less
    Spoiler:

    The 5th episode continues the trend. :?

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  • Alistair HuttonAlistair Hutton Dr EdinburghRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    CangoFett wrote: »
    Man, ive watched the first 4 episodes of Merlin, and have liked it progressively less
    Spoiler:

    Well, you have to view Uther as a Legalist in the tradition of the book of Lord Shang. He sees himself as holding back a tide of anarchy and detestation by a strict adherence to codes and laws. They are his virtue and his vice. So...
    Spoiler:

    The next episode is a demosntration of this and is jolly good fun even despite the terrible, terrible CGI, you should watch it.

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  • DoronronDoronron Registered User
    edited July 2009
    I watched the first two episodes on hulu a couple of weeks ago and let it lie because it was crap.

    From the first to second episode:

    Merlin's power regressed from being able to spellcast instinctively (saving the old man) to needing incantations (undoing the lock on the knight's door). It seems his ability is only useful when the plot calls for wacky antics.

    Magic went from an offense punishable by death to the equivalent of "you're smoking in your room again?"

    Merlin's a nobody who wants to be somebody and the great and powerful dragon tells him that his destiny is to ride the coattails of the rich prick and make the asshole look good. Great message there.

    Perhaps this trend continues in later episodes - Merlin seems to have regular crisis of faith over Arthur "but he hates meee!", then the dragon tells him to stand by his man. Fortified by this, Merlin sucks it up and saves the day.

    This is a bit more petty, but the castle is too clean and modern. It's like there's lightswitches hidden behind all the Ren Fair crap.

  • MrIamMeMrIamMe Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    It seems for simple stuff he can just do it.

    Powerful stuff needs spellcasting.

    I like this show, its childish and kiddy, but silly fun.

  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    MrIamMe wrote: »
    It seems for simple stuff he can just do it.

    Powerful stuff needs spellcasting.

    I like this show, its childish and kiddy, but silly fun.

    Except he needed to say something to move a latch on a door.

  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Khavall wrote: »
    MrIamMe wrote: »
    It seems for simple stuff he can just do it.

    Powerful stuff needs spellcasting.

    I like this show, its childish and kiddy, but silly fun.

    Except he needed to say something to move a latch on a door.

    Clearly this is a huge continuity error that makes the show totally unbelievable or something.

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  • CangoFettCangoFett Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    No, but the incosistency makes what could be a great shoe, a terrible one.

  • moocowmoocow Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Terrible shoes are the worst, all giving you blisters and being uncomfortable.

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  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    If nothing else I need consistency from my shoes. I don't want to wake up one morning and discover that it's gone all sandal on me.

  • DaxonDaxon Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Khavall wrote: »
    MrIamMe wrote: »
    It seems for simple stuff he can just do it.

    Powerful stuff needs spellcasting.

    I like this show, its childish and kiddy, but silly fun.

    Except he needed to say something to move a latch on a door.

    Clearly this is a huge continuity error that makes the show totally unbelievable or something.

    I always thought his magical non-verbal stuff was driven by instinct/reflex with him having very little control over it. As opposed to the verbal stuff where he's using a system that allows him to exert control over its effects.

    There, inconsistency resolved. People can stop bitching.

  • Alistair HuttonAlistair Hutton Dr EdinburghRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Daxon wrote: »
    Khavall wrote: »
    MrIamMe wrote: »
    It seems for simple stuff he can just do it.

    Powerful stuff needs spellcasting.

    I like this show, its childish and kiddy, but silly fun.

    Except he needed to say something to move a latch on a door.

    Clearly this is a huge continuity error that makes the show totally unbelievable or something.

    I always thought his magical non-verbal stuff was driven by instinct/reflex with him having very little control over it. As opposed to the verbal stuff where he's using a system that allows him to exert control over its effects.

    There, inconsistency resolved. People can stop bitching.

    You stole the post right out of my fingertips. So he can instinctively hurl big objects around in a crass approach but the fine control to lift a door latch requires serious application of effort.

    I think this thread is allowing us to easily determine who the cool, attractive people are and as such it is doing a valuable service for the forums.

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  • ChanusChanus Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I didn't so much have a problem with the lock picking thing. I assume there would be some sort of key, meaning a tumbler mechanism, which he would need to trip properly without being able to see it. That's a bit more complex than some of the stuff he did before.

    Doesn't change the fact that the show blows, though. =)

  • ClevingerClevinger Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Some of you need to watch Mystery Science Theater and learn what terrible actually is. This show is just simple-minded and mediocre.

  • ClevingerClevinger Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I'm a Wurwolf man, myself.

  • CyvrosCyvros Look behind you, a three-headed monkey!Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I heard good reviews about this when it first started in the UK, so I thought I'd watch it when it made it across to Australia. And then the first promos on Ten came on. "There is a formula which has turned classics into big-screen hits." They then proceed to show the LOTR and Harry Potter logos. The formula, it seems, is putting some kind of fantasy tale on some kind of screen.

    Sense makes no.

    I saw a Saturday afternoon repeat of that snake bite episode. My viewing experience can pretty much be summed up as :?+O_o. Then, last Saturday afternoon, I saw him in Morgana's chambers hiding some kid from Arthur. He cast a spell to make a pair of boots tip-toe. Once more, O_o.

    I may try watching it again this Saturday. Maybe it's like Torchwood in the way the quality varies.
    Daxon wrote: »
    Daxon wrote: »

    You don't like Doctor Who?! How can you not like it? What is WRONG with you? Were you beaten with bricks when you were a baby?

    Daleks killed his parents. Where was the Doctor then huh? Huh?

    Saving the rest of the blood universe, that's where! Christ, you can't expect him to save everyone can you?
    He has a time machine.

    So yeah, I kind of do.

  • Lady EriLady Eri Registered User
    edited July 2009
    It's a fun show to watch. Why do people try to apply BSG quality to everything?

    The Wheel of Calculadon turns, and then suddenly? Orbital lasers.
  • ClevingerClevinger Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Lady Eri wrote: »
    It's a fun show to watch. Why do people try to apply BSG quality to everything?

    It could be better, even as a family show, but yeah, it's not half as bad as some are making it out to be. Except that snake episode.

  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    There is a huge giant gap between demanding BSG quality and realizing that being unable to prove that a guy with snakes on his shield who is being accused of using magic to make the snakes real because the one witness died of snakebites it some of the most retarded shit ever shat

  • B:LB:L Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Clevinger wrote: »
    Lady Eri wrote: »
    It's a fun show to watch. Why do people try to apply BSG quality to everything?

    It could be better, even as a family show, but yeah, it's not half as bad as some are making it out to be. Except that snake episode.

    That snake episode wasn't that bad. They're a fiefy and superstitious bunch, their primitive intellect wouldn't understand alloys and compositions and things with molecular structures.

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  • Lady EriLady Eri Registered User
    edited July 2009
    Just watched the season finale. Nice ending. 2nd season is in the pipe.

    The Wheel of Calculadon turns, and then suddenly? Orbital lasers.
  • RandomKitRandomKit Registered User
    edited July 2009
    We apparently have a super special extra early showing of the Making of Merlin this sunday before the new ep... oh boy? I don't even think it's going that well in Aus.

  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    B:L wrote: »
    Clevinger wrote: »
    Lady Eri wrote: »
    It's a fun show to watch. Why do people try to apply BSG quality to everything?

    It could be better, even as a family show, but yeah, it's not half as bad as some are making it out to be. Except that snake episode.

    That snake episode wasn't that bad. They're a fiefy and superstitious bunch, their primitive intellect wouldn't understand alloys and compositions and things with molecular structures.

    I don't think you understand why the snake episode was so bad.

    Here's a hint: It has nothing to do with anything even remotely approaching "alloys and compositions and things with molecular structures"

  • DaxonDaxon Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    But nobody else has seen snakes coming out of his shield. For the king the idea that a knight would stoop so low as to use magic is also an entirely foreign concept. So he'll believe the knight as opposed to the peasant boy.

    So sure, he died of a snake bite. That's fairly suspicious, but oh wait, where's that evidence linking that specific knight to those snakes? Oh there is none, except he has snakes painted on his shield. How utterly convincing. [/sarcasm]

  • moocowmoocow Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I blame the alloys and the molecular structures.

    They're schemers.

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  • Alistair HuttonAlistair Hutton Dr EdinburghRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Daxon wrote: »
    But nobody else has seen snakes coming out of his shield. For the king the idea that a knight would stoop so low as to use magic is also an entirely foreign concept. So he'll believe the knight as opposed to the peasant boy.

    So sure, he died of a snake bite. That's fairly suspicious, but oh wait, where's that evidence linking that specific knight to those snakes? Oh there is none, except he has snakes painted on his shield. How utterly convincing. [/sarcasm]

    Stop making my posts! Although I was going to with "There was no evidence" in capital letters with a full stop after every word. I like the sarcasm tag though.

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