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writer and procrastinator
This series of Merlin seems to have gone by so fast. It feels like it… 
20th-Nov-2009 09:08 pm
This series of Merlin seems to have gone by so fast. It feels like it was just a few weeks ago that it began. As muh as I love this show, is anyone else feeling that it doesn't seem as satisfying at series 1?

Even though so many things have happened to further the plot - Arthur realising he has feelings for Gwen, Gwen getting a bit more of her own voice and individuality, Morgana coming to terms with her powers, Arthur and Uther clashing - I somehow feel not quite into this series. I generally think it's because the focus is so off Merlin. I know he's always there, and probably has as much screen time as always, but the episodes are simply not about him or his powers, where as almost every series one episode was.

In the grand scope of things, this seems to be Arthur's series. As a critic mentioned, a bit acerbically, Merlin is basically a side kick at this point. He's the comic relief, the (assumed) idiot servant, who bumbles around, and I KNOW that's again what he's always been, it just seems more pronounced than ever. I only watched the first few Secrets and Magic behind the scenes extras, but they talked about how they reset Arthur and Merlins friendship to pretty much what it had been at the beginning of series one, so viewers could get a grip on the show again. But even after eight or nine episodes now, the friendship doesn't seem to have grown any further, or gone back to how close it was at series one's finale

I've said it before, but I just wish the writers were a little more balanced. It seems they can focus solely on Merlin, or solely on the other three, and there's no middle ground. It's not as much of a real ensemble as I'd like it to be. And really, it's NOT that difficult. Firefly and Buffy managed it with far more cast members. Even a show like Farscape with five or six cast members, like Merlin, managed to keep the focus on Crichton but give the other characters all their own little moments or subplots in each episode. It really need not be the case that we barely see or hear from Gwen for episodes on end, or only get a glimpse of Morgana dressed up all pretty in the background. And must almost every warlock / witch / magic creature be bent on destroying Arthur / Camelot?

The Waters of Mars was exponentially better than Planet of the Dead. Great story. I was completely into Ten's mental break in the last fifteen minutes. I loved it. I can't say I was shocked because I've always seen that egomaniacal, bitchy, arrogant streak in him. From his very first few episodes it was there - he loved Harriet Jones, but she did one thing he disagreed with and so he deposed her. I loved that RTD went there and instead of hinting at, or glimpsing, or referring to Ten's angry godhood, we saw it. Ten shouted it aloud for everyone to see, and far from looking like a god, he looked like a petulant little child throwing his toys out of the pram. And it was awesome really. I don't think RTD intends either for his precious creation to go out looking like an asshole, as people have been fearing / complaining. RTD worships Ten as much as he worships Rose, and this is an arc. Ten's going to go to his lowest so he can ascend to his highest and go out with a bang - my opinion anyway. His seeing Ood Sigma was weird and offputting and yet kind of nice. Though Ten's belief in the 'your song must soon end' comment didn't seem to register, and hasn't really been mentioned, but somewhere since Planet of the Dead, Ten seems to now believe he's certain to die.

I'm reading Wizard's First Rule, which begins the series of books that Legend of the Seeker is based on. While I like it, it is very slow moving, not boring at all, but just taking it's time. I'm almost 200 pages in, and the first half hour of the pilot episode hasn't even been covered. I don't know how much of the individual episodes in LofS were lifted from small subplot of the books though so maybe this entire book covers only a small bit of season 1. Richard and Kahlan as far as I can see, have almost perfectly been cast in Craig Horner and Bridget Regan. Physically, Bridget seems to be a dead ringer for the description of Kahlan. Their personalities too have been captured so well. Writing wise, the show seems to have removed some things though - both Richard and Kahlan are more emotional, afraid and tentative in the books. Richard especially is very naive and anxious at times, Kahlan sobs and cries and seeks comfort, things she doesn't really do in the show. Nevertheless, I like it! Have not been watching LotS season 2, want to get some more of the books read. But at least I'll have a heap of it to watch in a row.

I haven't yet watched this weeks Fringe and Supernatural. Just about to. Fringe has been as good as season 1. Ticking along nicely. SPN has been far too lighthearted and funny but I guess perhaps they are weighing the first half of season 5 with humour against possibly a second half of doom and gloom. I don't mind the doom and gloom though. Season 1 was pretty damn dark and straightforwardly serious. There was what, one funny episode? Now there are too many. The Curious Case of Dean Winchester was the best though. And what's with the mocking episode titles, a la Veronica Mars? I liked the single word titles of season 1, or ones that related to the demon / magical stuff etc, rather than all these self-referential, tongue in cheek ones. I liked last weeks convention episode though, as far off track as it went. I can't say that I like that SPN willfully references itself, its fandom, its fans, I just think it's weird and so out of sync with what the show used to be. It's still a great show though, don't get me wrong - the overall plot is still going strong and I really love it. Jensen really works with that Batman voice though, huh? Did he always sound like that? I can't recall being so aware of it before.

Also, people who watch Sons of Anarchy? Is it worth it? I saw one episode this summer and I did nothing but mock it. I though this motor cycle gang of thugs and thieves running a town was ridiculous, but it seems to have a lot of fandomy attention. Is it actually good - not as stupid as I thought it was?

My laptop / wireless must have been broken, but I hear Dollhouse has been cancelled for certain recently. SIGH. Why did they bother giving them a season 2 when they basically cancelled it after 2 or 3 episodes? Why don't they give it more of a chance? I doubt the story they intended to tell will be wrapped up by the end of season 2. Too bad as well - Epitaph One really showed us what the point of this whole show was, and we'll never see how they get there. And I despised Topher for ALL of season 1, and in the space of these 4 season 2 episodes he's one of my favourite characters. His interactions with Saunders / Whiskey, Echo and Priya / Sierra have been so brilliant. Him realising how his work has effected / damaged / changed these women has been so addictive to watch. I thought nothing would beat his scenes with Saunders and then we got his scenes with Echo and Priya in 2x04. He's an awesome character.

Is FlashForward actually worth getting into? I watched 1x01 and was only mildly intrigued. I have too much TV to watch anyway. Why am I asking for more?

You know, I miss my quality BBC shows. That's my problem. I've got Merlin, but without Being Human, Doctor Who, Ashes to Ashes, Lark Rise to Candleford, I'm going mad! And I have hated parts 1 and 2 of the recent Emma adaptation. Am I the only one who hates that story, except in its Clueless incarnation? I just find Emma insufferable and Romola Garai's performance has not helped. I acknowledge how brilliant she is as an actress but I simply cannot like her in anything I've seen her in!
23rd-Nov-2009 05:16 am (UTC)
I agree. The Waters of Mars was leaps ahead of the easter special. I agree, Ten seems resigned to his death. Who knows though what will happen.

I have read the first three books in the Sword of Truth series and love them. They did a good job converting season 1 of the series from Wizard's First Rule. The second book is supposedly the basis of season 2 but they have already taken some liberties (which so far work) so it is 'loosely based'. I enjoy them both but really need to get back in the groove of reading the books. I forced myself to read something else but now I am getting the itch again.

I am enjoying FlashForward quite a bit. I think mostly because I have watched from the beginning.

Glad to hear from you. HOw are things with the 'touchy feely' roommate? (I cannot remember what you called him) And school and the family?
25th-Nov-2009 03:34 pm (UTC)
I really like the Sword of Truth books so far as well. I like how Richard and Kahlan are portrayed, and I like how they successfully managed to convey the bond / passion they have into the TV show.

Me and UST guy, I pulled back in a very cold turkey way just to make sure he got the point, meaning I don't really talk to him at all. It's quite easy because I'm so busy with end of semester essays, I'm either not in the house at all, or in college, or I'm back home. I'm totally fine with how things have gone, I chose to pull back and I don't really miss anything about my early friendship with him!

Just got an A grade back for an essay, so that has made me man up for the next 4 essays I have to submit - makes me try harder and aim for more As! Family is fine, it's my birthday tomorrow so I'm going home from college early to be given cake and attention! Thank you asking!
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