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Living Loz
Followed by the sequel, Merlin: Sins of the Flesh... 
15th-Nov-2009 05:19 pm
Merlin (Arthur is gorgeous apparently)

Overall, I kind of felt this episode was of the suck, because there hasn't been enough build up for Arthur's actions to completely ring true, Morgause was sprung on us from nowhere, and once again there was too much plot in too short a space. Also, Merlin as comic relief is wearing so, so thin.

But there were three things that totally redeemed it for me.

1. The scene between Arthur and Uther before the fight was really well acted. Tony Head is just amazing. The fight was pretty awesome, too.

2. Merlin's tearful little face when Arthur declared he had been shown once again that magic is evil - thanks to Merlin. Oh wow. I always think Colin does a much better job with subtler depictions of emotion like that than he does when he's being shouty. His shouty just doesn't have much of an emotional impact (because his voice is weirdly monotone --- is this a result of having to use an accent other than his own?) His tearful little face really does.

3. The Uther and Merlin scene. Once again, Tony Head bringing it. (I sometimes think this show should be called Uther. He steals every scene he's in.)

In contrast to many episodes of Merlin, the conclusion was actually considerably better than the rest of the episode. Usually we get good set ups with no follow through, but just to keep us on our toes we got bad set up, facinating follow through.

And next week looks completely unrelated again. I would say my main problem with this show is that the writers can't decide if it's a series or a serial. It isn't episodic enough to truly be an out-and-out series, what with Morgana's continuing storyline and the Nimueh storyline from last series --- you have to have seen something before to pick it up. But it doesn't have close to enough continuity to be a serial.

15th-Nov-2009 11:01 am (UTC)
once again there was too much plot in too short a space

So much THIS. How hard can it be to have a story arc? They have the stories, why do they insist on squeezing them into one episode and pushing the reset button the following week?
15th-Nov-2009 11:13 am (UTC)
I get the very real sense they're anticipating being axed with every episode, you know? 'Must get it all out now!' But the show's more successful than that.

It's beginning to annoy me more than it ordinarily would, because there's this amazing potential for this show to embody light-hearted family entertainment and really good storytelling. They have fantastic actors, great spins on the characters, a fantasy world that's very engaging. Like you say, they don't have to button-reset. They can rely upon an audience that will strive to watch every episode.
15th-Nov-2009 01:13 pm (UTC)
I think the writers need to be introduced to the words two and parter.

1) That scene was indeed amazing. Great acting by both of them.

2) He does. I think that you are right about the shouty thing. His accent has more of a tendency to slip when he's shouting so I guess that he concentrates a lot on during the shouty scenes - trying not to slip up. His little teary face though...*sniffles*

3) Anthony Head balanced so well between benign and chilling in that scene.

Bizarrely about half of the Merlin appears appears to hate hate with much rage the ending (the way Merlin 'lied' to Arthur about the vision of his mother). I thought it was entirely appropriate.

my main problem with this show is that the writers can't decide if it's a series or a serial.

This. I think they are trying to tell an epic legendary story, which would be a serial, but at the same time they want it to be accessible to adults and kids and the way they think to do that is to make it more episodic.

They could manage to make exciting episodes that are part of an overall arc, it can be done. But they don't seem interested in pursuing that.

A lot of people think there was more an arc in season 1 (well there was Nimeuh I guess) but on my rewatchings I have to say it still suffers from being episodic.
15th-Nov-2009 03:15 pm (UTC)
1) Yep, Bradley can pull it out when it wants to (that's what she said, wooo!)

2) I am glad I am not the only one who's noticed that. He's a good actor, but he always falls down when he needs to play something loud. Merlin just ends up sounding like an angry 5 year old.

3) Tony Head is crazy good, holy hell. I always knew that, but, yeah, I should hate Uther and yet I really, really don't.

... I will never attempt to understand Merlin fandom.
16th-Nov-2009 09:18 pm (UTC)
1) He can and it's good to see him doing so.

2) Yes. I am hopeful he will improve.

3) I swear he is one of the few actors who could make Uther sympathetic.

You are wise. It makes no sense to me at all.
26th-Jan-2011 08:43 pm (UTC)
Sorry to interrupt, but I think it's sometimes a good thing for Colin/Merlin to be a five-year-old.
The thing is, he is pretty young and he has so much responsibility. I feel like that's a pretty big part of the show. I tend to like it when Merlin is immature.
26th-Jan-2011 08:54 pm (UTC)
I like it when Merlin comes across as a little immature too, but the shouty voice thing is weird.
26th-Jan-2011 09:44 pm (UTC)
g. Admittedly, it is.
15th-Nov-2009 05:08 pm (UTC)
Except, of course, they decided that the scope of a two-parter was best saved for the epic tale of a troll who bewitched the king. Rather than, say, the unfolding of a key piece of the story's overall mythology.
15th-Nov-2009 05:17 pm (UTC)
If I didn't love that episode so much, I'd be as snarky as you too.
15th-Nov-2009 05:30 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed it, but I do have to wonder about their strategic thinking sometimes.
15th-Nov-2009 05:33 pm (UTC)
Inclined to say there is none. :D
15th-Nov-2009 05:59 pm (UTC)
That would explain a lot
16th-Nov-2009 09:17 pm (UTC)
I did enjoy the troll two parter but would love for a meaty drama theme to get the same treatment.
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