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Why is this series so popular?


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#1 ZackForester

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 01:38 PM

I haven't watched the entire series yet but I feel a certain lack of immersion while watching the show. Even though it's highly derivative, I can forgive the writers for their own take on the Arthurian Legend. I personally feel this is an inferior version of the story, and I understand that it's while it's generally aimed at teenagers, it doesn't have to feel like I'm watching Merlin in Hero Training School with Arthur. I also feel like the dialogue is extremely dry and while that may be the case, the actors still deliver their lines with a general lack of enthusiasm and very little emotion. So my question stands, why does this show continue to garner popularity and why does Syfy keep picking it up?

#2 Mreen

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 02:47 PM

Perhaps they foresaw who much it was going to improve in it's 3rd and 4th season. (I know I didn't.)

Yes, it started out as pretty meager droppings from the original rich mix of legends, but it eventually ,during the third year, started getting into the meat of the stories and tho starting from a pretty far off path, found it's way into some of the parts that make the old legends so great. You'll enjoy the drama by the end of the 3rd season, when you get there, and the fourth doesn't disappoint.

I didn't find the dialogue dry tho, at any time. Perhaps, in it's beginnings, immature, teenified, with emphasis on pranks vs trying to be popular/maintain an image vs actually trying to be good. The emotions among the younger actors were all aimed at emitting that high school drama, with a few bits of real growth achieved despite all the hype ... not lack of enthusiasm at all, but merely putting the enthusiasm where it mattered most to the teens in the story and audience. My favorite parts, back then, were always when it was just the adults in a scene together, particularly Gaius and King Uthur, delicately discussing the evils they'd participated in, in the past, all for the greater good, and what harm it was bringing to present. Real drama for minute or two, before they handed the show back to the kids.

As you watch it, I'm sure you will find your opinion of the show grows as it finally finds it's feet in the among the legends.

Edited by Mreen, 29 January 2012 - 03:01 PM.


#3 francophile

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 05:37 PM

Why is it so popular?

Kids love it.
:-)

#4 Kublakhan

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 10:39 PM

It's good entertainment ?? There are plenty of show I can't stand like Being Human..But I'm others do like it..

#5 Aithusa

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 10:01 AM

Many have said that the show`s major selling point is the young Arthur and Merlin. Fans love Colin and Bradley. Having Arthur and Merlin be around the same age is a bit of a novelty. I have never seen a show or movie where this has happened. Even though I am an older viewer , I mainly watch the show for the younger characters. I didn`t find the younger characters behavior immature back in season one. I saw the show as a coming of age story. The young leads are the typical youths who will grow and change as they discover who they are meant to be in life. That`s classic storytelling. However the older characters like Uther or Gaius do add a richness and depth to the show.

#6 Scopet

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 09:23 AM

This is a show that starts small and builds... and it's kept building. Okay, occasionally they've forgotten some of the things they built and went back a few steps, but still.

It's a weird combination of Harry Potter and Smallville and Buffy with swords and a talking dragon... and it's in Camelot (abet a re-imagined Camelot). What's NOT to like?

The other thing about this show that's unique is that we're starting out on the wrong side of the argument (they're killing children and people who are trying to do good along with those that are doing evil), and that fact is destined to tear apart these people we're growing to know and like. This whole show is about redemption and the journey from what you thought was right to what is actually right and the pitfalls you can face along that journey in a land that's ruled by absolute fear of "the other". The only solution is to let go of that fear, and that's the learning path of the show. That's a bit more complex than you're normal Good vs. Evil scenarios.


Also got to mention the acting. A lot of the sword and sorcery things out there, the acting can be a bit dry. They've picked some good actors for this show and they've grown into their parts. Bradley's great with the comedy and in showing the underlying hurt he feels with the rift of trying to please his father, but also knowing what is father is doing is wrong, but not being in a position to do anything about it openly. And I love the looks Colin gives with his eyes that speak volumes. And the way he can switch into the old man. Definitely betrays his stage experience (in a good way) with that skill. Katie's just having fun with her now infamous snarles, but then she also can show Morgana's hidden fears of being lost and alone in a world she wasn't born to where she's betrayed everything she's known and loved for what she thought was right.


In a nutshell, this show is an exploration of the many facets of love, in romance and friendship, the good it can bring and the evil that can arise from it's betrayal. It's the driving force behind everyone's motivations.

#7 Perrywillow

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 09:32 PM

Being a big fan of the King Arthur legend since way back, I finally decided to check out 'Merlin.' I found it a bit light-weight at first, but it quickly grew on me. It helped that Nathaniel Parker (*loved* him as 'Inspector Lynley' on PBS) is now in the series playing Agravain, and I think he brings a lot to the series. I love how he pretends to be helping Arthur while really working towards his own evil agenda.

I found it a little hard to deal with "Merlin as a young man," since in most of the books I've read he's been an older man (with the exception of Mary Stewart's "The Crystal Cave"), but I got over that. It's a shame that the producers seem to be aiming the series mainly at a teenage audience (I am no teenager), as I think if they gave more story time to the older characters in the series that they could pull in the over-40 bunch, as well. It was amusing for me to look at video on uTube of the cast at Comic-Con this summer, and hear all the teenage girls screaming over Colin and Bradley (as if they were members of the Beatles and it was 1964.... lol!).

I also really love the cinematography of the series: it's beautiful to watch and I appreciate that a real castle was used for Camelot and not a set (found that out on Wiki).

I also read on Wiki that the series will go to a Season 5, and that pleases me to no end. Now to catch up on Seasons 1-3 on the nights I'm not watching Season 4!

#8 MikeAP001

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 04:14 PM

This reason's as good as any:

http://www.thetvaddi...es-of-the-pond/

#9 Ebea1

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 11:54 PM

Like the show. Some episodes r better than others. Appreciate the story regardless if it's on target with tradition or history or not ; Not keen on shows that I can predict the outcome anyway. Course good and truth always will out.. Feels good. Bbc n syfy keep em coming. Not happy Merlin episodes r no longer on demand on Comcast, not sure why.

#10 SyFyMom2012

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 05:58 PM

It's not that popular. It was canceled by NBC after Season 1, and the same thing happened to it on CTV in Canada.

It is only broadcast on the sci-fi networks in each country, so most people haven't heard of it. 'Downtown Abbey' on PBS is making a much bigger impact, as is 'Doctor Who'.

#11 Scopet

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 11:39 PM

It's not that popular. It was canceled by NBC after Season 1, and the same thing happened to it on CTV in Canada.

It is only broadcast on the sci-fi networks in each country, so most people haven't heard of it. 'Downtown Abbey' on PBS is making a much bigger impact, as is 'Doctor Who'.


But after those two shows, its pretty much up there. The production values on Merlin are so much better than any other Sword and Sorcerer-ish show out there.

#12 ptajen027

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 09:53 AM

I haven't watched the entire series yet but I feel a certain lack of immersion while watching the show. Even though it's highly derivative, I can forgive the writers for their own take on the Arthurian Legend. I personally feel this is an inferior version of the story, and I understand that it's while it's generally aimed at teenagers, it doesn't have to feel like I'm watching Merlin in Hero Training School with Arthur. I also feel like the dialogue is extremely dry and while that may be the case, the actors still deliver their lines with a general lack of enthusiasm and very little emotion. So my question stands, why does this show continue to garner popularity and why does Syfy keep picking it up?



RE: I'm not familiar with the Arthurian Legend, so I can't comment on the accuracy of the show, but I can tell you why it's 1 of my favorite shows.
(Quick background- I rarely watch TV, because I think it's a waste of time, I don't even have cable (I use Netflix & itunes). The only other show I watch regularly is "The walking dead")
In my opinion, the show has a rich storyline and dialogue. It can be tragic, intense, dramatic and even laugh-out-loud hilarious at times.
More so, they haven't rushed the story-line, or character relationships. I also think all of the actors, even the supporting actors do a fantastic job, so much so, I would be sad to see any of them go.

I will admit at times the special effects are lacking, and the creatures are a little far-fetched (excluding the dragon, which I think they have done a fantastic job with).


#13 Lukion

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:36 PM

I think ptajen hit it right. The show doesn't rush it's story line which is perfect. When shows like Being Human (American version) go shoving too many big plot points in too quickly on too few episoes, it makes it feel like thye are desperate to keep your attention by covering all they can hoping that one of the plots covered will capture the watchers attention. Merlin tells the story with a confident cadence and the cast are so perfect for their parts, it's smooth in delivery. I don't know why people keep saying the show is aimed at the teen crowd. You see any vampires or overcooked forbidden love plots? I don't. It's a coming of age story, the actors have to be young. As for their looks, hey it's a fact of life. Pretty, or in this case, handsome, holds the attention to a larger crowd. Read any basic psych books on the driver stopped on the side of the road and how many people pull over to aid the attractive over those conventionally held as not. Even the elderly. The numbers make shock you. Attraction (facial symmetry) portrays a, inherit characteristic of honesty or trust worthiness. When you are telling a fantasy tale, you kind of need that. this isn't The Office. Cast, plot and tempo of Merlin, all A+++++++

#14 Mreen

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:42 PM

People keep saying it's aimed at the teen audience bcs it is aimed at the teen audience, which is why all the main characters are introduced as teens. It's the most thoroughly teenified version I've seen of the old legends, in season one, tho Avalon may have beat it eventually. I've only just started watching that one tho.

The characters have matured a bit over 4 yrs and gotten older, but it's all about the young adult mind set.

(and really, vampires are relatively new to the Must Be Teen Season requirements, this show has wizards and warriors instead, but the same idea as Smallville, the Teen Superhero show. Young adults coming of age and growing into their super powers, and of course a love story or two.)

#15 Scopet

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 11:06 AM

People keep saying it's aimed at the teen audience bcs it is aimed at the teen audience, which is why all the main characters are introduced as teens.


Which is not to say that's necessarily a bad thing or that the writing is sub-standard. Technically, it's a family show, which means is "safe" from certain events happening. Personally I find I can enjoy the show a lot more knowing that the main characters aren't going to run down to the local "house of ill repute" every two seconds like in some other mid-evil fantasy shows I could mention. I much more prefer the innuendo. I think it's smarter to portray more than one layer of events across an age span of 8 to 88.

#16 Mreen

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 01:48 PM

The writing has improved tremendously the past two seasons. There were some painful moments in the first two years, but the writers were writing teen formula that boxed them into those decisions. These last couple of years, they've been able to let loose with grander scale, as the audience is expected to have matured a bit with a show.

And no, I have no problem with family shows. And in fact I think playing with innuendo over cheap grabs for ratings with nude scenes means the show has confidence in the story, that the actor, directing and writing are enough to keep everyone's interest. There are shows that manage to have great storylines, careful plotting, and nude scenes ... but generally the ratio of nude scenes vs scenes with drama and storylines to follow, tell you a lot about how much intelligence is put into the writing.

#17 Scopet

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 03:06 PM

The writing has improved tremendously the past two seasons. There were some painful moments in the first two years, but the writers were writing teen formula that boxed them into those decisions. These last couple of years, they've been able to let loose with grander scale, as the audience is expected to have matured a bit with a show.

And no, I have no problem with family shows. And in fact I think playing with innuendo over cheap grabs for ratings with nude scenes means the show has confidence in the story, that the actor, directing and writing are enough to keep everyone's interest. There are shows that manage to have great storylines, careful plotting, and nude scenes ... but generally the ratio of nude scenes vs scenes with drama and storylines to follow, tell you a lot about how much intelligence is put into the writing.


I like how with this season they've learned to still develop and end the major plot points in one episode with smaller threads carrying over and explored in later episodes, and still keep the character advancement going throughout the season. I like that format better than with everything being brought forward into and left undone at the end of the episode. I think they've hit on a good mix of that and the comedy with this season, which satisfies on both the arc and the episode level, which is one of the reasons I hope they continue beyond Season 5.

Athusa having what looks like a stand alone episode, but there's a feeling that this event will have a major impact on the world, and that's payed off at the end of the season with a hint of more to come. Plus there's the added level of having the legends in the background. You don't need to know that Athusa's coloring is also an omen from the legends, but if you do, it adds another layer of "I know this means something, and I kind of know what it means, but I don't know how they're going to play this out."

#18 321IGNITION

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 10:33 PM

Scripts and cgi involving hunting and killing non-human monsters!

#19 StarPowerWarrior

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 02:26 PM

I haven't watched the entire series yet but I feel a certain lack of immersion while watching the show. Even though it's highly derivative, I can forgive the writers for their own take on the Arthurian Legend. I personally feel this is an inferior version of the story, and I understand that it's while it's generally aimed at teenagers, it doesn't have to feel like I'm watching Merlin in Hero Training School with Arthur. I also feel like the dialogue is extremely dry and while that may be the case, the actors still deliver their lines with a general lack of enthusiasm and very little emotion. So my question stands, why does this show continue to garner popularity and why does Syfy keep picking it up?

As I see it, it is about the values that this version expounds. Other variants have been much more treacherous. If this show were as treacherous as some of the other variants, I likely would no longer be watching. It's TV with a "good" theme along the lines of shows like Babylon 5. Such shows will always be standouts, IMHO.
All the best,
Matthew

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#20 jdfield

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 06:02 AM

Everybody knows a little bit about the myths, so it's super accessable.




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