Merlin S1 commentary

Wow. I've got to tell you up front, I went into this one only because of the fanfiction. I mean, Merlin/Arthur went so far in the Ultimate Slash Tourney that I figured that there had to be some pretty good fic out there for it, but, god... Let's just say I've never seen a show that so overtly ships everything but the canon ships, or at least the ones it claims as canon.

So, first things first: the fanfiction I've found so far sucks. But I'm hoping that after some digging I'll find some decent ones. I mean, after some extensive googling I found some pretty amazing White Collar fics, which is a much smaller fandom - without it's very own Slash Dragon, so...

So, second things second: I seriously hope this is a show you're just not supposed to take seriously. 'Cause this just butchers Arthurian legend in a way that is just not right, and gives everything a vaguely Renaissance Fair air that is, again, just not right. Add to the fact that magic, for all it's forbidden, is like every third word out of people's mouths in some episodes, and that every other episode is basically someone being condemned (wrongfully) to death for witchcraft, but... 

Merlin does do a decent job of portraying characters in lights they're not usually done - Arthur as a spoiled prat, Uther as not outrightly evil - but, for the most part, it's pure liquid crack that I'd never admit to watching in a non-internet forum. Hell, I almost want to purge my Netflix veiwing history so my parents can't tell to what new lows I've sunk. Here's to hoping S2 is better.

Also, the writers have to realize what they're doing with the whole Arthur/Merlin thing. Hell, by the end of the first episode I was practically convinced of the ship already, and that like never happens - and Morgana/Gwen too. In fact, the only ship I can pretty much NOT see happening is Arthur/Gwen which, as we know, is the only one with a "historical" basis. (Well, I suppose Arthur/Morgona has a "historical" basis too, but they've already made Mordred a druid boy instead of their son, so unless there's some serious retconing going on and some very young pregnancy...). Are they doing it on purpose? Is it something Brit that we Americans just aren't getting (though, being half-Brit and having watched pretty much everything on BBC America, I doubt that)? Is it just to see how much they can get away with? Is it supposed to have homoerotic undertones? Is this like LGBT Arthurian legend or something? I'm not complaining, not really, just wondering what the hell is going on.

Though it is surprising to see so many big-name actors on such a C-rate show...

::shakes head and goes in search of fanfic::

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I came to the conclusion that the show is sort of like Xena in a lot of ways--it totally doesn't take itself seriously, I'm somewhat convinced the subtext is on purpose, and the fic for it is generally awful. But that's true of most of the more "popular" pairings; since they have such a wide fan base, you get all the crappy writers putting out fic. Since they don't really have to 'work' to write the subtext, they emulate the same crappy characterisation as is on the show, only without the self-awareness of their own campiness. But, yes, I think they've got to be aware of how horribly they're slaughtering Aurthurian canon (the alternative is too painful to consider).
::shudders:: I hated Xena for what it did to greek/roman legend. though now that you mention it, this is so totally the arthurian version of that. ::shuders x2::

it's terrible about the fanfiction though. (I'm partway through watching the pilot of due South and loving it, btw, though I kinda hate that i have to wait til S3 for Callum Rennie - and, by the looks of it, most the fic). it's genuinely the only reason I picked it up
I was never really either way about Xena; didn't care about it then, still don't really. I've never seen due South, though I have read some crossovers with it. I'm mostly content with what's on TV in the fall/winter--football all the time! College and pro! Totally makes up for the lack of plot-driven television.
Not a sports person myself.... there's absolutely no excuse for the lack of plot-driven TV shows.
I only like watching sports, not playing them. There's no excuse for it, but at least this occupies the space well enough. In fact, watching the Panthers lose terribly the other night was less painful than any of the sit-coms/dramas I've seen this season. That stupid Revolution is just...ugh. Don't even get me started on all the things wrong with it--since the promo was shown all through the Olympics, I've had plenty of opportunity to list everything wrong with that show.
i didn't even bother tring that. and I'll admit to sometimes watching soccer during the fifa playoffs, but most the time...

::shudders:: Grimm is the only thing I really like on television these days anyway.
Funnily enough, I actually used to play sports.

Dad and I like to watch the games; Mom is not so fond of football season.

Man, I just can't get into that show. It's too...weird in a bad way for me. I don't think it's a bad show or anything, it's just not doing it for me. I think it's mostly the SFX. That, and real TV just isn't as good as fanfic. Sad but true. Say, have you seen the new West Wing mini-ep/PSA yet? It's fantastic.
I've never watched West Wing, nor have I seen any PSAs lately (luckily). And Grim is hard to get into for the first few episodes, but after like e8 or so it gets really good.

never really played sports and we're not big sprts watchers in my family. like I said, we'll sometimes watch the soccer playoffs, me and my brother, but other than that, not so much.
Oh, man, West Wing was one of my first fandoms. I have a lot of love for that show (at least, for the first 3.5 seasons). The PSA is a poking-the-fourth-wall take on the show's typical walk-and-talk with them talking about how a lot of voters leave portions of the ballot blank without realising it because they don't look at the end of it to see the non-partisan races. It's much better than it sounds.
Yay, another (possible) convert! I got everyone--my parents, my roommates, my other friends--addicted to that show when I was in college. I blame my HS AP govt. teacher--she used to show episodes in class. And the Josh/Sam and Sam/Toby subtext...yum.
::sadface:: If megaupload was still around, I'd upload the eps for you; I have all the eps for seasons one through four.
I feel like I should have some recs on hand, and I do have some in my delicious (though not many). I know a fic called The Student Prince is *hugely* popular, and I think AU fics are generally the popular genre. Pru has also written a very popular Merlin fic, and she's also a popular SGA author, so you may want to check that out?
i tried The Student Prince, but lost all interest in it after they finally got together. IDK why - though I've noticed modern day AUs do seem VERY popular in the series... oh well. I'm watching the due South pilot on youTube now and I gotta tell you, I'm liking it much, much more.