Sunday, June 21, 2009 By: Suzanne

Seriously NBC?

I have a major complaint. Jeff thinks I'm being silly but I feel this is kind of serious!

I watched NBC's newest show Merlin for about 45 minutes tonight. With the opening scene I knew I was going to hate it but I kept watching. 20 minutes later I said, "You've got to be kidding me!" Jeff asked, "What? Does it suck?" I said, "It wouldn't suck if you didn't know anything at all about the legends of King Arthur and Merlin." I know there are some inconsistencies between the different stories about Camelot, the round table, Merlin, Arthur, Guinevere, etc, but there are a few things that are usually taken for granted in those stories:

1. King Arthur founded Camelot. It did not exist before he was King.
2. Merlin was already an old and known wizard with a widely known reputation long before King Arthur was born.
3. Guinevere had "golden hair" and was significantly younger than Arthur, who was dark.
4. Guinevere was the daughter of King Leodegrance
5. "King" Uther is anti-magic

There are more but I named these specifically because they are the ones that NBC has decided to screw with. Here's what they have done:

1. Camelot is already an established city being ruled over by "King" Uther Pendragon.
---although Arthur becomes King, Uther is known only as a mighty chief - not King.
2, 3,5. Arthur, Merlin, and Guinevere all appear to be the same age
---one of the best known legends is the one of Uther using Merlin to trick Arthur's mother (Lady Igraine) into sleeping with him. She believes she is with her husband, Gorlois, when in fact Merlin has disguised Uther into looking like Gorlois so he can be with Igraine while his soldiers kill Gorlois on the battlefield.
---there are, admittedly, some stories in which Guinevere and Arthur are the same age, but NEVER Merlin and Arthur. Merlin was one of his teachers. And, of course, my above example.
---They've made Guinevere dark and gypsy-like while Arthur is tall and blonde - WHY?
4. Guinevere is a maid to Morgause (Arthur's half-sister), or Morganna as they're calling her in this show.
---I find that interesting since Morganna or Morgan Le Fey was a completely different character in most of the stories. They've taken Marion ZImmer Bradley's Morgan for this role. Even gave her the same dark curly hair.
---Really? Why is Guinivere a maid? Where the hell did that come from?

Why does all this bother me so much? Because if they keep this up it will completely ruin the old stories. People are going to watch this show and think that's the way the stories really went and there will be whole other stories cropping up that are just plain WRONG. What they've done makes all of us who love the old stories just MAD. It could have been great. If they wanted to have a young character to follow in the time of a young Arthur, why not just make the show about Arthur? What they've done is stupid. Yep, just plain stupid. What are people who watch this show going to do when they come across the old legends later? They're going to think those stories are dumb because it doesn't have the same drama as the tv show. They're going to be completely missing out on the beauty and poetry and drama that is there.


Anonymous said...

My husband watched this for about 30 minutes and then gave up!

Rebecca :) said...

That's so unfortunate. I hate when the entertainment industry messes up great books. I've been worried about it with My Sister's Keeper.