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So far Merlin doesn't make me very happy this season either.

Something is just going very wrong. Maybe they're trying too hard now, but somehow between S1 and S2 the show has almost completely lost its charm and the easy balance between the lighter, fun elements and its darker, more serious aspects.

The most frustrating thing of course is what they're doing with Arthur, completely ignoring/erasing most of his S1 arc and character development. The Arthur of The Moment of Truth or The Labyrinth of Gedref wouldn't have needed to have it spelled out like this by Gwen and then turn around and, still completely oblivious, do the exact same thing to Merlin, because he's only trying to impress her. Much less do it twice. In fact in The Moment of Truth it took a single reminder from Gwen about food being scarce for the people of the village, and Arthur got it. We've already been there, and the whole thing was handled much better and more subtly last season, where Arthur was actually portrayed as someone capable of insight and change, and not just out to impress the girl.

The episode had a couple of at least vaguely interesting moments when it addressed Arthur's need to be the best in the context of a system of values that forces him and his peers to constantly prove themselves - to the point of killing each other, engendering more grief, assassinations plots and possibly wars - over issues of at least questionable importance, while neglecting the values that really do (or should) matter, but again, they already covered most of that last season; better and more gracefully: 'I cannot think of my pride when our people go hungry.' And while admittedly it's not explicitly about Uther and his relationship with Arthur this time, Excalibur did treat Arthur's issues with his father and his resulting need to always excel and his fear of failure.

Arthur's current behaviour hurts all the relationships. What I loved in S1 was the friendship, the warmth between the four of them - Arhur, Merlin, Gwen and Morgana, and now that just... isn't there any more. Arthur and Gwen... This isn't about the slash, or lack thereof. Seriously. I've always liked the idea of Gwen and Arthur in S1, and I thought they did have chemistry whenever they had any scenes together. I even liked the first confrontation between them in this episode. But everything else? The almost-kiss? The actual kiss? What the hell? I usually detest the concept of 'deserving' someone in a romantic context, but in this case - Gwen deserves better. Better writing, for one thing. This is neither interesting nor romantic, this is annoying and cringe-worthy, and not very much in keeping with Gwen's characterisation either.

And the way Arthur has been treating Merlin was even worse in this episode than the last one, where Merlin at least gave him a bit of a reason, or at least pretext. (And speaking of which, Arthur wants someone to be honest with him and not treat him like a crown prince? There's Merlin right there who generally tends to tell him pretty bluntly when he's being an idiot. This episode really doesn't make a whole lot of sense.) Now I tend to believe (but maybe I'm overly optimistic here) that they're actually going somewhere with this, working towards some kind of confrontation, but if so, they're doing it much too heavy-handedly and at the expense of Arthur's (already established) characterisation. In any case, enough with the armour polishing already. Gah.

On a side-note and as a sort of follow-up from last time, how can Colin Morgan look the most gorgeous in the whole 40something minutes with two leeches on his face? No one should be pretty with leeches on their face, let alone that pretty.

Actually managed a morning run, but also managed to trip over a root and now have a skinned (and slightly sore) knee in addition to all the scratches from blackberry picking. What am I, six?

Breakfast, hot shower, Merlin, a bit of procrastination, then met R. in the afternoon to see the portrait photography exhibition in the MQ, but didn't feel very much in the mood for art. More procrastination. Should be doing things.


*sips tea*



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 28th, 2009 04:33 pm (UTC)
This is NOT the Arthur Pendragon we've already seen throughout S1 and I hate it.

Yes, this. I can deal with a character's arc suddenly going in an unexpected direction, if there is a minimum of explanation and logic behind it, I can deal with revealing unexpected sides in a character if they fit somehow, but directly going against established canon characterisation like this? It's like watching some kind of slightly but fundamentally different alternative reality.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


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