It’s hard to talk to fangirls and fanboys today without hearing at least one mention of BBC’s Merlin. Perhaps you’ve wanted to watch it but just needed that extra push to actually make yourself do it. We’ve all been there. Take this as your sign. Here’s a list of some of the many, many reasons Merlin should be next on your to-watch list.
BBC’s Merlin is an untraditional take on the classic Merlin tale.
We all know the classic tale of Merlin: the wise, magical old wizard from Arthurian legend. BBC’s Merlin is the beginning of that tale, but before the stories we know. Teenaged Merlin becoming Arthur’s manservant as punishment is not only highly amusing, but also a much-welcomed fresh take on the already-beloved story.
Merlin has an incredible cast that you have definitely seen in different shows.
We all know BBC has about 15 actors that they reuse in all their different television shows. Merlin is no exception.
“Midnight,” an episode of Doctor Who featured a goth teenager trapped with the Tenth Doctor; the goth teenager is Merlin himself, Colin Morgan. Starring alongside Colin Morgan, is the magnificent John Hurt as the Dragon. If John Hurt’s voice called down to you every time you needed advice, you’d go running to him every episode too. Bradley James, also known as Lowell from iZombie, is Arthur Pendragon. Playing Uther Pendragon is none other than Rupert Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Anthony Head.
The cast also includes other familiar faces from Doctor Who. Richard Wilson, playing Gaius, appeared as Dr. Constantine in Ninth Doctor episodes “The Empty Child” and “The Doctor Dances.” Angel Coulby, in the role of Gwen in Merlin, played Madame de Pompadour’s friend Katherine in “Girl in the Fireplace.”
In short, the cast is phenomenal and contains multiple familiar faces from other shows.
The theme song is absolutely gorgeous. The theme for Merlin is one you won’t want to fast forward past. I love it so much, it’s my ringtone.
Merlin and Arthur’s bromance.
Do I really need to explain this? Colin Morgan and Bradley James had so much fun as Merlin and Arthur, and it shows. The relationship between the two characters only gets better as the show goes on. The bromance alone is worth watching for.
Who doesn’t love to laugh? The show is just cheeky enough to make you laugh and maybe roll your eyes a little, but they don’t overdo it. The show is genuinely funny. The effects are also pretty laugh-worthy, but not in a tragically bad way. The bad effects just make the show more charming.
Gorgeous sets and costumes.
The series takes place in Camelot, so the sets have to be incredible. BBC has definitely stepped up to the challenge. From Merlin’s dingy room at Gaius’ to the amazing jousting stadium to the Pendragons’ castle, the sets are characters themselves, providing perfect insight into the scenes and adding new layers to the characters. The costumes in Merlin are as memorable as the sets. Merlin’s iconic scarf is just the beginning; Morgana’s dresses are elegant and beautiful, and Arthur’s chainmail armor is impressive. I would love to step into Camelot and wear all the costumes from the series. If you’re as much a set and costume geek as I am, BBC’s Merlin is quite the study.
The comfort of the same plot every episode, but with a whole-series story to keep things interesting.
Every episode, without fail, you know what to expect. In a Camelot where magic is banned, the kingdom will get into some magical trouble. Merlin is going to be conflicted over how to best aid Arthur, driving him to both Gaius and the Dragon. Then, Merlin will completely ignore Gaius and inevitably misunderstand the Dragon’s advice, given in riddle form. Merlin will not-so-stealthily use magic to solve Arthur’s problems, and he will end up not getting caught anyway. It does get ridiculous after a while, but it is also comforting, amusing, and slightly funny. The predictability is never a problem.
Despite the same basic structure for every episode, Merlin has a series-long plot that runs through all five seasons. This plot serves to keep things not only interesting, since the viewer knows what they’re getting themselves into watching every episode, but also unified. All five seasons fit together and make sense.
A series finale that makes you feel all the feels AND does the series justice.
Yes, Merlin did get canceled, but the series finale in no way suffered from the cancellation. “Diamond of the Day” does not disappoint. The plot stretching throughout the series comes to its climax in the two-part finale. After five wonderful seasons getting attached to the characters, the series finale is intense, action-packed, and sufficiently emotional. And viewers are not deprived of a sense of closure, as we even get a peek into the future. It’s no wonder that when you Google Merlin, “Diamond of the Day” is one of the top five search suggestions.
BBC’s Merlin is a must-watch. The show is impressive from the very idea of a Merlin story before the widely-known legend, to the series’ action and emotion-packed finale. The cast is supreme, and incredibly interesting to watch. When magnificent sets and costumes are added into the mix, we are actually transported to Camelot, and we can’t help but get sucked in and attached to the characters and involved in everything that happens. Magic, humor, and legend collide in one of BBC’s best series to-date.
‘Merlin’ is on Netflix now. Happy watching!
Featured Image via ladygeekgirl.com