Introspection and Emrys

I was looking through random XKCD comics here at the lab, when I saw this comic about Merlin.

There are times when I think that hanging with me must be like hanging with Merlin from T.H. White’s The Once and Future King.* When someone first meets me, it seems like I know a lot. But as the years go on, I forget more and more of the basics and need to be “re-taught” the things that I seemed to have learned “too early.”

Also, my aging is screwed up.

This reminds me. I cannot decide how to feel about the new Merlin series. It has Anthony Head in it, so that is good. And I can understand the writers desire to subvert expectations and to come up with new things. After all, what many consider to be the “traditional” Arthur stories actually came from a number of different legends from various countries over hundreds of years.

But did they have to focus on teenagers? Do we really need to continue to focus on that demographic? *sighs* Never mind. If the stories are good (and I have not actually watched enough of the show to judge whether they are or not) then maybe it will attract more people into reading. And that would be a good thing.


[*] One of my absolute favorite books. I have lost count of the number of times I have read it. I would say that it is one of the books that influenced me the most growing up, right there with Don Quixote, The Name of the Rose, and the Sherlock Holmes stories. I always get the feeling that Merlin and William of Baskerville would have gotten on quite well … in a crotchety sort of way. I need to buy a new copy. Not only has the cover fallen off, but the first several pages are about ready to go as well.

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10 responses to “Introspection and Emrys

  1. Well, I’ve seen all the episodes of the BBC Merlin so far, and I can safely say this: If you’re willing to switch off your brain and not take it seriously, it’s a lot of fun. And the writers are definitely having a good time subverting expectations — a lot of the usual suspects from the Arthurian mythos appear, but in very different and unexpected ways. So, from that point of view, it does keep you guessing, and you’re never entirely sure which direction the story will take.
    But did they have to focus on teenagers? Do we really need to continue to focus on that demographic?
    Actually, I think the BBC originally marketed it to children; the same demographic for Doctor Who. But, much like Who, it’s gained a teenage and adult following.

    • You tend to have pretty good taste (darn you!) so I’ll give it a try next time I have the chance.

      • It is fun, as I said. And it’s got fun female characters too, which is always a plus in my book. Even if I occasionally want to hit certain people (who shall not be named, but if you watch, you’ll guess very quickly) with the Clue Stick.

  2. When I saw the pilot for Merlin, my first response was: “Good lord. They gave Arthurian legend the Smallville treatment. This could be interesting.” And then I remembered how much I hated Smallville after the first 3 seasons, largely because they took characters with whom I was already familiar, and told stories that weren’t as good as the ones from which I remember them originally.
    The final result was that watching Merlin for 5 minutes gave me a strong desire to watch Disney’s The Sword in the Stone and the old Merlin miniseries from about 14 years ago that I have on DVD. If I wanted to watch a total update of Arthurian legend by modern writers, there’s always Gargoyles

    • When I saw the pilot for Merlin, my first response was: “Good lord. They gave Arthurian legend the Smallville treatment. This could be interesting.”
      That is exactly the response that I first had. I am pretty ambivalent about Smallville as well. Hence, my hesitance with Merlin.
      Yay, Gargoyles! I really miss that show.

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