Average User Score: 6.3Aug 17, 2011Although not perfect, the show provides an entertaining hour (especially during the "hide" stage) based on an exciting premise. The main problem with the show was most obvious in the first episode--an over-emphasis on interrogation vs. detective work. In the episodes that followed; however, we saw that if the detectives put more effort and creativity into solving the puzzle, it made a more entertaining and nail biting hour of television. I would still like to see less of an emphasis on interrogations--but that is difficult to remove from the show. The producers should take care, though, to pick investigators willing to go the extra mile to find the case, otherwise, the show will go bland.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.1Jun 11, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Merlin provides us with an interesting prequel to the well known Arthurian legends through the perspective of Merlin. The show's overall angle here is one that is very unique and exciting, especially in the first two seasons. The best aspect of this show is its creative approach in building up the foundations of timeless characters we know so well from legend. We learn about how Arthur is formed into the man he is, widely in response to his father Uther's paranoid fears. We learn why Morgana ended up taking the darker path. We learn how Guinivere captured Arthur's heart, and how Merlin became much more to Arthur than a useful subject, but an indispensable friend. This, to me, makes the series a must watch for any fan of Arthurian legend.
The first two seasons do an excellent job of presenting us with an interesting storyline, highlighting Arthur's growth as a man coming of age, and Uther's continued paranoia of magic. The conflicts in the story during these seasons are almost always nailbiting, and their conclusions are generally fascinating, but believable. Starting in the third season, however, the plot begins to stagnate a bit. The plot formula becomes very predictable, and aside from Morgana's treachery, there's very little real substance that adds to the series as a whole. The writers had an excellent opportunity here to create an interesting conflict by having Merlin's powers discovered, perhaps by Arthur or the kingdom as a whole, but did not do anything on this scale to make the season memorable.
The other thing that irked me in the series was its modern political correctness. Why exactly do we have African-Camolotians? Though I can forgive a creative licence of having Gwen as a servant girl, having her as an African is something that just doesn't make sense to the story. She's far from the only one, too. The Kingdom of Camelot in Merlin is filled with many different races which may warm our modern PC hearts, but is not germane to Arthurian legend, and would have been best avoided.
Overall, this show is definitely worth a watch. It certainly has its share of problems and quirks, but overall it provides an entertaining prequel to the legends we all know and love.… Expand