First Impressions: Camelot

Camelot Starz Series

Camelot

Now that graduation has come and gone, I have plenty of time to do other things.  Amongst those other things is trying to find a job in my field, blogging and working on my hobbies while the first one has me waiting.  Over the coming weeks, I’ll be reviewing several shows that I have been watching and discussing topics related to the story that I have been working on.

This post marks the beginning of a new series of mine called the First Impressions.  This series will detail opinions from the opening trailer(s) and the first episode in a non-spoiler manner.  This series may run over into video games as well, excluding the over-reviewed Dragon Age 2.

Camelot recently debuted on Starz a few weeks ago.  Most of you probably know the story behind it.  We’ve seen it several times now, but of all of them, most of them are kept to a PG-13 rating or below.  Camelot made no such promise and features plenty of gore and nude shots – not quite to the extent of Spartacus.

The opening trailer leaves a lot to be desired.  The main character, King Arthur, looks more like a wussy Prince Charming than a charismatic King. Halfway through the trailer all interest is lost when they start playing 30 Seconds to Mars – This is War.  Probably the most overused song in trailers I’ve ever seen, and every time it’s not very fitting except for some of the lyrics.  Talk about unoriginal and uninspiring.  The trailer’s description of the series is good however, and is probably its only saving grace.

Protect me, Merlin! My acting is terrible!

In the wake of King Uther’s sudden death, chaos threatens to engulf Britain. When the sorcerer Merlin has visions of a dark future, he installs the young and impetuous Arthur, Uther’s unknown son and heir, who has been raised from birth as a commoner. But Arthur’s cold and ambitious half sister Morgan will fight him to the bitter end, summoning unnatural forces to claim the crown in this epic battle for control. These are dark times indeed for the new king, with Guinevere being the only shining light in Arthur’s harsh world. Faced with profound moral decisions, and the challenge of uniting a kingdom broken by war and steeped in deception, Arthur will be tested beyond imagination. Forget everything you think you know…this is the story of Camelot that has never been told before.

Despite the lackluster trailer, the first episode was slightly better than expected.  I expected something awful similar to the King’s acting in Game of Thrones, and in a way, there is something like that present in Camelot.  Comparatively, at least I know what’s going on, because not only was the acting bad in Game of Thrones, they were taking too long to introduce the story. In Camelot, you’ll know what the problem is 15 minutes into the show and from there, you simply have to keep punching yourself every time Arthur speaks, because he sounds like such an idiot.  Its not the Arthur I envisioned. I get that he’s supposed to be young but the pretty boy that’s acting as him, certainly shouldn’t be doing it.

Arthur aside, the conflict is introduced nicely and everyone else’s acting is pretty good. I’m still a bit skeptical on how the show will turn out over the long run.  Its not the best show I’ve ever seen, but its certainly worth a watch at least once.  For those interested, Camelot is based off the ancient British folklore, not the BBC version of the story.

The Borgias

Three new series have been aired this month.  If you haven’t heard already, they are The Borgias (Showtime), Game of Thrones (HBO) and Camelot (Starz).  Currently I’ve only really watched the Borgias in depth.  I’ve yet to watch Camelot assuming its even started airing yet, and the Game of Thrones….  Well I watched about 30 minutes of it and stopped watching it after awhile.  After reading The Rotted Rose’s review of it, I had some slight hopes for it, quickly blown away by the terrible dialogue of the so-called King. I’ll probably give it another chance later.  After all the first episode of Spartacus:  Blood and Sand was terribly bad as well, but turned into one of my favorite shows of all time (around Episode 4 and beyond).

The release of The Borgias had great timing as some of their audience is probably attracted to this show through the recent release of a popular video game:  Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. If you’re anything like one of my roommates, you’ll be hooked based on the name alone.  Though I doubt many are.  My roommate is just plain odd.  They all are really as my other roommate watching the series thinks Lucrezia is hot, leading to a comical conversation of his pedophilia over 14 year old girls.

Honestly, I never knew much about this particular time period before AC Brotherhood was released, so I can’t say too much about how accurate The Borgias TV show is with what happened in real life.  They took the main ideas of what happened and formed their own plots from them. I feel like some of the words they used are incorrect, especially when they’re using the word Christian instead of Catholic.

Minor nitpicks aside, The Borgias has good acting, most notably Cesare Borgia (Francois Arnaud), Michelleto Corella (Sean Harris) and Vanozza dei Cattanei (Joanne Whalley).  Not to say that the other actors are bad, simply that these three are probably my favorite and most convincing. The only character I probably dislike is Alphonso II, whom you meet in the 3rd episode, simply because his voice is extremely annoying, however oddly appropriate.

You’ll have to brave through the first 20 minutes or so of the first episode before the plot begins to unfold and the conflict begins to present itself, but once it begins, it’ll keep you interested and wanting more.  If you like drama and a plot centered story, then you’ll most likely want to watch the Borgias.  The first episode is on Showtime’s website, which you can find here:  http://www.sho.com/site/order/preview.do#/Borgias_s01_e01 .  The quality is lacking and apparently they edited it for the website.  Definitely worth a watch though I believe.