television whine

I dont normally do this but ...

Last night after the Open was over for the day and we'd had dinner ... we turned on the TV ... there was nothing on.


On NBC (channel 4 here in NYC) there was the premiere of a new series called Merlin.

Well I am a lover of anything Camelot so I decided to see what it was about.

Perhaps had I read something about it before clicking over to NBC I might not have watched.

Its begins with this nice young man walking towards a town ... there's a voice over explaining this is young Merlin on his way to Camelot ... what?????

Merlin on the way to Camelot as a teen? WTF?

Anyone who has ever read Mary Stewart's trilogy about Merlin and Arthur or T.H. White's Once and Future King knows that Merlin did not come to Camelot til he was an adult.

If the writers of this disrespectful re-telling of Merlin and Arthur read either of those authors, they would know that Uther Pendragon fathered Arthur but he was taken from his mother moments after birth, and raised as a commoner til he found his way to Camelot and pulled the sword, Excalibur, from the stone.

In this version Arthur is a spoiled teen aged prince who lives with his father, Uther, and his father's ward Morgan ( WTF? Morgan was evil and tried to lure him away from Guinievre, who by the way, in this version is the handmaid to Morgan!)


Teen aged Merlin is a warlock and is told by a dragon that Uther has imprisioned in a cave beneath the castle (and what a cave it is, its deeper than the Grand Canyon, that's some amazing foundation to the castle which looks modern in some shots and ancient in others .. did you ever see a castle with wall to wall carpeting or a chess piece statue in the 'hallway'?) that he, Merlin, is meant to guard Arthur, to help him become a great king and keep the bad guys at bay ..

I turned it off after Merlin told Arthur to tell Uther that Knight Valiant (I swear!) was using magic to win sword fights ... Knight Valiant's shield had 3 snakes on it which came alive and bit the opposing knight ...

Seriously .. I am so insulted I am going to find out who wrote this crap and send then T.H. White's book ..


  1. With the challenge to find more and more unique stuff many authors of TV are creating prequel's. It is just twaddle and I agree with you about how rubbish it is to distort a perfectly good story. They will be doing prequel's to prequel's next!

  2. I have to think Arthur was a spoiled teenager because so much of American society thinks that's OK and those people will still be good leaders, etc.

    I hate gross misrepresentations of books. Why bother calling it by the same name? (My worst was the movie, The Count of Monte Cristo. It might have been a good movie, but I will never know because it strayed so far it made me sick.

    I'm glad you turned it off.

  3. I don't watch much television because it disappoints (or BORES) me 98% of the time. "Family Guy" ALWAYS makes me laugh, so I usually just stick with that!!!

  4. Meh. I left and went to a Summer Solstice celebration when that came on. Because I'm a closet Druid;)

  5. Morgan's handmaiden? Please.

    This is why I watch the crab fishermen. There's no script and it's always exciting!

  6. Oh Daryl, I'm so sorry. I'm so glad you can't see me giggling. I watched the whole thing. (2 episodes)I am a dragon savior. The British did this to you darling.....Give em hell.

  7. Prince Valiant? For real? I had to watch bits and pieces of this last night and I wans't sure what the heck was going on. I LOVE Mary Stewart's books ,as well as White's. Did you read Steinbeck's? It was never finished, but very good. *sigh* Oh! And the five book Grey King series. Fantastic!

  8. So relieved to know that ours wasn't the only household screaming with rage at the TV last night. I'll help you with the postage.

  9. I truly hope you do send them a copy of the book. I am not much of a TV watcher so I did not see it BUT I have seen too many books misrepresented, destroyed and bastardized that it makes me more than a little red. go girl!

  10. This is a big pet peeve of mine. What absolute drivel. And yes, I think you should send them the book!!

  11. I understand you - I felt the same way watching the Hollywood version of The Three Musketeers :) Didn't watch that - but I trust your review - sounds like somebody just pulled scenes from their sleeves !

  12. And that is exactly why we don't watch TV. Well except for some Soaps. :D

  13. That's a pet peeve of mine too... Way do they feel the need to re-write a perfectly good story?!

  14. I'm glad I didn't check that out. I have always been entranced with Arthurian legends and I saw there was a show called Merlin and almost watched it but didn't for some reason or another. I'm glad now that I didn't.

  15. The sad thing is that kids will grow up thinking that's the way the story really goes since they'll probably never really read it.

  16. You go girl!you have an amazing memory for detail. if I could remember all that I would be pissed off too! especially if I loved the story so much.
    Besides, it's just plain sad when a great story gets watered down by commercialism.

  17. Sounds like their trying to make it into a cross between the OC and Twilight!!

  18. They're just trying to fill the air waves for the summer with crap hopping to keep watchers. Won't work I think.

  19. Your reaction reminds me of my own each time I see snippets of any Disney movie absolutely destroying a classic. We now have at least two generations of souls out there who know nothing of the wonderful original stories.

  20. Ughhh! Sounds totally disgusting! I wouldn't bother sending them the book - they probably can't read very well. (Miaowww)

  21. I tried to watch it but it was too damned boring, lol.

  22. I watched it too and pretty much had the same opinion.

  23. Your labels are perfect - especially the bullshit one!

    I think I caught some of this last year for some reason....and hated it! Total crap.

  24. I know, it's really infuriating how they aren't keeping their myths straight. I mean, Merlin not being old? Puh-leez. And the fact that Arthur isn't a 5th century tribal chieftain? Jesus. It's like they never bothered to research the hundreds of Arthurian stories in existence! They obviously don't care about Arthurian legend at all! They really need to get back to the facts of the myth.

    ...Wait, did I just use 'facts' and 'myth' in the same sentence? Hmm.

    Perhaps someone is missing the point of all this reinterpretation business... it's probably me.

  25. Uh oh. Glad I waited till you calmed down...!

  26. Give them more credit. The writers did their research. They -know- all that. You may be interested to know that there's a legitimate version of the legend in which Arthur is raised by Uther. Merlin as a teenage prodigy comes from the story of King Vortigern and the dragons.

    And guess what? T.H White is NOT the definitive version. If anything, the definitive version is Le Morte D'Arthur, or the version written by Geoffrey of Monmouth. Both of those are more legtimate sources than anything you cited.

    And also... it's mythology, not history. T.H White did not stick absolutely to the legends (note that his Merlyn lives backwards and talks about 20th century events). I'm willing to bet Mary Stewert didn't either. Changing elements of myths to make an interesting story is a very, very old practice (the Greeks did it, after all).
    I admit that it can have varied results, but Merlin gets better. A lot better. As someone who giggled her way through the first few episodes, you can trust me.

    I do sympathise, though. Being as I am a totaly Greek mythology geek who flies into rages at anything which makes changes.

    Oh, and also? The castle you see is real. It's called Pierrefonds, and it's in France. It really does have chess pieces-like sculptures in the corridors. xD

  27. There are hundreds of versions of the Arthurian Legends, and you throw a snit fit because it doesn't agree with two of the latest and most distorted ones? Oh dear, what has our education system come to?

    This story actually does go back to the original pre-Malory versions of the Legends for their inspiration. You might want to do some more research before you give your "expert" opinion again. That way you'll be ready when Geoffrey of Monmouth shows up. And if you don't know who he is, you've no business being up on a high horse in the first place.

  28. I'm sorry, you are dissing "Merlin" for being "disrespectful" to the legend while holding up Stewart's version as a standard? You *do* realize that Stewart is completely inaccurate when it comes to Arthur's siblings right? Morgan and Morgaine are full sisters, both of them HALF-sisters to Arthur via his MOTHER, not his father! Maybe you don't know the "official" legend very well either....

    Also you seem to be missing the entire point of the show if you are b*tching about Morgana *not* being evil--hello, this is supposed to be talking about everyone BEFORE they were legends, ie BEFORE she became evil! *rolleyes* I'm sorry you can't appreciate a fresh take on the legend, but you do need to accept that the legend is just that--a LEGEND, not history or hard facts!--and that TH White is far from the definitive source that needs to be slavishly followed--I personally prefer other versions as canon myself. TH White is just one author's interpretation, you need to look to the old medieval texts if you really want to be sending copies of the "real" legend...

  29. Oh, I see a misunderstanding here.
    The series Merlin is NOT the adaptation of T.H. White's 'The Once and Future King' book series. It was never intended as an adaptation of the books, so it cannot possibly misinterpret them or be disrespectful toward them.

    The show is a a reinterpretation of the Arthurian legends, which are really a vast pool to draw ideas and plots from.
    I think the authors of the Merlin series managed to create an enjoyable family show,
    something modern kids (and probably their parents) can relate to.

    I hope you'll give the show another chance, because the intention certainly wasn't to copy and distort the T.H. White's books. If anything, I heard mention of Merlin being for the Arthurian legends what Smallville is for Superman.

    It's a just a prequel, and it stands on its own right.

  30. Wow, some strong feelings here.

    I love the old legends, but I'm more of a Mists of Avalon girl myself.

    I tend not to watch tv adaptations. Makes me too mad when they change things. Jay and I had a terrible fight once over the concept of whether a movie could be "wrong" because it wasn't true to the book - he claimed it was irrelevant because they were both fictional. I say he's a cad LOL.


Google Blogger is now insisting i switch to Google+ in order to see/reply to your comments via email .. i am not joining G+

SO if you would like to send your comment via email fashionistanyc gmail and i will reply

if not, consider yourself thanked for leaving a comment