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Baby, Merlin, The Week Ahead

1. Baby!

Congrats to Jared and Gen for the successful birth of their baby boy! I'm looking forward to seeing what name they choose. 

2. Merlin

When I started watching Merlin, everyone who watched it told me that it got really good in the 4th series. Man, they were right. While before it was very easy for me to just watch one episode and then move on and do other things, now I find myself wanting to watch "just one more"... that being said. I've realized what the problem with Merlin is:

There's no emotional follow through. Supernatural is mostly emotion/character driven. The plot unfolds because of the characters emotional reaction to previous events. Merlin is plot driven and emotions are felt in the moment, but don't tend to linger or have any effect on the story of the characters. For this reason, Merlin is a very emotionally unsatisfying show. There's no follow through. It sets up these great moments, but then never gives us an emotional payoff for them...or at least, very rarely does. Merlin, my friends, is a tease. 

I think that's why I find myself craving so many h/c fics when I finish watching it. I need the emotional payoff. In Merlin, you get the h but you don't get the c. Everyone is just miraculously better and it's never spoken of again.

ETA: I have to say that part of me is tempted to open up my editing program again and try to recut the episodes into more emotionally satisfying stories...but, man, I am not an editor, and that would take an eternity (and involve me watching the entire series over again).

Anyway, as per usual, here's my recap of the gay so far...since Merlin is the gayest show that ever gayed without actually having gays: 

The lesbians have lost numbers, to the point where their cause is basically in the hands of one slightly deranged rogue leader, who has to use petty tactics to try to weaken the state in order to gain control. Merlin, unsurprisingly, is sticking to his strategy of working from within the system to achieve social reform on human rights. His promising sympathetic leader has finally been able to take office - but before effective change can occur, the leader must win over the people. He can't change things too quickly, less he be kicked out of office due to unpopularity. Meanwhile, Merlin runs the risk of being exposed as gay. Only recently, one member of the court realized that Merlin was immune to the charms of a seductive woman.

3. The Week Ahead.

I have two friends arriving tomorrow for a visit. I do not know how long they are staying. I MAY miss this week's Supernatural, though I'm really hoping that I don't. In any case, my Quick Reaction post will probably be delayed. I'll also not be on LJ much at all...so...yeah, have a good week!


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 20th, 2012 06:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Merlin
Exactly. I mean, EXACTLY. I got into it just after S2 had finished airing, and, tbh, I got tired of the lack of follow-through very quickly, which is why I left fandom half-way through S3(that and other fandomy-related reasons).

I think I may be the only person in fandom to NOT see the gay. *facepalm*
Mar. 20th, 2012 06:10 pm (UTC)
Well, in fairness, it's a little LESS gay in S4. :P

I don't mind the lack of follow through, as long as I can find fics that DO follow though...the problem is that so far, I haven't been able to. I've been ridiculously spoiled by the Supernatural and Sherlock fandoms...and well, so far, I haven't found the same quality of writing in the Merlin fandom (or it's rare anyway). Most of what I find has that "written by a 15 year-old girl" quality, where there's not a very good understanding of the complexity of human relationships or behaviour.

Now, in Supernatural, when I can't find something, I usually write it myself...but honestly, I don't see myself doing that with Merlin. I've got enough to do as it is and I just don't have the time.

I have to say though, that I've been half-tempted to recut the episodes in an editing program so that the story is more emotionally satisfying (speaking of not having time).
Mar. 20th, 2012 06:18 pm (UTC)
See, one of the biggest complaints I have with Merlin is that they know it goes out to a big fanbase of people who aren't kids, and yet they insist on writing it as if all it could ever be is a decent kid's show. If they brought up the quality of the writing just a little bit, it could make it a lot better.

Yeah, when I was in Merlin fandom, I was big into fics, though I was an Arthur/Gwen shipper, so most everything was of the shippy h/c variety. But you're right: it's a big fandom, but it's a big fandom for people who're starting out, so there's not a lot of really good stuff (especially if you're not into Arthur/Merlin or Bradley/Colin).
Mar. 20th, 2012 06:23 pm (UTC)
I AM into Arthur/Merlin, and I'm still having trouble...mind you, I'm EXTREMELY picky. It's why I rarely beta for people. I feel like I would destroy their soul. :P

I agree with you about the quality of writing. It could STILL be a "kids show" and have a good emotional story. I think the writers are suffering from the mistake of underestimating kids' abilities to understand complex emotions. Which is a pity, because I think kids are better off for reading/watching complex human interactions in fiction - it would help them learn about the real world...where you can't just blame the fact that you punched your friend on being "enchanted" and expect him to be smiling at you the next day. :P

So, kids show or not, they could do with bringing up the quality of writing.
Mar. 20th, 2012 06:33 pm (UTC)
Yeah, even if you do follow the lead pairing, you still have to contend with the prolific-but-not-good writers, which I deal with every day when I'm going through the SPN newsletters to find things for crack_impala.

Exactly, omg. I grew up watching shows directed at adults but with family elements, and I'm eternally happy I did, because I got a firm grasp of human interaction at a much earlier age than my peers. Besides, as it stands now, Merlin is JUST a kid's show(ignoring fandom, which it isn't actively marketed towards like SPN is). If the writing was even a little bit better, it could be a family show, something everyone can sit around and watch and enjoy.
TBH, I preferred S1/2 a lot more than S3/4, just because there was development and character growth and equal storylines. I thought the writing was better then, but, then again, I didn't pay as much attention to S3/4 as I did the first two.
Mar. 20th, 2012 06:38 pm (UTC)
I miss the sillyness of S1/2, which is lacking in S4. I think S4 is good, but it's good because each episode seems to contribute directly to the overarching plot...personally, I didn't mind the one-offs of the earlier seasons. It's like SPN and plot vs. MOTW - I like there to be a balance. I also like Anthony Head. I thought Uther was a really well done complex "villain."

I grew up watching adult shows - I don't even think they were FAMILY shows. I basically just watched anything and everything. The great thing about kids is that "adult" stuff just flies right over their heads - so it's not like you have to leave it OUT, they actually WON'T NOTICE.

So yeah, I'm in complete agreement. Merlin is one step away from being a much better show, and that's frustrating...especially considering the quality of acting its two leads are capable of.
Mar. 20th, 2012 06:08 pm (UTC)
Have fun with your friends. I look forward to your Quick Reaction whenever you get the time to post it.

And thanks for the convo last night. It was fun and it really helped me in so many ways. So much to think about our boys, huh? I'll have some more of those kind of posts as I watch more so I look forward to some more discussion with you. Have a good day!
Mar. 20th, 2012 06:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks! And no problem - I enjoy chatting about the boys... Especially with people who are mature enough to "agree to disagree" when it's obviously a matter of interpretation. ;)
Mar. 20th, 2012 06:20 pm (UTC)

I have nothing else constructive to say. I stopped watching Merlin ages ago. But have fun with your friends! :D
Mar. 20th, 2012 06:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :)
Mar. 22nd, 2012 04:07 am (UTC)
That's what I found with Merlin too. I like the cleverness of seeing how they're going to work in/subvert the source myths, but there's not a whole lot of emotional arc in it. I got into it in the beginning, but it started feeling like Uther was the only character trying to bring some depth to it. I went digging into fanfiction, but it had too little variety and not enough quality for me. I trailed off somewhere in season two. I keep feeling like I should pick it up again, but there are so many other shows I'm more excited about.

LOL at the gay rights summary version. awesome.
Mar. 22nd, 2012 04:16 am (UTC)
Ha, glad you liked my gay summary ;)

I definitely agree with everything you just said. It's a good show, but it could be a GREAT show, and it's not going to get there without an emotional arc. And yeah, as far as characters go, Uther was the most complex.

I will say that it DOES pick up in the 4th season, but it still doesn't do emotional consequence/follow-through very well.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )


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