I sense a pattern in the way BBC produces new shows. There’s the Cardiff gang of Doctor Who and Torchwood sharing similar sets and canon crossovers (the best kind of crossovers). They may not have the exact audiences but they do share the clutch-at-any-lame-straw-resembing-Whoniverse crowd (of what I’m clearly part of).

Then there’s Merlin, which came out of nowhere and is now the replacement until the makers of Robin Hood get back from rehab or wherever it is they’re getting help from because frankly, crack addiction or insanity are the only excuses that I’m prepared to accept for that shitty story arc last season. Well, Merlin seems to have been born of the same mold of geniuses whose formula for success is as follows:

1) pick a british myth

2) make ’em younger, hotter, slightly flawed with uncannily modern values and morals *coughsaracenlovecough*

3) colour-blind casting (for female or minor male roles)

4) introduce famous characters regardless of when they appear or what their story is in the canon and use them/get rid of them whenever convenient *coughlancelotcough*

5) get women into battle mode. It’s getting embarrassing. Now, I don’t want to see them be completely meek or subordinate but a strong female character doesn’t necessarily have to mean combat-ready medieval lara crofts. There are otherways of being kick-ass while not literally kicking ass.

6) Have ridiculously different writers for every episode so the language fluctuates from highly formal to “okay” and “yeah” sometimes even in the same episode.

Say it with me writers, ana-chro-nism.

This week’s Merlin went that one step further and literally seemed to set the episode in Locksley. The peasants being bullied by what would be the emo-ancestor of Guy of Gisbourne who was finally thwarted by the return of the prodigal son. I bow down to thee, writer whose idea it was to pick up the Robin Hood pilot and replace all proper nouns to refer to Merlin-land characters, added one poxy gust of wind and got paid for it all over again…luxury.

One thing I do love about the show is the Camelot castle which is very impressive and beatiful and pretty much the only thing that sets it apart in costume and set design. And that’s only because Robin Hood’s from the gritty dark ages while Merlin is set historically in the period known as fakityfake. I especially liked how peasants from 6th century fake-britain look exactly the same as in 15th century fake-britain. Gunny sack brown was the new black for 1400 years apparently.

But all that said, I will continue to watch it…and look forward to the disaster that is the next season of Robin Hood. Because really, if I’m pathetic enough to spend my saturday evening analysing shows broadcasted about 3500 miles away and aimed at teenage girls, clearly I don’t have much else on my plate. Mainly because about 99% of the shows on other channels suck like ducks. Never will I be caught dead watching do you think you’re smarter than a model in Machu Pichu and who wants to swap nannies or no deal: the celebrity edition (unless of course I die watching tv and my ghost cannot master moving earthly objects like the remote control in time to switch the channel). What I really should be doing, if I want to watch anything at all is supporting amazing shows like Pushing Daisies (a plague on all the houses that brought its demise) and 30 Rock (which survives solely by the collective wills of Tina Fey and Lorne Michael) by watching them on actual TV no matter how much ads suck. Curses.

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