-- -- ---

Netflix is spreading the holiday cheer with the highly anticipated The Witcher launching just days before Christmas. 

It is one of many series the streamer is offering over the holiday period, and I wish it lived up to the great expectations. 

The first season of the Henry Cavill-led drama is a mixed bag, delivering great action sequences. Unfortunately, the tone and storylines are inconsistent throughout. 

Cavill makes a splashy debut on the premiere as Geralt of Rivia, an anti-hero who finds himself in a string of tough situations thanks to his status as a Witcher. 

Despite the mixed response to Cavill not looking rugged enough to play the character, he does so very well, and the naysayers will probably agree after witnessing him in the role. 

This is a role unlike anything else Cavill has done before. The Superman star has a whole new appearance thanks to the hair and makeup it takes to become this type of character. 

It becomes immediately apparent why the Witcher likes to travel alone, thanks to dangerous prophecies and other crazy things coming to light. It would have been nicer if the show zeroed in on that a little bit more.

The biggest issue off the bat is the flow of it all.

The vast world, its characters, and conflicts are all introduced in one fell swoop, leaving the rest of the season with the big task of serving all of those plots. 

The serious storylines are diluted by the comical aspects that seem thrown in with the sole intention of making viewers laugh. If there was an edit of the series without those scenes, it would result in a much more watchable series. 

The script is witty, but there's comedy present in some scenes that should have been darker. These jokes negate the impact of the compelling storylines. 

At the beginning of one episode in the first half of the season, it seemed like the show had changed its genre completely, leading me to question whether the episodes Netflix provided in advance were still rough cuts.

They were not. 

Despite laughing at the scenes in that particular episode, the mysteries at the center started to feel like they were playing second fiddle to the high-society events that were funny rather than high-stakes.

The Witcher has a solid central character in Geralt. He is charismatic, powerful, and knows how to handle himself when the going gets tough.

It's easy to understand why he likes to travel alone, but some of the forced comedy stems from him working with other people. 

That's not to say the other characters aren't worth watching. This sprawling fantasy series spins off a yarn of storylines in a well-developed world. 

But this introduces too many characters to service in an eight-part season. 

Game of Thrones, which some felt was difficult to keep up with, mastered the art of servicing its characters early into its run. 

Viewers unfamiliar with the novel series or the videogame adaptations will find it hard to follow all these different factions introduced. 

By the end of the season, the direction of the story does become clear, and it leaves me with the sense that The Witcher Season 2 will be much better. 

Many shows struggle with teething issues initially, and The Witcher is no exception. Early reports stated Netflix was going to adapt the novels into a movie as opposed to a full-fledged series. That would have been wrong on so many levels. 

It's clear Netflix wanted to craft a series to fill the void left by Game of Thrones in terms of scale and stakes, but the show has a long way to go before it comes close to matching the high quality of the earlier seasons of the HBO epic.

The Witcher's flaws are all down to the execution of it all. Had the show taken a consistently serious approach to things, it would have been a big hit. 

The Witcher 3

The series has all of the makings of a hit, but there are a lot of kinks that need to be worked out on The Witcher Season 2. 

If you're in the market for a show with great fight scenes, too many characters that are not served well, and comedy, then The Witcher is for you. 

If you're looking for a dark fantasy series from start-to-finish, then The Witcher is probably not for you. 

Looking ahead to the second season, the producers would be wise to zero in on what works best: the darker plots. 

It would also be a big advantage to put some of the characters on the back  bburner until they're actually needed in the story. That would add some much-needed depth tot he narrative. 

The Witcher 2

Okay, TV Fanatics!

Have you watched any of the episodes? If so, do you think the series is a faithful adaptation of the source material?

What are your thoughts on Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia? 

Will you watch the second season?

Hit the comments below. 

The Witcher is available to stream globally on Netflix. 

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post