O@tNetflix: The Witcher – Season 1

WitcherPoster
Not binged but finally finished watching …

The Witcher is an American fantasy drama web television series created by Lauren Schmidt Hissrich for Netflix. It is based on the book series of the same name by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. The Witcher follows the story of Geralt of Rivia, a solitary monster hunter, who struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than monsters and beasts. But when destiny hurtles him toward a powerful sorceress, and a young princess with a special gift, the three must learn to navigate independently the increasingly volatile Continent

IMDb: 8.4

Henry Cavill in The Witcher (2019)

Remember how I asked you in my last writeup about The Witcher if I’m in for greatness or a disappointment? Well, I got only one replay from you lame bunch, a guy planning to binge the show at the weekend. Didn’t help me in no way. :/

But anyway, I’ve helped myself and just kept on watching The Witcher, even if not in a bingey mode but often with multiple days in between single episodes. But finally I’m done. And I’m fuxn confused by what I saw. Not by the plot and story in itself for it’s simple and straightforward, same as the characters, who are mere decals of real people. There is not much of depths hidden in The Witcher’s screenplay.

No, what confused me was the unfortunate method of storytelling, with many needless jumps back in time. Episode 7 of 8 was for the biggest part just a recap of the happenings in episode 1. Dunno if such a simple story needs to help the audience to remember stuff they’ve just watched hours/days ago.

Freya Allan in The Witcher (2019)

Also the overall tone of the series is very uneven and swings between too little action and too much dialogue. Unfortunate example is again episode 7, which was a looooot of talking and plotting and character building. Of characters we’ve already watched since 6 episodes and know quite well. :/ That’s plenty boring.

And the production value? Seemed to be quite high in the beginning but showed signs of cheapness towards the end. Lots of unconvincing CGI where it wasn’t even needed.

Anya Chalotra in The Witcher (2019)

The biggest weakness of The Witcher are the leading females though. Neither Freya Allan (as Princess Cirilla) nor Anya Chalotra (as Yennefer) have the wild beauty one would expect from ladies/wenches fit to be companions of Geralt of Rivia, the witcher. In fact the best female I noticed, Emma Appleton as Renfri, was killed in episode 2 already. By none other than our witcher himself. 😮

A real positive surprise was Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, the titlebearing witcher. I always thought he was too squeaky clean an actor, the perfect Clark Kent/Superman impersonator. But as witcher he showed a totally different side, one that suits him much better. Brooding and monotone, with a dark sense of humour. He’s also easily wounded, so he spends extended times unconscious, on the sickbed, while everybody around him is fighting and having the time of their lifes. What a friggn hero!

Henry Cavill, Joey Batey, Freya Allan, and Anya Chalotra at an event for The Witcher (2019)
The witcher and his bitches … and his bard

So all in all I can’t quite make my mind up about the series. It’s cheesy, it’s borderline cheap and cookie cutter fantasy spectacle, and not even half as engaging as Game of Thrones was. But that isn’t necessarily bad, since GoT was a monster of complexity where The Witcher keeps it simple and down to earth. Even then magic is of the well-known sort and nothing spectacularly new. I was groaning and moaning pretty often but couldn’t wait to see the next episode … only to be slightly disappointed again. 😐

Also I can’t wait for season 2, as it seems only in the last 5 minutes of the 8th episode did Geralt and Ciri find each other and are about to start the real series. Let’s hope for better scripts and better directors in season 2. We shall see.

But judging by what is revealed in this IMDb video all our wishes will come true: More fun  characters, more witchers, more linear timeline … perfect.

https://www.imdb.com/video/vi3883122457?playlistId=tt11574612&ref_=tt_ov_vi

Anya Chalotra in The Witcher (2019)
Yennefer had to film her own scenes or what?

 

5 comments

    • You honesty didn’t miss much. Witcher’s not half as engaging and entertaining as GoT. All my hopes for it are on season 2, which will hopefully be tighter and faster if not more intelligent.

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        • Hubby and me got rid of our TV, like, 10 years ago. We get all our movies, TV series and music from various “Arrr matey” sites on the interwebz, so stuff’s guaranteed to be free of ads. 😉
          But I wouldn’t do it if you’re living in a civilized western country … or only with a good VPN.

          Oh, btw, Game of Thrones is a thousand times better than Witcher, but also more complicated and has a giant cast of more or less important people. And it’s told very linear, like a giant soap opera. Miss one episode and you’re lost.Also the quality goes down from season 4 onwards, since they ran out of books. George R.R. Martin just couldn’t keep up with writing new novels as fast as the series was filmed. So the last ever episode, the grande finale was also the most unsatisfactory and hated episode ever. Friggin shame since GoT really had its great moments and wrote TV history.

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          • Cool to know… much appreciated. In these days, screens are nearly unavoidable. I try to cozy up with a quiet book every day – there are rare days, however, when zombifying before a good show seems the most relaxing thing to do.

            Liked by 1 person

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