Camelot: A Quality Show That Utterly Fails

Posted by Labyrinthian in , ,

I love the Arthurian legend.  Reading books about King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table is what sparked my love of books and the immortal film Excalibur was my favorite film as a child.   So I was excited recently when I got a chance to watch the first three episodes that have aired for Starz's new show, Camelot.

I am happy to report that Camelot is a very well produced show, an interesting take on the Arthurian Legend, and has some great acting.  I am less happy to report that the shows utterly fails because of terrible casting.  I don't mean in terrible casting in general.  Nope, I have someone specific in mind when I say it, and his name is Jamie Campbell Bower.  Unfortunately, Jamie Campbell Bower plays King Arthur, who is kind of a central character, and he is killing the show.  Not all miscasts will ruin an entire project, but this one is.  Bower is just aweful as Arthur, it really is that simple.

The other actors do a great job, especially  Joseph Fiennes who plays Merlin.  The show's take on the classic character is one of the things that kept me watching despite their horrid portrayal of Arthur.  Rather than a wise, old, benevolent Wizard Merlin is more of a seemingly immortal, manipulative, arrogant, and rude politician.  Merlin manipulates Arthur, who is little more than his stooge, into following his plan for the realm.

In the end Camelot is a quality show and one you should check out, but only if you can get past the awful portray of Arthur (certainly no easy task).  The show skirts the line between the historical, where the country's Roman past is of consistent importance, and the the fantastical, where magic (albeit subtle) plays a role in the shaping of the plot.  It makes for an interesting mix. 

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at Tuesday, April 12, 2011 and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


hrmm... Maybe Arthur is supposed to start as a putz who grows into the role of king. It gives room for a character arch. Maybe.

April 13, 2011 at 3:23 AM

You are more optimistic than me, Grumpy Celt! I have a feeling we will see an Arthur who is much the same in Episode 8 as he was in Episode 1.

April 13, 2011 at 4:39 PM

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