Show Name: The Witcher
Genre: Dark fantasy, Drama, Action, Adventure, and Horror
Date Released: December 20, 2019
Actors: Henry Cavill, Anya Chalotra, Freya Allan, Joey Batey, MyAnna Buring, Mahesh Jadu, Mimi Ndiweni, Eamon Farren, and Anna Shaffer
I wanted to first say, Happy New Year to all of our Aroundtable.ca readers. Hope that you had a great holiday season with family and those that you love. Another year has started and we have a lot of reviews to get to. :) So this year we are starting with The Witcher Series.
I have to admit that I have been looking forward to this show. I have not read the books but I have played the games. I know that the games are different from the books but I like the lore just the same.
If you want to see the review that i did last year for The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, you can click here.
When I heard that Henry Cavill was going to play the main character of Geralt of Rivia, I was pretty skeptical, as were many fans of the series. However, I was still looking forward to the show.
Did this series live up to the hype? Let us see and find out.
The Witcher Series Trailer
I do not want to get too much into the story as it may spoil the series for some. However the main premise is the following. Geralt of Rivia (played by Henry Cavill) is basically trying to live out his destiny. This is to be the protector of Princess Cirilla.
It is also the origin story of Yennefer. If you are not familiar with the series, Yennefer is a very powerful sorcerous.
I know that this is short, but for someone that knows the lore, they will know exactly what is happening. However, if you do not know the series well, there will be a learning curve.
The series is based on the books more than the video game. However, I find that a lot of the look of the series was based on the video game of the same name.
Let me start with the skepticism that I had mentioned above. Was Henry Cavill a good Geralt of Rivia? The answer is actually yes, to my surprise. I did not expect him to play the character very well but he did a very good job interpreting this iconic character.
I was not a fan of Cavill as Superman. He lacked that something that others have brought to the character. However, it seems that Geralt was the character that was made for Cavill.
The visuals for this series are breathtaking. It really did look like the video game came to life. Seems a lot of detail went into making every forest and town look like it was from the game.
There have been a lot of mixed reviews out there. In fact, there are some publications that reviewed the season having watched only a random 3 episodes. How can you properly evaluate the season if you only watch a few episodes.
EW.com (Entertainment Weekly):
DARREN: Because life’s too short for Netflix drama running times, I skipped ahead to the fifth episode, which brings the Yennefer and Geralt plotlines together.
Those that are not fans of the series, may think that this is a cheap attempt to cash in on the Game of Thrones medieval or fantasy shows. This may seem similar but the story in The Witcher is more in depth in my opinion. Now, I am not the biggest fan of Game Of Thrones. It never kept my interest and I stopped watching after season 2. However, having watched The Witcher, I can say that I appreciate this series a lot more.
I think the parts that are the most confusing are the flashbacks. It is never clear when they are in a flashback or in current day. That confusion can make the viewing experience seem disjointed. This is where I think where most the main issues lie.
For those that are fans, you will appreciate the story building and how they approach it. They looked at the origin story of 3 characters (Geralt of Rivia, Princess Cirilla and Yennefer). There is enough story to fill another 2 or 3 seasons.
One thing that they have done really well are the fight scenes. These are very well choreographed and it looks like you would be playing the actual game. There is not a ton of fighting which some fans may be disappointed but it is well placed and done well when it does happen.
It seems, at least with season 1, people either love the series or they hate it. There seems to be little middle ground. I think that if the creators and producers tweak their approach a little and make it a little less confusing in parts, people will enjoy it more.
Proof that this series has been successful, The Witcher III video game has spiked in sales and downloads since the series went on the air. Please see below for the Engadget article below.
It would seem that the game is more popular now than it was when it first launched. In many gaming lists for Games of the Decade, The Witcher III was probably on most Top 10's. In my list, I think as an overall game, this was my game of the decade (2010's). The game's popularity is the reason many people tuned in to season 1. However, when season 2 will be out, we will really see how many people liked the show or not. Until then, I am just happy that a Season 2 is announced and will happen.
All in all, when looking at this objectively, it is a good first season but there are some tweaks to be made. However, I think that there is a good foundation and story here to have a good 3 or 4 seasons.
Have you watched it? What did you think about it? Let us know at the coordinates below.