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Witcher (Netflix)

Tonguez

Legend
I’m two episodes in. Short review: if I think of The Witcher as the next Game of Thrones, it’s pretty bad, but if I think of it as the next grimdark Xena/Hercules, it’s quite good.

And Cavill’s doing a great job as Geralt.
its definitely more Xena than GoT, its got a very "new adventure per week" approach, with the three leads providing the connecting arc
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I don’t know how to value a review that relies entirely on comparisons in the vein of “as a new X, it’s bad”.

Like...genuinely what am I even supposed to take from that? That tells me literally nothing.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Seen episode 1. I'm not sure about it yet. My main takeaway was: cool sword fights, silly voice. I'll give it a second episode.
 


Mustrum_Ridcully

Adventurer
Well, to describe it:
It's a world were fairy tales cannot be written off as just "tales" - they might be (embellished) retellings of historical events. Kinda like a Hollywood take on some historical event - because Elves, Dwarves, magic, monsters, wizards and sorcerors, they all exist. but of course, historical event rarely fit neither in a 90 minute movie nor a 5 minute Bard's ballad and wouldn't always be satisfying entertainment if told accurately.

The main characters is a "Witcher", a human altered with magic to be able to combat monsters that could easily beat a normal warrior, a sorceress from humble beginnings that doesn't have come to terms with what she sacrificed to gain her power and beauty, and a royal child with some inborn magic ability that she hasn't even fully figured.

The first season shows some important scenes of their life, each character's story told at a different speed through their life, all stories moving towards the "present", and occassionally showing where their paths crossed.

It is relatively episodic compared to many streaming shows, though there are some shared threads that tie things together and become clearer the closer you get toward the end of the season.
 

Seen episode 1. I'm not sure about it yet. My main takeaway was: cool sword fights, silly voice. I'll give it a second episode.
It certainly gets better in the subsequent episodes. I stuck with it and I am quite enjoying it so far. YMMV of course.
 

Hussar

Legend
Watched to the end.

Liked it and want to see next season. I didn't twig on the whole different time streams thing until about half way through watching. Cool technique. Stories were well done, acting is good enough, and it's got a pretty solid over arching plot.

Yeah, I'll watch the next season.
 

Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
I binged all ten episodes and I loved it. It was my first exposure, I hadn't read any of the books nor played any of the games.
 

I binged all episodes as well and greatly enjoyed it. Henry Cavill makes a fantastic Geralt and you can tell he loves playing the part. It has a bit of a D&D feeling to it (in a good way) and not so much Game of Thrones.

It didn't have me hooked until episode 2 with the introduction of Yennefer. The quality of the show goes a bit up and down in the effects department. Most of the monsters look great, but some of the big battles really show the limitations of the budget in my opinion. Also, whenever we see the dryads it looks like they are just in a normal forest that is cursed with a persistent Photoshop lensflare. I don't like their design either. I'm also not entirely happy with the casting of Triss.

However, the rest of the cast is really good, even if they may not resemble the look of their book counter parts. The plots of the episodes string neatly together and there are some nice surprises along the way (and some time jumps). I also enjoy the lore and mythology.

I do think they mention a lot of things that aren't really explained in the show, such as the Conjunction of the Spheres. But perhaps later seasons will delve into that. I haven't read any of the books or played the games and yet I could follow most of it just fine. The only thing that can get a little confusing is all the various countries that are mentioned. Without a map, as a casual viewer you just have no idea where everything is in relation to each other.
 
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JeffB

Legend
Never heard of the game or the books- But saw the hoopla about it recently-I forced myself through the 1st episode. It's certainly no Stranger Things or Lost in Space.

I really don't understand why so much fantasy is done so poorly on-screen. The acting was -eh. The setting seemed anachronistic. The swordfights were way too Hollywood, and at any minute I was expecting for the main character guy to
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Truth Seeker

Adventurer
Never heard of the game or the books- But saw the hoopla about it recently-I forced myself through the 1st episode. It's certainly no Stranger Things or Lost in Space.

I really don't understand why so much fantasy is done so poorly on-screen. The acting was -eh. The setting seemed anachronistic. The swordfights were way too Hollywood, and at any minute I was expecting for the main character guy to
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That alone puts you at a disadvantage, not knowing about it will give you no understanding of it. That is okay. And for fantasy being poorly for tv, it is a testing ground to find their footing. It is common practice, to have improvements down the road, if said show has more seasons.
 

I don't think you need to know anything about the books or games to watch it. Only one person in my house had played the games......
 

Eric V

Hero
Never read the books, nor played the games, but we loved it in my house. Gave a look of how a "typical" DnD world with fairly common magic abounding and monsters being real might look like; felt much more D&D than GoT, but that makes sense upon reflection. The hints within the world make me want to learn more about it. Looking forward to season 2.
 

Janx

Hero
Watched to the end.

Liked it and want to see next season. I didn't twig on the whole different time streams thing until about half way through watching. Cool technique. Stories were well done, acting is good enough, and it's got a pretty solid over arching plot.

Yeah, I'll watch the next season.
As I understand it from an interview with Cavill, they wanted 3 main characters, but the books don't introduce the two sorcereses until later. So they did the funky time stuff to bring their stories to inter-weave with Geralt.

My wife has read most the books and played the stuffing out of the video games. It took her a bit to realize the how the time-choppy worked (because some of that content is from the newest book). I didn't figure it out until the big party with the Law of Surprise shotgun wedding.
 

Hussar

Legend
As I understand it from an interview with Cavill, they wanted 3 main characters, but the books don't introduce the two sorcereses until later. So they did the funky time stuff to bring their stories to inter-weave with Geralt.

My wife has read most the books and played the stuffing out of the video games. It took her a bit to realize the how the time-choppy worked (because some of that content is from the newest book). I didn't figure it out until the big party with the Law of Surprise shotgun wedding.
Yup, that was pretty much the same for me too.

As far as fantasy FX or whatnot, decades of Doctor Who has trained me not to see it. :D They were good enough. And, I thought the sword fighting was actually pretty darn well done. Meh, to each his own.
 

Talltomwright

Explorer
I too know nothing about the Witcher, never played the games, never ead the books, but by the third episode I was really loving the series; the decades wide time-split felt like a feature not a bug; the moment of surprise when the time-frames were revealed were really exciting, and it created a lot of anticipation for the three protagonists eventually meeting. I also liked how each episode felt like a fairy story; things like knights cursed by witches and the law of surprise made it feel much more Brothers Grimm than George R R Martin and that felt different and exciting. Plus I found Cavill appealingly vulnerable and ended up really rooting for him by the end. TLDR: Not the best thing out there but a fun fantasy in a very different mold to Game of Thrones. And yes, heavy D&D nods (looking at you, Gold Dragon.)
 

Beleriphon

Totally Awesome Pirate Brain
I too know nothing about the Witcher, never played the games, never ead the books, but by the third episode I was really loving the series; the decades wide time-split felt like a feature not a bug; the moment of surprise when the time-frames were revealed were really exciting, and it created a lot of anticipation for the three protagonists eventually meeting. I also liked how each episode felt like a fairy story; things like knights cursed by witches and the law of surprise made it feel much more Brothers Grimm than George R R Martin and that felt different and exciting.
From the original books this is very, very intentional. Most of the original stories have a dark take on a classic element from fair tales and folk stories.

For anybody that needs a bit of background on terms. Conjunction of the Spheres is the event that dropped monsters, humans, and some other stuff, into the setting some 1500 years prior to the events depicted. Very important to this is that humans didn't exist in the world before the Conjunction.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
The first season of The Witcher was always gong to be be the most challenging. To avoid the jarring change in story between the 2nd and 3rd books they've intermingles elements and split timelines. The strength of it is when the separate threads come together. It's a big moment when Geralt and Yennifer... ahem ... collide. And again when the last timelines come together.

While i thought the sword-fight of the first episode was not that great (but faced paced enough to be exciting) for me the fight with Geralt facing Knights in Cintra was far better. You could tell his strength and speed were enhanced as every blow he landed was precise enough to hit joints in armor with crushing force.

I'm really looking forward to season 2.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
As I understand it from an interview with Cavill, they wanted 3 main characters, but the books don't introduce the two sorcereses until later. So they did the funky time stuff to bring their stories to inter-weave with Geralt.

My wife has read most the books and played the stuffing out of the video games. It took her a bit to realize the how the time-choppy worked (because some of that content is from the newest book). I didn't figure it out until the big party with the Law of Surprise shotgun wedding.
Didn't know that. I thought jumping around in the timeline was an homage to the video games, which frequently has you jump into a scene from the past. This also plays into him recovering from amnesia with him (and you the player) learn more about past events to better understand the present plot.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Ay, the short miners are dwarves, and the elves have pointy ears. The bard is also in the books and in the games, and is sort of a major character. Of his songs I don’t know, but he is sort of a comic relief in the games too.
Wasn't sure at first whether I liked Dandelion/Jaskier (the bard) in the show. He didn't have the looks that made him believable as a Casanova type. In the video games, I didn't like the character at first, but he grew on me. Same with the series. By the end of the series, I came to like the character as acted by Joey Bately.
 

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