It has been a month since I watched the season finale of Merlin, yet every time I think of it I still become incredibly angry.
Honestly, from the beginning I knew the show wasn’t the best. At times, the only word that can be used to describe it is “cheesy.” I kept coming back, though, not only because I love the Arthurian legend, but because the chemistry between Arthur and Merlin is so endearing.
When I watched the final episode, I was so disappointed both by the episode itself and by the fact that the series was over and officially failed to live up to my hopes and expectations. My frustrations have mulled and festered within me until I can no longer contain them. Here are my top 5 problems with Merlin, either with the finale or the show in general. (Yes, there are spoilers. That should be obvious.)
1. That truck.
Let me just get this out of the way—I HATE the semi-truck in the very last scene. On my list of things I hate in film, that scene is on the very top of the list. Seriously, guys. I would watch hours of sparkling vampire drama if it meant that those 2 seconds of semi-truck could disappear from cinematic history forever.
2. Repetitive Plots.
Nearly every episode of Merlin follows 1 of 3 basic plots:
- Arthur or Uther is enchanted by an evil woman, and Merlin must break the spell or CAMELOT WILL FALL!
- Someone tries to kill Arthur or Uther, and Merlin must save them or CAMELOT WILL FALL!
- Morgana tries to kill Arthur, and Merlin must save them or CAMELOT WILL FALL!
Don’t forget—Merlin has to do everything without anyone discovering he has magic or—you guessed it—CAMELOT WILL FALL!
Merlin was very close to being a monster-of-the-week kind of show. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I just hoped for more. I wanted an epic fantasy retelling of the boy-wizard Merlin, but instead I got formulaic plots.
3. Eternal hipster Merlin.
WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH OLD HIPSTER MERLIN?!
Seriously, though?! What did Merlin do for thousands of years after Arthur’s death? I’m insulted to think that he just walked around the lake waiting for Arthur the whole time. Merlin was the greatest wizard who ever lived, and he didn’t die. He should have done some great, world-changing things by the time we see him walking by that stupid semi-truck (NO, I WON’T GET OVER IT).
4. Arthur died.
The great buildup of the ENTIRE SERIES was this new kingdom that Arthur was going to build. That’s why Merlin told Arthur that there is no place for magic in Camelot. That’s why Merlin rescues Arthur’s life again and again. That’s why Merlin did everything he did in the series–to usher in this new kingdom. And by the end of the series, the kingdom still doesn’t exist, and we’re left with Gwen on the throne. Which means that Gwen was the one who ushered in the great new kingdom. Which makes everything Merlin did essentially pointless.
5. We never see the new kingdom.
For FIVE YEARS the writers taunted us with this great new kingdom where magic was allowed and Merlin could be who he is without fear of persecution. And we never see it. Not even a glimpse. Arthur doesn’t even find out that Merlin is a wizard until he’s dying. I felt gypped. There was so much potential for this awesome show where the crux of the entire plot WASN’T Merlin’s secret, where Merlin actually worked alongside Arthur and helped him build the kingdom, but this show wasn’t it.
There are a lot of things Merlin did really well. For instance, some of the best bromances known to mankind. But that’s why I’m so bothered by Merlin’s failings–it could have been SO MUCH BETTER. I’m disappointed.
What bothered or disappointed you about Merlin?