I’m Just Being Honest: Camelot would be awesome if they got rid of Arthur

21 May

Jamie Bowen Campbell

The new series Camelot premiered over a month ago and I have been enjoying it to a modest degree. The acting is quite good for the most part and the story-telling, while a bit pedestrian, has been fun. My only complaint about the entire series is in the casting. In fact, I love all the casting except for one. No, I am not complaining about Joseph “I’d Rather Fuck Your Brother” Fiennes. He’s actually quite brilliant in the series, as is Eva Green. My only complaint is the casting of Arthur, especially the things that I am expected to believe about him. Don’t get me wrong. I think Jamie Campbell Bowen is a fine actor. I just can’t see him as Arthur. Perhaps, 3 seasons of Bradley James as Prince Arthur on Merlin have ruined me for this incarnation.

Despite this, I still find the series quite watchable. Here’s why:

1. No one is completely evil and no one is completely good

From Arthur to Merlin, everyone has done something for which they are ashamed. Arthur took his Champion’s wife before their wedding. Merlin has killed with his uncontrollable power. Igraine allowed Merlin to take her son and hide him away for years. Let’s not bother to list Morgan’s many sins.

Eva Green

However, she does have her virtues and you can’t help but feel for her. She displays a tenacity and determination to make her own destiny in a man’s world. If Morgan had been born a male, would her father have committed her to a convent when he remarried? Morgan has done some horrible things but she certainly has suffered. Uther was a wretched father.

2. Unique twists on the Arthurian Legend

I especially enjoyed the story of Arthur’s sword, Excalibur and the pulling of the sword from the stone. Each of these stories showed just how long Merlin has been plotting Arthur’s rise and just how far he would go to assure his success.

3. Strong female characters

Aside from Morgan and her insatiable thirst for power, we have a scheming nun and Vivian, Morgan’s right-hand, a former queen in Igraine who has become the mother to an entire movement, and Guinevere, who is flawed but is resourceful and has a strong sense of duty. The women have not been relegated to objects to be fought over. They have agency and their own goals and objectives. It’s not something you expect to find in a medieval drama.

4. A parade of really hot men

Yes, I am just that shallow. Though this incarnation of Arthur is not my type, because I have always preferred scruffy hunky men, to men who look like boys, Camelot has provided us with eye-candy in the form of Kay, Arthur’s adoptive brother, Leontes, Arthur’s Champion and Gawain, the captain of Arthur’s army.

Phillip Winchester (Leontes) and Peter Mooney (Kay)


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