17 July 2020

Review: Cursed (A Netflix Original)

Review of CursedAre you looking for your next binge watch? Are you a fan of all things Arthurian legend? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then you will want to put Cursed (created by Tom Wheeler and Frank Miller) in your Netflix queue. The series premieres today.

Thanks to Netflix and Think Jam I was able to get a sneak peak into the first few episodes of the series, which stars Katherine Langford (13 Reasons Why; Knives Out) as Nimue, aka The Lady of the Lake.

This take on the Arthur story focuses on Nimue and how she ended up being the guardian of the famous sword Excalibur and includes many of the familiar characters, including Merlin (Gustaf Skarsgård from Vikings), Arthur (Devon Terrell), Hector, and Gawain. Though we see action from plenty of men (including the murderous Red Paladins and Pendragon's men), the series always comes back to Nimue, her mother, and her women allies and friends.

Here are some of my initial thoughts (the still is copyright Netflix):

  • The filming and CG effects stay true the story's comic book (graphic novel) origins, with vivid colors, transitional "panels," and detailed background scenery.
  • The cast is non-self-conciously diverse.
  • The episodes end with just enough of a cliff-hanger to make you want to watch the next one right away.
  • Review of CursedNimue is vulnerable and is driven by promises made and guilt at not being able to do more to help her family, her friends, and the Fey in general.
  • Although the story jumps from present to past and to different places and perspectives, visual cues give us warning, making it easy to follow along.
  • Cursed gives us a unique view of Merlin, and Skarsgård is (as expected) quite good in the role.
  • I wasn't initially sold on this portrayal of Arthur, but I came to accept it.
  • Is this the new Game of Thrones? No, but I enjoyed watching.
  • The series takes a couple of episodes to set up the world and the different plot lines. Once you're past that, Cursed becomes more absorbing.
Note that I am fairly familiar with the Arthurian legends and characters (though hardly an expert). I was amused by some aspects of Wheeler and Miller's retelling and had a few "huh?" moments, but I was overall hooked enough to want to see how Cursed was going to bring it all back home.

Here's the trailer:

Can't get enough of Cursed? No problem. Netflix has set up an augmented reality site where you can learn more about the characters, interact with the environment, wield the sword, and work your magic. Use the QR code in the following graphic or visit DiscoverCursed.com on your mobile device and get ready to have some fun tapping into your inner Fey.

Review of Cursed


sherry fundin 7/17/20, 11:52 AM  

looks great, but i don't have netflix :-(
sherry @ fundinmental

Tina 7/18/20, 12:27 PM  

As soon as it's out on DVD!

Jen at Introverted Reader 7/21/20, 12:02 AM  

Somehow I watched the trailer last week in a place where I couldn't actually hear anything. I thought it looked like King Arthur and the Lady of the Lake but I wasn't sure! I added it to my list anyway. I'm glad to read a positive review!

Daryl 7/24/20, 1:23 PM  

always looking for more shows to watch off network .. if you try out AppleTv there's a show called Mythic Quest .. half hour episodes with a good cast and clever writing ..

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