A Noteworthy Binge: Merlin

Over winter, we need to find things to occupy our minds instead of just putting on winter pounds and spending hours on homework.

A fun way to spend your days may be to binge watch five seasons of “Merlin,” which will soon be removed from Netflix.

“Merlin” is about a young man who finds himself as the chamber servant to Prince Arthur during the reign of Uther in Camelot. The show is full of triumphant fights, jousts, battles and even moments of sincerity. Each character is developed and taken great care of throughout the script.

Guinevere is the main deviation from the original myth. She is typically a blonde, fair maiden, princess of her own land who is the love of Arthur’s life. “Merlin” has Guinevere as a poor, servant to the king’s ward, Morgana, and instead of being a blonde, she is African-Anglo who ascends the thrown in the latter half of the series.

Morgana goes from being mentally disturbed and confused of her origins, to becoming one of the strongest sorcerers of all time after learning of her birth. Her only competition is a wizard of great unknown power who, according to her destiny, is the only thing standing between her and the throne of Camelot. That wizard is Merlin.

The most interesting part of the series is that Merlin doesn’t understand or know the bounds of his magic. He is taught most of his power and how to be discrete by the village medicine man and kings confidant, Gaius.

Merlin is often conflicted by his feelings between revealing his secret to Arthur and keeping himself in the dark due to the kingdom’s fear of magical beings.

The Knights of the Round Table are also brought into this story and complete their part of the legend. They add a bit more banter and historical nostalgia to the tale.

“Merlin” is wonderfully written. Not only are the characters deep, the dialogue is intriguing and it draws you into the story. It is not a dense and intense story – it is lighthearted, full of sarcasm and contains elements of “bromance.” As a viewer, the story of Arthur and Merlin will unravel and display a friendship pure and void of judgment.

With five seasons of episodes, it can take as little as three and a half days with bathroom and rest breaks for the expert binge watcher. Enjoy the magic.

If you enjoy “Merlin” you may also like: “Smallville,” “Once Upon a Time” and “Robin Hood.”

Starring: Colin Morgan, Bradley James, Richard Wilson, John Hurt, Angel Coulby, Katie McGrath and Anthony Stewart-Head.