Nimue and Arthur.
Cursed, a brand new R-rated fantasy collection on Netflix reimagining Arthurian legends, has so much on its plate. A coming-of-age story following a younger Nimue, aka the Girl of the Lake, its 10 episodes attempt to juggle battle, a love story, a medieval land-spanning quest and a well-known future that is ripe to be subverted.
But after a promising begin, it turns into clear Cursed does not have a agency grasp on what sort of present it desires to be, failing to tie all these components into one linked entity. Torn between younger grownup drama and R-rated violence, Cursed appears to determine it is best to wander into Sport of Thrones territory, with political intrigue and a single spectacular one-shot battle sequence.
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The sweeping English valleys are lovely, and among the imagery evokes co-creator Frank Miller’s comics — Sin Metropolis, 300 and the graphic novel the present relies on. However disappointingly, Cursed’s largest, yep, curse, comes right down to its major character.
The present finally fails its younger feminine protagonist, who has all of the cool promise of a sword-wielding heroine destined to steer her folks to freedom. As an alternative, Nimue flounders in romance and absurd decision-making, with no actual persona that lets her shine because the highly effective enchantress she’s set as much as be.
Be aware: Minor spoilers forward.
We start when Nimue (13 Causes Why’s Katherine Langford) is chosen to be the subsequent Summoner of the Hidden. The function includes defending her druid folks by utilizing her present to name on the weather.
As an alternative, Nimue rejects the place, calling it a curse. She laments her folks for casting her out, after a demonic encounter scarred her bodily and mentally from childhood.
Pym and Nimue.
Together with comedian aid greatest pal Pym (Lily Newmark), Nimue heads to the docks, however as an alternative of catching the subsequent ship out of there, they arrive throughout Arthur, performed by Devon Terrell — the first Black actor to be solid within the function.
Like a lot of the characters with legendary names who pop up within the present, Arthur has a number of quirks that mark him as completely different from what we have historically seen. Except for a fantastic singing voice, he is a scruffy knight who charms Nimue, organising a love story that finally lacks genuine moments to earn the sparks that fly.
When the Purple Paladins, magic-hating brokers of the church, invade Nimue’s village, she’s tasked with bringing the Sword of Energy to Merlin (Vikings’ Gustaf Skarsgård). However Merlin is not at his magical greatest, ingesting away his sorrows as an alternative of doing what his boss, a petulant Uther Pendragon, asks of him.
Politics amongst kings, together with Viking chief Ice King and warrior queen Purple Spear, simmer within the background and shortly envelope Nimue. She should additionally determine what to do with the Sword of Energy, which everybody desires.
Whereas it is refreshing to see Nimue shed her conventional antagonistic function, in addition to do greater than merely hand Excalibur over to Arthur, she missteps in the same method to Daenerys Targaryen. After going from naive would-be queen to non secular determine inspiring the oppressed, Nimue’s crammed right into a storyline that takes all that triumph away.
Katherine Langford as Nimue.
It is irritating, after we do see her develop all through the collection. Lastly accepting her accountability as chief of the Fey, she makes a number of key choices that repay and, most significantly, rallies the woodland-type Fey tribes. She even earns a memorable title just like the Wolfblood Witch.
However then she tosses the sword down a ravine in a sudden rage, and one character truly calls her out for being unreasonably “whiny.” She by no means takes an episode with a mentor to discover the bounds of her uncommon magic or will get a triumphant second to chew again at her demons. Worse, she’s confined to the sidelines within the ultimate battle to save lots of her folks and cease the “age of males.”
Nimue dips her foot into being the hero you need her to be with a Marvel Girl pump-you-up second on the finish of the primary episode. But regardless of its intriguing spin on a legendary determine, Cursed fails to depart a long-lasting impression. Overlong and unfold skinny, it finds its centered tempo and otherworldly ambiance fading as surface-level Sport of Thrones politics get in the best way. The present is ready up for a second season, however probably the most attention-grabbing facets of its story already appear to be behind it.
Cursed is out now on Netflix.
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