If you found previous versions of King Arthur/Camelot lore lacking in salaciousness, naked breasts and full-on shape-shifting rape, this just might be the version of Camelot for you. Of course, I prefer the one with some singing but hey, to each their own. The dialogue here is laughable, the costumes are ridiculous and the acting is totally over the top. In other words, just another quality program from Starz. At least Spartacus had the decency to be good and bloody; this one doesn't have its first battle until at least halfway through the premiere episode, and even then it's only a brief sword fight. It wasn't until the very end that we got a halfway decent gory shot. Disappointing.
Camelot does have all of the other staples of a Starz series, however: slow motion (used randomly when Merlin walked into the building for the first time), naked girls and costumes that don't exactly seem "period" so much as slutty. Morgan (Eva Green), in particular, wears some items that are definitely unique. She's got one long dress that seems to have a bondage-style top with a leathery choker, and then another outfit that's... lingerie, maybe? Not sure what to call two green scarves tied with necklace.
The show is also filled with more than its share of anachronistic dialogue. I simply refuse to believe that the once and future king would say, "She said you were over" when describing why he was having sex in the field with someone else's girlfriend. And I know that those times were a bit on the bawdy side, but Arthur's adopted father (who seems to be from a decent family) telling him to use his brain and heart and not to think with his dick -- accompanied by a crotch grab - seems a tad out of place in this period piece. As does Arthur (Jamie Campbell Bower) himself, who looks more like a dirty little surfer boy than a monarch.
And I don't know if someone got overzealous with the smoke machine, or if the mist was a CGI effect added later, but it looked really, really fake, while the shots of Camelot weren't even gorgeous matte paintings. I would've preferred something worth looking at in the background to distract me from gratuitous scenes of Morgan and Uther doing their shape-shifting acts.
Finally, I should mention that this series co-stars Joseph Fiennes, a fantastic actor who somehow found himself in the middle of this cheesy program. He's trying his best to elevate it and give it some gravitas, but he might as well be in a different series from everyone else. Did he think this was going to air on HBO or something?
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