Aug 11, 2020

Cursed: The Holocaust Revisied in Medieval England

Nimue is the mysterious witch who imprisoned Merlin in a tree for hundreds of years in the Arthurian mythos -- an interesting subject for the new Netflix series Cursed.  I also wanted to see if Daniel Sharman, who plays the Crying Monk, cries with his shirt off,  and if Arthur (Devon Terrell) has a gay-subtext romance with Merlin (Gustav Skarsgard)

I'm pretty sure that Devon Terrell is gay in real life.  A Google search revealed an instagram post where he said "I am a 32-year old gay man."  But it also said he was from Perth, Australia, whereas his wikipedia page says he's from California.

On to Cursed:

Prologue: A bleeding girl in a warrior outfit falls into a lake and sinks.  Voicerover narrator asks "Where to begin?  With water, or with fire?"

Scene 1: Teenage witch Nimue orders two hunters out of her forest, then turns a rope into a snake to strangle one of them, while instaneous flashbacks go by too fast to figure out what they are depicting.  Her mother intervenes, and orders her to reimburse the hunter she assaulted. She complains that she can't control her powers.

Sigh.  Where are Aunts Zelda and Hilda when you need them?

Scene 2: An ethereal Druidic procession around a bonfire under a full moon -- sending the recently deceased Summoner off to the spirit world.  Nimue isn't impressed with the ceremony -- it's, like, totally lame or whatever.  But then the gods choose her as the new Summoner, in spite of the complaints of the villagers: "She's marked by Dark Gods!  She's a witch!"

Um...weren't the Druids all about magic?

Nimue doesn't want the job anyway.  It's, like, lame.

Scene 3: Bronze Age village, daytime.  Mom tells Nimue that the Gods chose her, so she's Summoner whether she likes it or not.  Not!  Nimue packs her stuff and takes the next boat out of town.

Scene 4:  A rocky hillside.  An elderly man in a monk's habit and a little boy are discussing doing God's will and banishing the demons that invest the land.  He presses a leaf to the boy's hand, and it turns green!  A demon!   Others take the screaming boy away to be executed.  We pan out to a whole village in flames as the band of evil red-robed monks ride away.

Whoa, whoa, whoa.  Did I just see a child die?  You can't kill kids on tv! Even Freddie Krueger confined himself to teenagers!

Scene 5: A Moon Wing, a sort of fairy who survived another Christian-led massacre, shows up at Nimue's village. Flashback to her forest burning, and the Crying Monk stomping out to be all evil and snarling (the crying is just war paint).

I didn't sign up for a show about the Holocaust.  And where are Arthur and Merlin?  Or any guy who's not a "burn the witch!" mass-murderer?

Scene 6:  A Medieval inn.  Hook (not Captain Hook) and his buddy approach Merlin to collect the debt he owes.  He doesn't want to pay, and scares them offH with threats and bravado.

Merlin has an ugly face and a bare chest, and is always falling-down-drunk.  

Scene 7: The scary castle where, I mean Uther Pendragon (Sebastian Arnesto, who looks way too young to be Arthur's father) lounges on his throne, saying things like "Silence!" and "You will pay for your insolence!"  He's been sending the Red Paladins out to kill all, Fae.

In the Arthurian mythos, Uther has no objection to magic. They stole that from the tv series Merlin..which is much less depressing.

He summons Merlin and yells at him for not doing his job.  "I hired you to find others of your kind, so I could kill them all. So get with it."

Merlin goes to a tower room, where some twitching, whimpering, dying fairies are arranged in a circle.  They mew like kittens being tortured.

Kids murdered, animals tortured.  I've never seen anything so sickening.  We're less than halfway through the episode, but I can't watch anymore.

My grade: I'm too disgusted to grade it.


  1. Yeah, this reminds me of how everything in Star Trek spinoffs is derived from a one-off gag from the original series or the movies, and then they started doing the same with TNG. Or how Batman "works alone" because of that time he resigned from one team and started his own team to rescue one of his engineers.

    Chains of derivative works. Popular with the same people who call me an "anti" because I'm turned off by incest.

    Also, if they wanted to do a medieval version of the Holocaust, pretty sure anti-Semitism was a big thing in the Middle Ages.

  2. This seems to be the mythical Bronze Age Middle Ages. From the 1/2 hour I saw, it doesn't look like the Romans ever arrived, and the Red Paladins aren't identified as Christians except for the burning crosses.

    1. Hey, I've seen Pleistocene Middle Ages thanks to Frazetta.

  3. "Excalibur" is still the best version of this story


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