Magic & Fantasy

I’ve just finished watching the last episode of Merlin, and let me say that I am SO GLAD it’s returning for a second season! It’s been so long since I’ve seen a fun, fantasy TV series—the last time I can think of is Hercules and Xena*—and I’m quite relieved it’s been renewed, since most TV shows I wholeheartedly enjoy from the start tend to be canceled after the first season (Γ  la Firefly, le sigh). Now, the question is: when is Merlin returning? Do we have to wait until next September, or, pray tell, will it come sooner? Does anyone know?

And this brings up something I’ve been wondering for quite a while now: why is there such a lack of good fantasy films? Granted, I don’t really watch TV anymore and haven’t for years, so when I think “wow, this is the only fantasy TV show!” I’m in complete ignorance of what else is out there. But for films, the only comparable movies I can think of—comparable in terms of medieval-esque setting, commonplace nature of magic and mythical beings—are The Last Unicorn, Dragonheart, Merlin, and Willow. Yes, there’s Lord of the Rings, but that’s epic, and there’s Harry Potter, but that’s set in our world. Pan’s Labyrinth might fit. Once again I’m reminded that usually for fantasy I turn to books, and for science-fiction to TV/film.

Am I on to something here, or am I completely missing out on good fantasy films that I just don’t know about? (And if so, do please enlighten me!)

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* Yes, I admit my loser/nerdiness, but they were fun.

8 thoughts on “Magic & Fantasy

  1. Sarah says:

    Speaking of fantasy…I just finished the Attolia books. AHH-MAZE-ING! They are so great πŸ™‚ And, based on her history, we’ll have to wait until 2012 for the next one…

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  2. Chera says:

    I KNOW, AREN’T THEY FANTASTIC?! …to everyone else, yes, Megan Whalen Turner deserves all-CAPS. But, YES! There will be a 4th one, and we’re hoping 2010 at the earliest, but it will probably be more like 2012. But that just means it will also be perfect. I’m so glad you enjoyed them! (Now, when you reread “The Thief,” oh, it’s so hilarious after having read all three.)

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  3. Chris says:

    I must confess that I was a little disappointed in the “Merlin” finale, but (of course!) that doesn’t mean that I’m not anxiously awaiting the start of the next season… :o) Glad you’re enjoying it too!

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  4. Chera says:

    I included “Willow” in my list. “A Knight’s Tale” would fit except that one of my requirements included magic. It’s more like fake-history than fantasy. πŸ™‚ I should have brought “Willow” with me, now I want to see it. Darn.

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  5. Priscilla says:

    What?! Why haven’t I heard of this show?? D= Fun like Xena? Must….find…episodes…! Plus the collective squeeing up there makes me want to check out these Attolia books (even though I tend to pass on on-going series….2012 is a long time, especially if you’ve got a cliff-hanger ;_;). What are they about?

    But yes, I agree that really good fantasy films can be hard to come by. For me it seems that since LOTR came out, there have been movies that’ve tried to borrow some of its elements (like massive ZOMG EPIC CGI battles with zillion and zillions of fighters) to try to create an epic formula, but they don’t really resonate. Um…I guess there’s also Narnia, but I have to admit that the 2nd movie didn’t really grab me the same way the first one did (if they screw up Voyage on the Dawn Treader, I will be *very* displeased =P).

    Sorta random, but I will always fondly remember A Knight’s Tale because a) we saw it on your birthday way back when, and b) it was the first time I saw the full LOTR trailer (which made me *really* wanna see the movie)…ah, memories… πŸ™‚

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  6. Priscilla says:

    I quickly checked Merlin out online – didn’t realize that it was a BBC series (NBC bought the rights so it’ll start airing in North America next year)…

    Hmm, all the news articles say it’s been renewed, but none say when. Anyhoo, looks like I now have something else to look forward to on TV πŸ˜‰

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  7. Chera says:

    Prisca: The Attolia books really *are* that wonderful. She takes about 8-10 years to write each book, but once you read them you can see that the time was well spent! And well worth rereading multiple times. I was going to recommend them to you once I checked where you were on the list I last rec’d to you. πŸ™‚ They don’t end with cliff-hangers and could stand on their own for the most part.

    I forgot about Narnia. I might’ve left it out because, like Harry Potter, it’s based off of a series of books, and unlike “Merlin” there’s a lack of commonplace magic. I guess I should just say that I want a movie about magicians in a medievalesque world, that is cheesy enough to be endearing but still takes itself seriously: i.e. “Willow” or the NBC mini-series “Merlin” (the one that came out when we were in middle school, not to be confused with the current BBC/NBC TV show by the same name. Oy.) But the current Merlin: yes, fun like Xena in all its cheesy inaccurate goodness. Merlin calls Arthur a “prat, and a royal one.” It’s GREAT.

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