Netflix’s Cursed is a retelling of the Arthurian legends that is firmly rooted in the fantasy genre and brings a fresh female perspective to a normally male-dominated group of legends. However, those that are looking for a replacement for The Witcher or Game of Thrones may not be entirely satisfied.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Cursed tells the myth of King Arthur from the perspective of the female protagonist, Nimue. She is played by Katherine Langford of 13 Reasons Why fame. The Fey character is gifted a magical sword and will, ultimately, become the Lady of the Lake.
Her character is strong and determined, but also hesitant when it comes to being the leader that everyone expects. And, it is when she is finally leading that Nimue truly shines. Langford does well to bring to life the strength required of this character. However, she also lacks when it comes to allowing the audience to see her vulnerable side.
The story revolves firmly around Nimue’s defiance of the Red Paladins and the Christian religion. After her kind are attacked and family secrets uncovered, Nimue finally realizes her destiny and sets out to bring about justice and peace between Fae and humans alike. Along the way, she meets Arthur (Devon Terrell), who plays a significantly smaller role, supporting Nimue rather than claiming power. He is neither a king nor white, and it adds an interesting element to the story. It also allows for many comical moments that lighten the tone of Cursed and allows the fundamental aim for a female-centric story to be highlighted.
Fans of the Merlin TV series will likely love the latest adaptation of the Arthurian story. It is seated deeply in a genre that fans of this series will enjoy. However, if you are expecting a gritty, dirty, violent show to fill the void left by The Witcher and Game of Thrones, you might want to reassess your opinion of Cursed. As reported by The Daily Telegraph, the general expectation is that Cursed will fill this niche. However, it appears to be more geared toward an audience who prefers a lighter version of the fantasy genre. Everything from the sets to the costuming to the lack of layered storylines gives this series a teen vibe that serious fantasy fans may object to.
The supporting cast contains a large number of familiar faces. Daniel Sharman brings the Weeping Monk to life. Fans of Fear the Walking Dead will remember him as Troy Otto. While first perceived as an inherently bad guy, Sharman brings layers to this character that evolve over time.
Peter Mullan, who recently portrayed James Delos in HBO’s Westworld, also adds another role that viewers will love to hate. As Father Carden, the leader of the Paladins, he is pitted against the Fey time and again.
Considering that this series aims to focus on the female characters, the highlight of the series is actually Gustaf Skarsgard’s portrayal of Merlin. For those who loved watching him as Floki in History Channel’s Vikings, Cursed will see Skarsgard shine in yet another quirky role.
Merlin is an alcoholic and ruled over by King Uther Pendragon (Sebastian Armesto), who is a cookie-cutter version of a sniveling king. Skarsgard rules absolutely every single scene he is in, even before his story takes over. His take is entirely different from the one portrayed by Colin Morgan in Merlin. Instead, Skarsgard’s interpretation sees a much older, jaded, and entirely unreliable person that may or may not be the very thing the Fey need in their war against the Paladin.
Overall, Cursed is a great way to fill a weekend for those who need a fantasy fix right now. However, it falls short when it comes to fulfilling everything promised in what was a pretty spectacular trailer.