posted on Jan, 3 2020 @ 04:23 PM
I hated it. It seems more concerned with being emotionally manipulative and drama focused than being a fantasy adventure or telling a story.
Character archs don't make any sense, and it has some rather concerning implications regarding who the characters are supposed to resonate with. I
want to take a look at the most egregious example, that being Yennifer.
She starts off living as a hunchback on a peasant farmstead, dehumanised and abused. This is a change from the books where it is only said in passing
that she "may" have been a hunchback and an noble daughter who was given to the sorceress academy in much the same way the real life excess daughters
were sometimes cloistered in nunneries. But the show runners are less concerned with world building than they are with drama, so they doubled down on
Yen is getting physically abused by a couple of bumpkins when she triggers her magical ability for the first time, transporting her to a cave with a
nice guy mage. The mage becomes instantly smitten with the pig# covered hunchback her for some reason? He tells her "she's a wizard, Harry" then
warns her that the mistress of the academy will come for her. The mage seems to not want this to happen and attempts to disguise the incident. I'm
not sure why since he is a believer in the academy and it's mission for the rest of the story. His loyalty to the academy is actually a plot point
later on, so this is out of character and only exists to add suspense.
Yen goes back to her farmstead and the Mistress turns up to claim her. I'm not sure how much time has passed, but it seems like it's the next day.
The show is very bad at depicting the passage of time, so it could be weeks or months. The Mistress buys Yen from her father, takes her to the
academy and locks her in her room like a prisoner. Overcome with self loathing, Yen tries to kill herself by smashing her own refection and slitting
her wrists with the shards of the mirror.
Yen wakes up alive and bandaged and is told what an idiot she is for trying to take her own life. She is then taken to her first magical lesson. She
shows no aptitude for magic and storms out in shame and frustration.
Some time later and Yen is back in magical class. Again she shows no aptitude for magic and is scolded for being useless and for lying, while being
told that she has no self esteem.
Magic lesson number three: the students are trying to catch lightning in a bottle. Yen fails... again. But throws a tantrum and almost causes and
accident. Yen is proud and righteous, but she gets scolded once more for losing control.
Yen goes and finds the nice guy mage and after a bit of exposition dialog, they declare their love for each other and start a relationship. This is
the third scene they have shared with each other thus far, the second one only being telling each other their names and nothing more.
Yen confronts the mistress and demands she be allowed to graduate (She's only been there for about a week it seems?) The Mistress tells her to wait
for a knock on her door, but the knock doesn't come. She sneaks after the supposed graduates and watches as the Mistress turns her rival students
into eels. The Mistress then calls out to Yen who she knows is watching. She tells Yen that she is not only better then her classmates, but the best
ever. Cue triumphant music. I'm really glad we were told that information because they didn't show a single thing to support that revelation.
From this point on Yen's character does a complete 180 and they stop portraying her as a victim and instead as a Machiavellian powerhouse of
independence. Yen is preparing for her graduation and work placement. She has her heart set on a certain placement but the patriarchy turn her down
because she has Elven linage. The decision makes sense because the place she wants to go has a history of conflict with elves, but Yen sees this as
discrimination and throws a tantrum, refusing to undergo graduation out of spite. Nice guy mage is the one who let slip that Yen had elven blood to
his superior. She's mad at him for betraying her trust, but ultimately dumps him for being a beta with no backbone.
Despite turning down the graduation ceremony, Yen decides that no one is going to stop her from graduating! She goes to preform the ritual on her own
volition. She refuses anaesthetics because "SHE can handle it" and we get a long drawn out birthing analogy with lots of screaming and suffering for
the sake of drama.
Back at the prom party, everyone is getting introduced to their new assignments. Yen bursts in, all heads turn and she gets her Cinderella moment.
Despite the whole point of the ritual begin to glamour the sorceresses to be ideal visions of beauty, she is most ideal of ideals. She steals prince
charming from the sorceress who was going to get the position she wanted. Everyone declares her prom queen and she gets her own way.
Flash forward years(?) and Yen in disillusioned with her assignment. She is travelling with a noble women and her baby who she seems disgusted and
annoyed by. The noble women is envious of Yen, but Yen says that her life sucks and that having beauty, power, position and respect is all a load of
crap because she is still a repressed waman. They are then attacked by an assassin who is trying to kill the women and child. Yen manages to kill
the assassin but not before the women and child are killed too. Yen buries the child and comes to the realisation that is what she is missing. In
order to have her career, she had to give up her womb. She then become resentful towards the patriarchy for making her give up her chance to have a
child, totally forgetting how dramatically she made a point of making that choice for herself an episode ago. Apparently she wants her cake and to
eat it and no one is going to stop her.
And for the rest of the episodes it is basically just Yen moaning about wanting a child, thinking that Geralt, manliest man alive, might not be good
enough for her, and resenting the people and institution that gave her everything for giving her everything.
What an inspiring female role model. And I dare your to try and draw a coherent line through that plot arch.
That's the worst case, but the rest of the show is not much better. Even Geralt is a very derogative character. A moral authority with the strength
enough to enforce his beliefs, who is enough of an outsider to take an unbiased stance? The warrior with two swords, who they call the white wolf? I
remember that character when he was called Elric, Dritz, Jon Snow and a hundred others.
The books aren't masterpieces, just pulpy novels, and the show is just a cash grab with bad writers and an political agenda. But Poland wants it's
cultural export, the TV executives want there Game of Thrones money, and Sepowski wants an extra initial added to his pen name. And everyone
everywhere is going to play along and hype this mediocrity out of control.
Did you know that the show has been funded to run for 10 years? Hows that for confidence in marketing?