Sunday, August 9, 2020

Wizards: Tales of Arcadia - Spellbound

The first episode of Netflix's Wizards: Tales of Arcadia is a bit of a mess. It offers unnamed villains, ill-defined heroes, and because our characters are transported to a different world at the end of the episode it doesn't even adequately explore the world in which the story will take place. The only character we really get to know in "Spellbound" is Douxie (Colin O'Donoghue), an apprentice to Merlin (David Bradley) for a thousand years who has yet to prove himself. After a brief opening scene in Camelot, the series jumps forward 900 years to modern times where Douxie, who apparently has spent most of that time sweeping floors while workshopping his magic, receives an appearance by Merlin who informs the apprentice it is time to gather up the Guardians (of who? what do they guard? apparently they don't know either?).

Picking up a trio of people who seem to not know Douxie backstory but yet know a couple other friends have been fighting evil with Merlin, the group is attacked by the yet-to-be-named villain and his flying skull fortress ending with Douxie and a couple other interchangeable characters, whose names I couldn't remember even after immediately following the episode, ending up time-displaced in Camelot becaues... it was Merlin's plan? The animation of the first episode is fairly good, and I did enjoy the familiar Archie (Alfred Molina), even if I'm unsure if he's supposed to be Merlin's familiar or Archie's familiar. However, the storytelling here feels unnecessarily tied in knots with basic information that could have helped define the series left out and spending the bulk of the opener in a time and place that apparently is of no consequence to the rest of the series.

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