That said, Merlin and Arthur do demonstrate all the qualities of courtly love, what with all their deeds and sacrifices, and not for the benefit of fair maidens, I might note, but for the sake of each other. How sweet. Or not.
I've been reading about courtly love. It's more fucked up than Dexter. Seriously.
Ulrich describes a tournament in which he was struck in such a way that his finger was cut and 'hung by a single cord'. He sends to the lady he loves word of the injury he sustained while fighting to honour her. Though unmoved by this sacrifice, she is nevertheless offended when she learns that he has not actually lost his finger, which doctors were able to reattach. Ulrich is so disturbed at having vexed his lady that he has a friend cut off the offending finger, which he sends to her. she does not reject the offering but assures him that she will continue to scorn his affection. Ulrich is pleased, however, that she will keep the finger and therefore be reminded of how well he serves her. Lupack, Alan, 2007, Oxford Guide to Arthurian Literature and Legend, Oxford University Press.
That is so fucked up. So totally fucked up. And yet you can see Merlin and Arthur engaging in the same sort of behaviour, swilling poison for each other, for starters. Merlin: More fucked up than Dexter? Discuss. (I can so work with that - evil grin).
Well, Dexter might be a sociopath, but that sort of extreme erotomania as described above, complete with self mutilation, is also a massive pathological disfunction. Oh goody. How marvellous. Emo boys for all.
Btw, the name Ulrich von Liechtenstein, he of the self harming habit, seemed oddly familiar for a few seconds until it registered. Oh yeah... yet another lead back to one of my very favourite films (Oh Heath! Weep!).
Actually, A Knight's Tale works the way Merlin works, and Robin Hood just doesn't (if I'm honest with myself), try as it might: it had a very likeable, often adorkable cast. To bring it back to Dexter, isn't it funny for a serial killer, just because he's played well, can be far more fun to be with than, say, anyone from Torchwood (Ianto aside, who has those subliminal tendencies anyway, or why would Adam have gone for that, eh?). Merlin is very lucky with its cast. They're sweet and fun to watch. Now, can I go cry in the ladies over poor Heath again? Ta.
Also thinking the courtly love model of ridiculous, imperiling deeds for unmoved women could also cover James Bond, the way he offers up bloody deeds and slain enemies for a steeley eyed M...but let's not go there just now.
Meanwhile, another friend is writing on how cocky young Merlin is for a wee country boy, and how he barely controls the urge to cut loose, especially when it comes to squishing Arthur upon first and second meeting (ie crushing him like a bug underfoot. Merlin: the fine line walked between using his powers for niceness or evil. Discuss).
Merlin is a cocky bastard, surprisingly so perhaps for one who supposedly has had to hide his true nature his whole life. There's precious little of the cringing sense of otherness and hiding of self that you might expect. Are magicians equally persecuted in the sticks? You'd think so, but apparently it's all news to Merlin when he gets to Camelot, magician hating capital of ye olde England. Still, the cockiness is charming. Emo!Merlin might have been a touch less loveable, and besides, woe is me Peter Parker has been like done to death but the comparisons are quite obvious: geeky boy as secret hero of incredible power. Hmmm, I wonder if we'll get up to 'with great power' speech, or the infamous Merlin zaps an innocent bystander oh angst, oh rending of (possibly blue) shirt, etc, episode?
Mind you, the only lectures Gaius (in Uncle Ben mode) seems to dish out at the moment are in a rather catholic "stop it or you'll go blind" abstinence is the best policy mode. Cue Pet Shop Boys:
As for Merlin's desire and need to cut loose, I think Merlin sublimates his "I squish you" urges from Arthur, initially, to others, especially as he seems to fall for the manly charms of his lord and master at, well, the drop of a hat. Yeah, I definitely think the 'you've no idea what I could do' vibe gets turned outwards. I suppose the lad needs his outlets. (But man, he gets all Judge Judy and executioner in later eps – nobody messes with his Arthur).
TV? True Blood, at last with the lovely Alexander, alas obscured by that "fucking wig", but nevertheless, all good fun. I loved Bill getting all vamp on the poor county officer, and I loved Sookie's claim that "vampires should't go 'uh oh'". Sookie sure has a rigid code of what vampires can and can't do, and it always berating Bill for failing to live up to expectations or freaking her out by exceeding them. The poor man. For a vampire, he has the patience of a saint.
And thanks to the friend who sent this picture.
That is such an un-vampirely picture. Ye gods. As if Bill's 'I only buy from the King Gee catalogue' wardrobe wasn't enough to overlook, now I'm never gonna scrub the retina burning yellow socks from my mind. It should be some sort of rule that vampires should never be seen in public in yellow socks. And surely should they make him sit in the shade, like poor Colin got scolded into doing in one of the Merlin extras (cue Bradley gloating).
But yeah, a mysterious old vampire running a vampire bar? Berating their vampire chum for trying to live like a human? It all seems oddly familiar somehow. No, don't tell me, I'm sure it come to me - grin.
Then there was Torchwood, ripping off Buffy yet again, this time doing their spin on Jonathan, called Adam (well, at least they changed the name, I suppose). It was kind of a cute set up, especially the messing with the personalties of the team for kicks bit, though it seemed all rather pintless and tasteless considering later episodes and once again I just feel so sorry for Rhys. That Gwen is awful. And Jack's flashbacks? Once again a fine example of why you should never explain everything, because the mystery was much better, the explanations of why Jack actually wiped his memories before is finally revealed as banal. Oh dear. And the Tatooine ripoff costumes were kinda sad. The only thing the episode really had going for it, was Serial Kill Ianto. One wonders, was that something Adam drew out of Ianto (much as he did with Owen's issues, etc) or, on the other hand, are those memories and desires he implanted still there? How effective is the retcon mini pill, especially given Torchwood track record?
Btw, if even little old ladies know about Torchwood, are they missing something about the whole secret organisation thing? I mean, that's one of the things that disappointed me when I saw UNCLE Series four (when it was repeated back in the mid 80s), the way they drove around in an UNCLE car. And here I was thinking no show would be so silly these days...
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Man of the Month: FEBRUARY 2009 (Morgan)