Hello, there! I’m dos Santos, and this is Ulven Reviews, with Movies and series from all over the world and all eras. Today’s review is of 2020 Series Cursed.
Cursed is a fantasy and adventure series created by Tom Wheeler and Frank Miller. It follows the journey of a girl protecting the powerful and legendary sword of the Arthurian legends.
Nimue (played by Katherine Langford) is a young fey from the Sky Folk who is said to be cursed. Even though her mother, Lenore (played by Catherine Walker), is the High Priestess of their village, most of the townsfolk despise Nimue.
Lurking their region, The Red Paladins, lead by Father Carden (played by Peter Mullan), a fanatic sect of the Catholic Church. They invade Fey Villages, burning their houses, and murdering all of the people, sometimes burning them alive in crosses.
In a town near Nimue’s village, there’s a ship that will leave for the north. Nimue goes after it, but it already had left a day earlier. On the way back, she meets a singing bard called Arthur (played by Devon Terrell), who becomes fascinated by her right away.
When Nimue gets back, her village is already being attacked by the Red Paladins. She finds her mother, who gives her a sword and the mission of returning it to a wizard called Merlin (played by Gustaf Skarsgård).
I don’t know much about the Arthurian legends. I liked Merlin when I was very little, but I don’t even remember from what movie I learned about him. Then, in my early teenage years I really liked the 2004 King Arthur, as I might have mentioned in the Jagten review. That’s about it.
Giving my ignorance about the legend, I didn’t care for what has changed from the original. However, if I wasn’t ignorant about it, I probably wouldn’t care either. It’s a reinterpretation of the story, and I’m okay with this type of work.
Considering it’s a retelling of an already fictional story, why should I care for artistic liberties, such as Arthur being Black?! It reminds me of people wining because of the Black Santa Claus at the mall.
The people who most complain about everything all the time is not the so-called-woke folk, but actually the winy anti-PC people. They can’t see a black person, a homosexual, or a woman in a leading role without throwing a tantrum. Cursed has all of it, and the anti-PC are salty.
There are many different legitimate opinions out there, both positive and negative. However, there’s a lot of reviews and ratings that are bizarre, like “Katherine Langford is too fat to be Devon Terrell’s romantic pair”. How is that real criticism?!
That’s why we should avoid making a final judgment of something based on its rating on IMDb or whatever website. There might be an idiot who gave it one star because someone was black or too thick for a woman.
By the way, I’m not agreeing that Katherine Langford is fat. And even if she was, I bet she would be as beautiful and talented as she is right now, and it would not affect her acting at all.
Leaving these things aside, let’s get into the actual series, the positive, the negative, and everything in between.
Beginning with the underwhelming plot. It’s a very typical premisse: The hero has to face evil in a quest to deliver an item to someone or someplace. The Lord of the Rings is the most notorious example of a narrative of this sort.
There’s nothing too extraordinary or remarkable about the story. It’s entertaining, but not enough to stand out among so many outstanding medieval fantasies we got used to in the last years.
Another problem is the lack of consistency in the tone. Sometimes being lighthearted and apparently aimed at teens, and others there’s graphic violence and sex, even though the only nudity it’s one shot of Arthur’s arse.
However, “Cursed” deals with many compelling topics that are still relevant to this day. I would highlight the religious persecution based on prejudice and the destruction of the environment, both perpetrated by the Red Paladins in the series.
Now, the characters, first I got to say, there’s no one I disliked, really. Now, moving on, Nimue, Merlin, and Morgana (played by Shalom Brune-Franklin) are good enough, but not among my favorites.
The Weeping Monk (played by Daniel Sharman) and Father Carden were excellent antagonists. I hated Father Carden, in a good way, because he’s a believable villain. The Weeping Monk as well was a compelling, ambiguous figure.
Others I would like to mention are Gawain (played by Matt Stokoe), an admirable warrior and character in general. Pym (played by Lily Newmark) with an irregular journey, yet a funny role. And Squirrel (played by Billy Jenkins) one of my favorites.
Arthur was my favorite. I didn’t completely fell in love with the character, but he’s the most complete of them all. Sometimes he’s funny, but he’s also heroic, and with relatable human aspirations. Devon Terrell’s performance helped to make this character what it is.
The performances are all respectable. Again, Devon and Billy Jenkins were my favorites. Katherine Langford is good enough, but I would like to see more from her, especially considering she was supposed to be the protagonist.
Now, Gustaf. I read people saying his performance was too similar to his Floki one in Vikings, but I politely disagree. I think his interpretation of Merlin feels more like a sane and dominant type of person.
The set design is one of the best things in the series. As soon as the first episode began, seeing Nimue’s village, I wanted to live there myself. Then there are the dirty, gray towns and the dark castles. And the place they call Nemos was beautiful and very adequate to the fantasy location. I won’t go into more detail to avoid spoilers.
The wardrobe and makeup are also outstanding. The uniforms of the Red Paladins and the Trinity are simple yet very positive, being a twist to the religious robes with more remarkable traits. In the case of the first is the color, while the second, the mask.
The rest of the costumes are also satisfactory and very reasonable within the context of the series. It’s not very gritty, as I would prefer, but it’s not overly polished and clean, also.
The special effects are kind of positive most of the time, but I don’t think it’s 100% of the way. Sometimes it’s too noticeable, and usually, a good effect is when you even forget that what you’re seeing is something made in a computer.
The musical score fits the series most of the time as well. It’s perfect for this magical universe, even though it’s far from my taste in music, proving the point I made in the last review. The only moment in which the song doesn’t fit is during a sex scene. Very weak sex scene, by the way.
Right now, “Cursed” has a 5.6 user rating on IMDb, 5.4 user score on Metascore, and 51% average audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Meanwhile, other series of similar genre and quality are all rated around 7.5, and I don’t think the problem is with “Cursed”.
This first season of Cursed is not a Masterpiece, but it’s very decent, with many more qualities than flaws, especially if we compare it with shows of the same genre. I’m excited to watch what’s to come in the next season. All things considered, I’ll give Cursed, Season 1, 7 Moons.
Thanks a lot. See you in the next.