Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Cross Your Heart Factor

Katie McGrath as Morgana and Angel Coulby as GwenevereIs it just me or have certain elements in the current series of the BBC’s Merlin been, for want of a better expression, pumped?

Augmented? Inflated? Swelled?

And this isn’t a complaint – really it isn’t – but I can’t help wondering if the makers of Merlin are subconsciously trying to compete with the rather more adult telling of the King Arthur legend that appeared on our tellies earlier this year under the shockingly original title, Camelot.

‘Cos suddenly Gwenevere’s bosom (donated unselfishly by Angel Coulby) – hardly an insignificant landmark at the best of times – has suddenly grown into planet colliding proportions. It o’erspills. Her cups runneth over. She has gone from wanting to merely catch Arthur’s eye to attempting to skewer both of them out with a two-pronged attack. Run into this girl on a cold morning and you’ll end up with broken ribs on both sides.

I daresay Arthur (Bradley James) will consider that a jolly decent way to go but in terms of courtly love, isn’t it he who is meant to be running the good lady through?

I like Merlin. I liked it from the start though I will admit the first two series were a little too fairytale for me. Thing have got blacker and darker though since series 3 and this present series – the fourth – has seen things getting blacker still. Uther was bumped off in the second episode and Arthur is at last king. Morgana (Katie McGrath) has finally been converted to the dark side and has now (alas) spurned her usual neck plunging dresses and taken to concealing her own otherworldly décolletage behind charred sackcloth and a hairdo redolent of Amy Winehouse battling uphill towards an off-license against a force ten gale in Barnsley (going to wizard rehab? I say no, no, no).

I kind of miss Morgana’s finery. Her off-the-shoulder numbers. Her sneery lipped looks over a forkful of venison. Her twirly earrings that caught the candlelight just before she did someone a particularly bad turn. The show’s writer’s need to be careful that they don’t completely lose her va-va-voom amongst her recently acquired hovel paraphernalia and the pickled frogs she keeps in her medicine cabinet. Morgana’s appeal was always that she was a vamp. She was cold hearted and icy but she was nevertheless, undoubtedly, undeniably, a black hearted vamp. And a tease. The kind that lead a man to his doom without ever actually “putting out”.

Now she’s in danger of becoming a tramp. And not in a good way either. There needs to be some curve and some bosom mixed in with that eye of newt and tongue of lizard. After all the lady is a fox not an old bat.

But maybe this is why the show’s producers are building up Gwen’s part(s)? It kind of makes sense to have Gwen as Camelot’s ye olde pin-up girl. She is, after all, the legendary heroine who attracts all the knights of Camelot from far and wide to come and sup from the warm bounteousness of her round table, not Morgana. The balance of feminine power needs to be shifted – and not just in terms of a well fortified cross-your-heart bra.

Let’s just hope Arthur has got what it takes to locate her Holy Grail... keeping both these femme fatales from tearing out each other’s throats is likely to be very thirsty work indeed.

And I'll be more than happy to drink to that.



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23 comments:

Gorilla Bananas said...

Is there any evidence that Celtic men in the dark ages like big-boobed women? I bet they were more into in arse and thighs, like us gorillas. This sounds like hokum for the tit-fiend, which explains why you're watching it.

Martin Lower said...

I'm with Gorilla Bananas on this. Nobody bothered with breasts in the dark ages. Sex wasn't invented until 1963.......

Steve said...

Gorilla Bananas: I’d quite happily put my hands up to this but they are rather full at the moment...

Martin: just as well I'm a 69 baby.

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Oh Gorilla Bananas, you are merciless aren't you.
Hey Steve, Merlin has actually got through to NZ telly, although it is probably only Series 1 showing now. I wouldn't know, cos while 12 year old daughter watches in the lounge I blog in my room.
And what on earth am I doing in the blogosphere when I have a plane to catch - headed for storms, strikes et al. See you :-)

Steve said...

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden: you plainly need someone to wave a magic wand... sadly I got arrested last time I did that with mine and my defense that "it's wizard!" just fell on deaf ears.

libby said...

I haven't seen either of these programmes but I trust you know what you are talking about Steve......and is it true that men are either legs/tits/arse fanciers or is it more true that all 3 are ok?

Bob the birdwatcher said...

Wot? The Cleaver Age is upon us, ye say? Nice'uns!

Rol said...

One day it's cocks, the next day it's tits. Talk about Search Engine Optimisation!

Steve said...

Libby: I'm one of those that likes to go for the whole ensemble.

Bob: plainly you and I are meant to be bosom buddies.

Rol: mostly though - as I'm sure you'll agree - it's just a load of old arse.

Marginalia said...

Dear Steve, I would refer you to my PhD thesis "Plastic Surgery at the Court of King Arthur". In it I discuss the obsession, evidenced in William Morris's lay "The Defence of Guenever", for flat chested heroines in courts of Europe.

Indeed it was only after a Connecticut Yankee arrived at Arthur's Court that breasts got bigger, allowing Jayne Mansfield her biggest role in that little known film classic "Hamalot".

I hope this helps.

Yours, an Arthurian Legend

Steve said...

Marginalia: thank you for that brief history lesson in the breast preferances of the Dark Age Briton. If it is ever made into a BBC documentary I do hope Dr Alice Roberts will be on hand to prove or disprove the theory by the use of emperical and very personal methodologies that will allow me to weigh up the pros and cons of each orb-like theorum for myself.

John Gray said...

I have kept away from BBC series.........especially ones that figure on saturdays...
(once bitten by the shite casualty twice shy!!!!)

About Last Weekend said...

Hard to know how they achieved all this without the aid of Victoria's Secret...pulleys and levers?

Steve said...

John: Casualty is in a league all of it's own and cannot be used as a measuring rod to benchmark other shows, trust me.

About Last Weekend: wattle and daub?

London City Mum said...

Tsk. Really.
Wetsuits all round, I say. And enough of this boob nonsense.

LCM x

Steve said...

LCM: Morgana in a wetsuit? But where would she conceal her wand? Hmm. You know... thinking about it, that would make a hell of a show...!

Nota Bene said...

I think you're living in fantasy land...

Steve said...

Nota Bene: nah. I'm not. My name wasn't on the list.

Suburbia said...

Gosh, I was under the impression it was a children's programme,oops.

Steve said...

Suburbia: it is... but it has adult undertones.

Mark said...

You lost me at first - but I reckon I might watch it now.

Cheers for all the comments and encouragement this month

Steve said...

Mark: you're an exceptional writer; the pleasure was all mine.

Jon said...

Can't say I'm familiar with the series in question, but they look a bit, well, clean those ladies. Any fantasies I might have about Celtic rumpy pumpy are quickly curtailed by a idea of what the smell would be like once the breeches / bodices were unbuttoned.