So, I have watched all four televised series of the BBC Merlin and often I wondered "WHY DO I KEEP WATCHING THIS?"
The rinse and repeat formulas, the stock episodes, the fact that I could figure out everything as it was happening, the cheesy lines, the bad dragon CGI, the Guinevere/ Arthur fiasco, Morgana turning into a boringly predictable baddie..... but I just COULD NOT QUIT IT ....
And I know why....
Because Colin Morgan's Merlin is the most likeable hero I have seen in an age. He is self-depricating, humble, gold-hearted, sweet, loyal, willing to give up everything for an idea, willing to hide his own talents and gifts to ensure his friend Prince (then King) Arthur has faith in himself, knows that he is sacrificing everything for a future he may not even see....
Merlin gives you faith in the goodness of people to be absolutely, wholesomely, sterling silver to the core. Merlin has numerous chances to leave his life as a servant to find riches or fame or notoriety or further adventure; yet, instead, he is so kind-hearted and lovely he remains Gaius' ward and assistant while putting up with Arthur's prat-ish ways and saving the world TIME AND TIME again without credit. Ever. WHATSOEVER.
How difficult his life must be ---to know that you are saving the world and not to have anyone acknowledge it....yet good-natured, sweet-smiled Merlin persists because he knows what he is doing is right.
A hero on television with a stalwart conscience.... how pleasant. Merlin never wants a reward. At one point, and I paraphrase, Sir Gwain mentions that the reason he loves Merlin is that Merlin does wonderful things without ever knowing, or getting credit for them. He just does it. Because he's whole-heartedly, "awww shucks" good.
Slight things make him happy, the whimsical banter with Arthur keeps him propelled forward and the dream of an idea keeps him chugging. He never takes advantage of his position, he would die willingly for his friends and he always does what is right.
With great power ( which Merlin has in spades) comes great responsibility. It is impressive on a kid so young with such a weight on his shoulders that he doesn't abuse it. While he keeps hidden the most integral part of himself: loaning himself to ridicule and humiliation, he is, in all other areas, a terrible liar. He only loses his temper once, he never complains, he is faithful and sunny and loving.
So just watch it for him. You'll be taken in, I guarantee you, and you'll keep watching it for his insane ultimate goodness.
So, Colin Morgan, I'm on the side of your Merlin, buddy. I think you are just the gee-whillicker, aww shucks, adorkable hero this world of stupidity and darkness and judgment, hate and manipulation needs.
Long live you.
[the cutest scene you'll see today]