The Killing, The Borgias, Camelot

The Killing - 102 - El Diablo

I'm still intrigued but this was slow. The tragedy is still sinking in of course and it was sad to see Mitch Larsen seeing what drowning might feel like.

So far it's difficult to make out what is special about this case and therefore the show. Obviously the two teenage boys aren't responsible as we are so early into proceedings. I am also wary of the line about the death of Richmond's wife being somehow suspicious. That sounds like too familiar a murder mystery plot.

Sarah's husband-to-be doesn't come across as very understanding at this stage.

Camelot 102 and 103

I did like seeing the sword in the stone and the practical ways Arthur went about removing it. But beyond that these episodes convinced me to stop watching.

The show feels fairly childish or soap opera-like. Merlin, Morgan and Arthur are whispering threats at one another in a way that sounds dramatic but feels inconsequential. The Guinevere-Arthur love story feels straight out of a soap with lust being dressed up as love. Guinevere wondering if Leontes is "the one" was a maddening use of a 20th century concept for a woman who would never have viewed marriage in those terms.

It's hard to generate real emotions from a historic setting and Camelot doesn't look capable of it for me. If you like fantasy soap opera then it's just fine. But with Game of Thrones approaching I'm going to jump off here.

The Borgias - 103 - The Moor

This was a distinct improvement in terms of entertainment but I'm not sure it actually changed the show much.

It was hard not to enjoy the performance of Prince Alfonso of Naples as he sneered his way through his chat with Della Rovere and showed him a last supper of dead enemies. Clearly the end of the Middle Ages is going to provide wonderful opportunities for dramatic theatre. The introduction of Jews and Muslims into the Papal States will certainly allow for a wide array of casting possibilities.

However the show still feels weak to me. I still have no reason to care about this grasping family. The producers have also shown that they have little patience for the kind of storytelling that actually draws you in.

Within one episode the Turkish Prince Djem was introduced and killed off. In that time he managed to win over all the younger Borgias and claim he wanted to convert to Christianity. This hasty bonding was meant to make his death seem tragic and show us what horrible things the family are going to have to do to survive. But by rushing through all of that in one episode the emotions were all lost. Imagine if Djem had been a fixture in the show for five episodes before this happened. How sad would his story have been then?

Similarly everyone's favourite assassin Michelotto heads to Naples to try and off Della Rovere in an entertaining scene in the baths. Yes it was entertaining but it actually hurt the show. There is no way he should have been able to gain access and certainly not an exit from a Royal Palace as easily as he did. Again the show wants to provide sensation now rather than delay that gratification and build up the tension.

I will probably stop writing about The Borgias for now but I will keep an eye on it.

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