Of course, I don’t have a TV, so it has to be on some sort of platform (is that the right word?) that I can get on a computer or a tablet (and without paying for Disney+, which I’m still resisting — they have too much content).
Last fall, for example, my TV schedule was too busy for my taste because Stargirl and Legends of Tomorrow and Wheel of Time were all cooking at once, but then Stargirl and WoT ended their seasons, and Legends took a mid-season break, so I decided to try The Witcher, mostly because some of my favorite reactors are following it (and it’s on Netflix, which I’m already paying for).
It’s a fantasy series, a bit like Wheel of Time, but more subtle in terms of “good” and “evil.” Everybody is much more ambiguous (though not to the level of Game of Thrones). Geralt, the main character, is a “witcher,” who kills monsters to protect people, but the monsters are complex, too.
As one character (a monster) says:
Monsters are more than just horrid looks and claws and teeth. Monsters are born of deeds done. Unforgivable ones.
I think my favorite thing in the show is that Geralt is now traveling with Ciri, a teenage princess who he’s sworn to protect, and it’s (gradually) becoming an interesting father-daughter relationship. It’s such a Disney cliche (with superheroes and Star Wars and so on) that heroes are orphans, or have big-time father issues, or at least one dead parent, or something like that.
Parents are not only compelling in absentia. Parents can be very interesting even if they’re actually around, which reminds me of a line from Moonrise Kingdom:
Suzy: I always wished I was an orphan. Most of my favorite characters are. I think your lives are more special.
Sam [an orphan]: I love you, but you don’t know what you’re talking about.
Geralt and Ciri have a complex relationship, and it develops over time. Is the most important thing for him to protect her, or for her to learn to protect herself (in a very dangerous world)? If he does teach her to fight, who and what do you fight, and when, and why (as opposed to just worrying about the “how”)?
The story has season-long elements, but it’s also rather monster-of-the-week, which I’m fine with. Not everything needs to be, or should be, Game of Thrones (where there was a murder mystery introduced in the very first episode which wasn’t resolved until the seventh season when nobody was really thinking about it anymore). A series of individual stories which also link together as a longer unit — that’s my favorite (it should be — that’s what I do).
The negative aspect of it being on Netflix, of course, is that the entire season is made available all at once (serial stories should always make you wait), but so far I’ve been pacing out my watching of the episodes, so that’s almost as good.