It's pretty common that critics and fans don't have the same opinion, and reviews for Netflix's new fantasy series The Witcher is no exception. The series has been called the one that would fill the void that Game of Thrones left behind. While critics say the show doesn't live up to the hype, fans say it's not Game of Thrones. It's better.
The critics' reviews are in. Netflix's The Witcher is a Game of Thrones wannabe.
Critics have been left generally unimpressed by Netflix's adaptation of the bestselling book series by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski.
CNN's Brian Lowry goes so far as to say that, not only does it not live up to the hype of being better than Game of Thrones, it struggled under the weight of not being able to recreate "that brand of magic."
He claimed that Henry Cavill could not give "a pulse to this dreary medieval fantasy series" and that he was "burdened by a general stiffness."
The BBC's Stephen Kelly was mostly in agreement, although he somewhat gave Henry a pass for his "stiffness." Stephen pointed out that, in the books, Geralt, the Witcher, is "a dying breed of monster slayer who, through a series of mutations, has attained superhuman strength and agility – although at the apparent cost of emotions." When Henry appears on screen, he has to play it rather emotionless, which comes across as "blank and monotonous."
One of the big praises of The Witcher has been the fight scenes, which are described as being more elaborate and bloodier than Game of Thrones. According to Stephen, that's not really a good thing.
"Game of Thrones worked because it spent its first season introducing you to Westeros through small, simple character-led stories before widening its scope. Nothing builds in The Witcher," he said. "The first couple of episodes are a manic bombardment of fantasy lingo, locations and spectacle that are simply meaningless without context."
Viewers of the series couldn't disagree with the critics more.
Twitter users have been weighing in on the show as well, but, overwhelmingly, they only have positive things to say.
While critics may believe that the fight scenes add too much spectacle and not enough substance, fans believe that the fight scene in the first episode is a great place to start out and is rather impressively done.
Fans mainly also disagree with the depiction of Henry being a lackluster Geralt. Most are praising the casting choice, although some people are poking fun at the way that he's stylized for the show.
Although there's been much praise for Henry as Geralt, others are pointing out that the female characters deserve a lot of love too. There was a lot of discussion surrounding the casting of Anya Chalotra and Freya Allan as Yennifer and Ciri.
Fans of The Witcher games pointed out that Yennifer is depicted in them as a fair-skinned, red-haired woman. It should be noted that showrunner Lauren Hissrich has said that she's adapting the books, not the games and she's not using the games as material. The casting of Freya Allan also caused controversy as some fans thought she was too young. Others believed she's too old. Seeing the celebration of these characters now definitely represents a change in opinion.
The Witcher is streaming now on Netflix.