I hate this cartoon. I hated it when it originally aired and I was a kid. It was just terribly lame. But tonight, while bored, my brother and I discovered that this was on Netflix and watched the two-part pilot. It was even worse than I remembered it. I could go on about the characters all shooting missiles at each other, dragons popping out of shields, and outright saying that football players are better than knights, and the outright racism. If I ever do a full review, and I have something different planned for this one, I'll get into all of these things. But for now, I want to talk about what struck me the most.
Okay, the premise is that Morgana le Fay imprisoned the real King Arthur and his knights somewhere, and she and her army of warlords are rampaging across the kingdom, laying siege to Camelot, and they kidnap Guinevere. So Merlin reaches into the future and abducts a team of football players and they become the new King Arthur and knights of the Round Table. Their first mission is to rescue Guinevere from Morgana's dungeons. Okay, so this football player, a guy from Connecticut (cute, very cute) with a crew cut named Arthur King (lame!) is supposedly the spitting image of King Arthur, and the rest of them all look like the knights. Even though they have two black guys and one Asian guy.
So, Merlin shows them a magical image of Guinevere to inspire them, and he shows it like he's an Amsterdam pimp modeling his prostitutes. I thought I was seeing things, but as the show progressed it got creepier and creepier. So they rescue Guinevere, and she thinks the guy is her husband and writes off his changed behavior as the result of his war experiences.... he's partying like a 20th century jock!
Merlin then trots out what he calls "cheerleaders" for the other knights, one for each. Again, like a pimp! And it becomes very clear that this fake Arthur is going to go have sex with Guinevere, even though he's not her husband, he knows he's not her husband, and he knows she has no clue. Her actual husband is imprisoned somewhere.
Ahem, rape by deception is still rape. Now, I can sort of buy this from Merlin, he did help Uther Pendragon rape Duke Gorlois of Cornwall's wife, Igraine, in order to sire Arthur in the first place. But, here's the thing, Uther is not the hero of the story. This show is telling kids to look up to an athlete who rapes a woman. Seriously, that's what this show is doing!
This raises another question. One of these knights, named Lance, looks like Sir Lancelot too, and for all intents and purposes is Sir Lancelot. Is he boning Guinevere too? He certainly leered at her in these two episodes enough... but then, all the "knights" did. So Guinevere is married to King Arthur, cheating on him with Lancelot, being raped by Arthur King, and cheating on Arthur King while she is being raped by Lance.
You know. For kids!