After Netflix released its prequel to “The Witcher,” it immediately shot up to the trending page because of its association with the main show. However, unlike the main show, there aren’t really any good parts to “Blood Origin.”
It immediately opens with Jaskier the bard from the main show meeting a mysterious woman who tells him a story that happened a thousand years ago. While it was nice to receive some good acting, notably from Joey Batey who plays Jaskier and Michelle Yeoh who plays another character called Scian later on, it’s ultimately overshadowed by bad costume design, CGI, and even worse writing.
Any stakes the show might’ve had is immediately ruined by an exposition dump telling us that seven unlikely heroes will team up to take down an evil empire. Jaskier scoffs at the description, saying the premise has been done to death, and he’s right! “Lord of the Rings” and most “Dungeons and Dragons” campaigns have already done it. It makes for an extremely boring set-up. The first episode casting doubt on whether these unlikely companions can work together is completely pointless based on the information we already have.
Any sort of subtlety the show could’ve had in its plot is ruined by it telling us exactly what’s going on, without leaving room for interpretation or viewers using their own brains. A notable example of this is the dynamic Princess Merwyn has with another character, which gets revealed at the end of the episode.
Everything throughout episode one feels extremely rushed. There’s no time to breathe in between new information given to the viewer and another action scene. It also makes for extremely clunky editing, like when we cut away from a political b-plot happening inside of a castle, to one minute of the heroes in the middle of a storm at sea, to immediately switching back to the b-plot. With only four episodes to the entire show, it makes one wonder if there should’ve been more.
The costumes look like Halloween costumes, not like something a person would actually wear. The CGI will make one miss the latest fantasy shows to hit streaming services, HBO’s “House of the Dragon,” and Amazon’s “Rings of Power.” Unlike “House of the Dragon,” if you’ve made it as far as episode one in “Blood Origin,” it’s best to stop there.
The whole show also does not bode well for the quality the main “Witcher” series will have after season three, when Henry Cavill is leaving. What did you think of “Blood Origin?” Reach out to me and let me know!
By Inti Navia, Senior, ChiArts