THE WITCHER: BLOOD ORIGIN -- A Series So Bad It's Hard To Figure Out How It Got Made in the First Place
Review by Dan Skip Allen
The Witcher is a popular show on Netflix, but before that, it was a series of books and a video game. With the success of this IP on all levels, it makes sense that Netflix would double down on its success with a second show in this world: The Witcher Blood Origin.
Dandelion (Joey Batey), the bard from The Witcher, meets a witch named Seanchai (Minnie Driver) who decides to tell him a story from thousands of years before about the world of elves. It's about a group of elven outliers who must go on a journey to stop a threat bigger than they could imagine. Even though there is a connection to The Witcher, this is a small, contained story.
This show is like many other fantasy shows that have come out recently: a group of strangers or outcasts team up to thwart some evil threat bigger than they can see.
I was a fan of The Witcher and Henry Cavill in the role of Gellert, but it seems this show lost the charm and humor that series had. It just doesn't have an enjoyable feel to it. It seems a lot campier in its approach but not as realistic in its storytelling. This series seems like a cheap rip-off of The Witcher or other much better fantasy films and shows. More isn't necessarily better. In this case, it's worse.
Many of the actors in the series are relatively new to me, except one: Michelle Yeoh. She plays a member of a secret sect of elves, and her group is in danger, so she joins the collective to thwart those responsible for her group's demise. She is fine in the role, but quite a few of their other actors seem a bit over the top or downright bad in their roles. The producers didn't necessarily get the best of the best for this series, even though Yeoh could potentially win an Oscar next year for her work in Everything Everywhere All at Once. That could build the profile of this show.
The visuals were fine, but the costumes and hairstyling looked like a makeup team from a local crafts fair or high school production did the work. The series looks like a low-rent Lord of the Rings or similar. Everything in the production looks very cheap. I'm surprised Netflix greenlit this show at all, apart from trying to capitalize on the popularity of The Witcher.
The Witcher: Blood Origin is a series that doesn't need to exist. This show is so bad it's hard to realize how it got made or greenlit, for that matter. The acting isn't great from the cast. They seem like a bunch of day players in a local town production of some fantasy play they are showing at the local theater to the townspeople. It is just not on the level of The Witcher in any way at all. That being said, it will get a lot of viewership from that audience, whether it gets good or bad reviews.
The Witcher: Blood Origin streams on Netflix beginning December 25. All four episodes reviewed.