In the new Netflix series, Cursed, created by Thomas Wheeler, (Puss in Boots, Frank Miller of Sin City and 300) Katherine Langford (13 Reasons Why, Knives Out) plays Nimue, an adolescent Fey, one of the magical Sky People. But because her powers are so great she is considered cursed and is shunned by the people of her own village. She and her best friend Pym, played by Lily Newmark (Solo: A Star Wars Story, Pin Cushion), then make an unsuccessful attempt to leave home on a sailing ship where they encounter the handsome young Arthur, played by Devon Terrell (Barry, The Professor). But it is not long before the friends are separated, and their lives cast into chaos when the Red Paladins attack.
Nimue is given a magical sword by her dying mother and asked to take it to Merlin, played by Gustaf Skarsgard (Vikings, Westworld). Her task is complicated by the machinations of Uther Pendragon, the Red Paladins and an assortment of demons and enchanted creatures. By this point, any audience members who did not previously recognize Nimue’s name now understand that they have entered a retelling of the story of King Arthur, the wizard Merlin and the enchanted sword, Excalibur.
The fans of Thomas Malory’s beloved version of Camelot and all its residents may not immediately recognize the characters of Cursed, however. In this tale, the young Nimue becomes a leader of the Fey, who are being hunted to extinction. There is some predictability in this story of a young girl leading a downtrodden people seeking freedom, which has nothing to do with its relationship to the original stories surrounding the Knights of the Round Table. Unfortunately, this is not the only problematic aspect of this series. While there are exceptional actors, the performances themselves are not consistently up to par.
Hopefully this retelling of a classic tale has enough staying power to see it into a second season because despite some lapses in plot and lackluster acting, Cursed remains fast-moving and fun to watch. There is still so much that can be done with this story of the Lady of the Lake, a story of magic and kings, the future of man and Fey, the seduction of power and the power of love.
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