The Witcher mixes fun and gloom in its shaky third season TV/Streaming

Happily, “The Witcher” remains watchable (witcherable?) as he turns his camera back to our happy wizarding family; The show works best when it’s more “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” than “Game of Thrones.” The dialogue is delightfully extreme, most of the humor still lingers (don’t worry, dear reader, comic relief bard Jaskier (Joey Bate) is back and sprightlier than ever), and the half-season finale ends with a fancy-dress Gala-Shades happens to be Netflix’s sibling “Bridgerton” – which ultimately puts Geralt in a situation he can’t hack and find a way out of.

And the monster fights. Oh, monster fights. Each episode cools down at least once so that Cavill and Allen go around swinging swords and casting spells, and these remain the most exciting moments of the show. The monster designs are suitably creepy, from roly-poly jackasses to a mysterious cave creature that absorbs the flesh of three victims and carves it into a giant anthropomorphic-rat king-like puppet whose horrified victims head in agony. Scream and beg for mercy. ,

It’s in the dirt-covered pulp action that the heart of the show still beats; If I remember one thing from Season One, it’s that the fragmented narrative sold the invulnerability of the plot so hard that you didn’t feel bad that you had no idea what state you were actually in. Your eyes glazed over until Cavill uncovered it. Raised the sword and threw himself at another elderly animal. Now, you get some of that, but sorting out the dull plot around it feels like homework.

“The Witcher” is like a relic of the heady days of streaming, the last gasp of a time when iconic big-budget streaming series really took off and had a chance to find their identity. Perhaps we should thank our lucky stars that the show is already running out of excitement – and before Liam Hemsworth takes over the role of Cavill in season four.

But in the meantime, there’s still plenty of that high-camp energy to get over — Cavill’s arched eyebrows and quiet grimace, his chemistry with scene-stealing Chalotra, Batty’s flaky comic relief, and the big-budget creature brawl that The reason remains that you keep pressing “Next Episode”.

All five episodes of Season Three Volume One were screened for review. Volume two will arrive on Netflix July 27.

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