Fan Service: A ‘Merlin’ case study

12:30 pm EDT, July 18, 2014

The term fan service has pretty much become synonymous with shirtless-scene/half-dressed/low necklines. But really, isn’t fan service all about giving fans what they want?

Okay, so most fans are happy with any of the above three methods! But every now and then show runners should mix it up a little. That way, it’s kept exciting for the fans, and the critics won’t pass the series over as just-another-show-for-the-fan girls/boys. It’s a win-win situation.

Let’s take the BBC series Merlin – which definitely was adept at utilising the traditional methods of fan service – as an example and see what other things the series could have utilised to service fans.

Ten other things that could have happened/increased on Merlin as fan service:

1. More ‘less is more’:

Yes, we’re talking those changing-behind-the-screen scenes (the legitimate ones where the camera didn’t take the audience on the other side of the screen), the shirts open down the front (again, the legitimate ones. Like Arthur and Lancelot while they’re running about dueling with broomsticks. Yeah your shirt fastening can totally come undone in that) and Merlin with his sleeves rolled up.

2. More Arthur and Gwen conversations:

When the Arthur/Gwen relationship was established in season 2 it was fantastic how it was the anti-fairy-tale love story…where some prince doesn’t fall in love at first sight. Or some damsel doesn’t get rescued by a prince and falls for him in the process. All of that culminated into the Epic Kiss. Which was nice and wonderful but where to go from there? More hearty conversations between the characters is the way to go! Also with regards to Gwen, often her awesome moments were underpinned by her low-cut dresses, contradicting her otherwise sensible-girl character…which means in this case non-conventional fan service was particularly apt!

3. More Merlin/Morgana tense moments:

Merlin can’t open up to any girl because he has magic. Then his crush Morgana has magic. But he can’t go near her because she’s destined to be evil…because she feels she can’t open up to anyone. About her magic. Merlin and Morgana truly had the grounds for an ‘it’s complicated’ relationship!

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4. The hot doctor/chemistry guy:

Sure, Merlin couldn’t show off with his magic, but what about his medical skills? We did see a glimpse of him as a doctor in a season 4 episode but more would have been great fan service. Plus, Gaius does have all those test tubes lying around, Merlin could have been swirling them around more often and truly taken on the hot-nerd persona!

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5. Arthur with a book:

That would’ve been impossible right? I mean he was the clueless, jock right? Nope. On several occasions, Arthur gives some very confident accounts of Camelot’s history. Now, the history was probably skewed to make the Pendragons look cool, but the point is, the kid listened to his tutors at some point. Yeah he plays with the quill a lot – which is a sure sign of a non-nerd (however, makes for great fan service), but clearly some sort of studious activities went in to give him the knowledge in the fields he needs.

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6. The lads playing football:

Considering football/soccer has its roots in medieval Europe. Okay, so maybe King Arthur and his knights wouldn’t exactly be playing ‘mob football,’ but all the lads could have still kicked some goals in the training yard. And with several football enthusiasts in the cast, this would have been fan service and actor-service.

7. Extracurricular activities:

Several behind-the-scenes material has revealed some of the other talents of the actors –such as Angel’s singing/teaching herself the guitar and Bradley’s artistic abilities. There could have been a ‘holiday episode’ (lasting only five minutes before the bad guys closed in, of course) where Gwen could have been playing the lute and singing a pretty song and Arthur could have been painting (but maybe not quite painting Gwen singing – that would prove to be too close to Peeta Mellark…) There was even a lute hanging around in the background every now and again on Merlin…

8. That Skipped Wedding:

We witnessed Uther’s nuptials to the Troll/Catrina. We saw Arthur and Elena’s almost-wedding. Whatever happened to The Official couple’s much anticipated wedding? (as far as I can see, Gwen’s crowning at the end of season 4 was just that – a coronation, not a wedding. Plus it was changed from its original version in Morgana’s dream. Possibly to pass it off as a wedding.)

9. What happened to those dogs?

We’ve heard at least two mentions of Arthur’s dogs. There could have been plenty of Prince Eric-esque scenes (refer to Disney’s The Little Mermaid) with the canines.

10. Properly-dressed is the new shirtless:

Remember season one where everyone was fully dressed? (okay, minus the two shirtless scenes in the very first and last episodes. And Lady Morgana’s dresses being a little too eye catching at times. But hey, she did have a bit of a rebel streak, so it kind of fit her character.) Did that stop the audience from swooning and/or fanclubbing over the show? No.

And I for one was quite a fan of Arthur’s jacket/coat collection!

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Director James Gunn confirms the name of a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 creature with the release of some concept art from the film.

The Guardians of the Galaxy have been pretty busy lately while they gear up for Vol. 2. On Friday we learned that they’ll be showing up in Avengers: Infinity War, and tonight we got a sneak peek of a creature the team will be taking on in the GotG sequel.

Taking to Twitter, Gunn showed off a piece of concept art created by Andy Park.

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Director James Gunn confirms the name of a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 creature with the release of some concept art from the film.

The Guardians of the Galaxy have been pretty busy lately while they gear up for Vol. 2. On Friday we learned that they’ll be showing up in Avengers: Infinity War, and tonight we got a sneak peek of a creature the team will be taking on in the GotG sequel.

Taking to Twitter, Gunn showed off a piece of concept art created by Andy Park.

guardians-of-the-galaxy-2-concept-art

In his replies, he names the creature and states that, no, they aren’t fighting in space.

Then taking to Facebook, Gunn replied to fans who had questions about the image.

An updated synopsis for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 reads:

“Set to the backdrop of ‘Awesome Mixtape #2,’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.”

So it looks like for those who were lucky enough to see GotG 2 footage at San Diego Comic-Con this year, you’ve already seen this guy in action.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ lands in theatres on May 5, 2017

Maisie Williams freaks out over ‘Game of Thrones’ season 7 scripts

"Nothing will prepare you for this."

7:45 pm EDT, August 22, 2016

Maisie Williams finished reading the scripts for Game of Thrones season 7, and totally lost her sh*t on Twitter.

Williams, who plays Arya Stark, is no stranger to shocking moments on the HBO epic fantasy series. But it seems like the events of Game of Thrones‘ penultimate season are so intense, even the seasoned young actress is left flabbergasted.

Earlier this evening, Williams summarized her experience of reading the Game of Thrones season 7 scripts on her Twitter feed. Suffice to say, the stream reads something like a thrillingly ominous preview of what fans will experience when the show returns next year.

Read full article

Maisie Williams finished reading the scripts for Game of Thrones season 7, and totally lost her sh*t on Twitter.

Williams, who plays Arya Stark, is no stranger to shocking moments on the HBO epic fantasy series. But it seems like the events of Game of Thrones‘ penultimate season are so intense, even the seasoned young actress is left flabbergasted.

Earlier this evening, Williams summarized her experience of reading the Game of Thrones season 7 scripts on her Twitter feed. Suffice to say, the stream reads something like a thrillingly ominous preview of what fans will experience when the show returns next year.

At first, Williams warned fans to steel themselves for the epic events to come.

…but apparently, no amount of mental toughness will be enough for season 7.

To summarize, Game of Thrones fans the world over are now sizzlingly jealous of Maisie Williams… and also, apparently, well and truly screwed.

With George R.R. Martin’s next installment in A Song of Ice and Fire still achingly absent, there’s almost no way to predict the major events of Game of Thrones season 7. Our only theory is that we should probably say goodbye to the feelings we managed to resuscitate after Jon Snow came back to life.

Williams isn’t the only member of the cast hinting at madness to come. Maisie’s on-screen sister Sophie Turner revealed that she too had advance knowledge while pondering Sansa’s future.

“I’ve actually just got the scripts for seven,” Turner tells Variety. “So I don’t want to say too much, because I’ll probably end up slipping some truths out!”

Seven forbid, Sophie. Seven forbid.

Game of Thrones season 7 will air some time in 2017, but not soon enough.

What madness do you think ‘Game of Thrones’ season 7 has in store?

Netflix adapting ‘Anne of Green Gables’ for new TV series with additional themes

Anne Shirley is returning to our screens!

2:45 pm EDT, August 22, 2016

L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables book series is being adapted for television by Netflix and Canadian network CBC.

The new series will begin filming next month in Ontario, Canada. Though CBC will be airing it in America’s neighbor to the north, Netflix will be distributing it in the United States and the rest of the world.

Breaking Bad writer and producer Moira Walley-Beckett is penning the entire eight-episode series and will run the show. It is expected to air on the CBC in 2017, and presumably it’ll run on Netflix around the same.

Read full article

L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables book series is being adapted for television by Netflix and Canadian network CBC.

The new series will begin filming next month in Ontario, Canada. Though CBC will be airing it in America’s neighbor to the north, Netflix will be distributing it in the United States and the rest of the world.

Breaking Bad writer and producer Moira Walley-Beckett is penning the entire eight-episode series and will run the show. It is expected to air on the CBC in 2017, and presumably it’ll run on Netflix around the same.

The eight-book Anne of Green Gables series has been adapted numerous times over the years (including the well-known, two-part 1985 televised miniseries), but this will arguably be the biggest adaptation to date thanks to the potential audience Netflix could pull in.

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According to Deadline, “the coming-of-age series will focus on a young girl who, after an abusive childhood spent in orphanages and the homes of strangers, is mistakenly sent to live with an elderly spinster and her aging brother. Over time — and thanks to her unique spirit, fierce intellect and brilliant imagination — 13-year-old Anne will transform their lives and eventually the small town in which they live.”

The new adaptation “will honor the foundation of the book, but will incorporate new adventures reflecting themes of identity, sexism, bullying, prejudice, and trusting one’s self.”

The series will be set in 1890. The first book was published in 1908 by Lucy Maud Montgomery and has gone on to sell over 50 million copies worldwide.

Will you watch Netflix’s ‘Anne of Green Gables’ series?

If you’ve ever been interested in reading the series, now’s a great time to start!