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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Nickelodeon debuts action-packed ‘Legends of the Hidden Temple’ trailer at SDCC

The brand new trailer features tons of nods to the original 90s game show!

4:33 pm EDT, July 23, 2016

Get ready for a serious dose of nostalgia, 90s kids! Nickelodeon just premiered the trailer for the upcoming Legends of the Hidden Temple movie at San Diego Comic-Con and you’re definitely going to want to check it out!

The upcoming made-for-TV movie centers around three siblings who find themselves immersed in the temple after breaking away from a jungle tour. Once inside, they discover all the legends they’ve grown up hearing about the mysterious temple are actually real.

Being trapped in the temple itself may sound cool at the beginning, but the siblings will soon learn that getting out may be tougher than they originally anticipated. They’ll have to follow the map and survive the Temple’s many hidden rooms if they want to make it out unscathed.

Check out the first trailer for Legends of the Hidden Temple below!

Fans of the original game show are sure to recognize quite a few of the most iconic aspects taken from the beloved 90s series. Olmec aside, the first action-packed trailer includes mentions of the steps of knowledge, the shrine of the silver monkey, and more— They’ve even managed to slip in mentions of some of the old teams contestant were able to play on when competing on the original game show!

The upcoming Legends of the Hidden Temple movie reunites Kirk Fogg (original TV how host) and Dee Bradley Baker (original voice of Olmec), and additionally stars Isabela Moner, Colin Critchley, and Jet Jurgensmeyer.

Legends of the Hidden Temple premieres on Nickelodeon in the fall of 2016

What did you think of the first trailer for ’Legends of the Hidden Temple’?

Hot off the heels of the Wonder Woman trailer DC has released our first look at the art for Justice League as well as the first trailer!

It’s a very exciting day to be a DC movies fan! After debuting the Wonder Woman trailer earlier today, DC surprised everyone with the first official Justice League trailer which has been simultaneously released publicly during its debut at San Diego Comic-Con. It should be noted that the video, posted on Director Zack Snyder’s Twitter account, includes a title card at the beginning denoting that this video was made specifically for fans at Comic-Con. “The following footage was prepared by the filmmakers as a special look for fans in attendance at Comic-Con 2016.”

Click full screen, turn up your volume, and get ready for this!


The “trailer” (if that’s what we’re calling it) doesn’t give away much about the plot of the movie, however. It features Bruce Wayne checking in and recruiting Cyborg, Aquaman and The Flash – the three of which weren’t as heavily featured in this year’s Batman V Superman.

One of the more thrilling parts of the video is when Bruce Wayne shows up to meet The Flash and throws a Batarang at him. We get to see the slow motion perspective of The Flash while a Batarang whizzes by his face, with him ultimately realizing who has just appeared before him. Before Bruce even has a second to sell him on joining the Justice League, he’s interrupted. “Stop right there. I’m in,” says The Flash.

After the mixed reviews of Batman V Superman from earlier this year, it looks like Justice League might have taken some notes from the massive success of Deadpool’s light-hearted but serious comic book movie template. It already feels like this ensemble cast will lend itself to making up some ground in terms of likability. Ezra Miller’s The Flash is easily the “you-gotta-love-this-kid” character based on his one scene alone. Meanwhile, Aquaman will appeal to those burly, rugged Wolverine style fans. Both character types were missing from the sometimes confusing Batman V Superman.

Check out the full photo of the Justice League featuring our first detailed looks of The Flash, Cyborg, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman together in one place.

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We still have a while before we get to hit theaters for Justice League. The superhero sure-to-be blockbuster is set to hit theaters November 17, 2017.

What did you think of your first look at the upcoming Justice League movie?

WB debuted a new trailer for Wonder Woman on Saturday morning at San Diego Comic-Con.

Gal Gadot and the cast of Wonder Woman introduced the new trailer, which offers a massive new look at the first female-led super hero movie (during this new wave of super hero madness, anyway). Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor and Gadot’s Diana Prince seem to have some great chemistry. And unsurprisingly, Wonder Woman gets up to a lot of ass-kicking in the three minute preview. Perhaps one of the coolest moments is when she fends off a lot of fire power, and one of the funniest moments comes at the end, when Diana equates Steve’s secretary to a slave. Watch below:

The movie is directed by Patty Jenkins, who has clearly done an amazing job bringing Wonder Woman to life with Gadot.

A new poster for Wonder Woman was also released, finally revealing her (colorful!) costume:

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Wonder Woman hits theaters June 2, 2017. The film’s synopsis reads:

Wonder Woman hits movie theaters around the world next summer when Gal Gadot returns as the title character in the epic action adventure from director Patty Jenkins. Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny.