Merlin is good old British television and if you read a lot of audience reviews, you'll read a lot of good things, at least I did. This show is amazing, it blew my mind and it was also my first British show. Yeah it doesn't follow the legend, big deal, if you want the legend read some books on it or watch movies like Excalibur. But Merlin hasn't abandon all elements of the legend and what's really nice is the fact that the writers attempt to break all stereotypes of the legend, for example Morgan le fay is portrayed as a strong woman who will eventually become evil. My favorite parts of the show are the actors, costumes, and sets. Yeah the effects are really bad but just ignore them and focus on the story. The show is addicting and it keeps getting better and better from the first episode. You will really get connected to the characters, for me, I fell in love with all of them. But just to warn you, season 3 is awful.
I chose "12" because there is blood, swordfighting, romance, drinking, and language. I'm a bit confused as to why some people chose "7", "8", etc because the way it's filmed is not suited for kids and it does have elements kids shouldn't see like the blood and i do remember NBC having a TV-14 rating on certain episodes like gates of avalon, excalibur, the beginning of the end, etc. But Merlin is actually at it's best when it's more "mature"