All member reviews for Merlin

Common Sense Media says

Fresh take on legendary wizard is fun, if not truly magical.

Users say

(out of 82 reviews)
age 10+
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Teen, 16 years old Written byveils July 10, 2011

The Best Show, Just Watch It

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"
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 16 years old Written byJ-Yo June 30, 2011

A Force for Good.

Merlin is a show where magic is prominent- and I love it. It's an enthralling story of Arthur and Merlin in their early years and how traditional Arthurian legend came to be. The characters undergo a lot of complex changes, like how Arthur becomes less of a sarcastic prat, but Morgana is constantly lied to and becomes the infamous Morgana le Fey. One of the main lessons is that magic can indeed be a force for good. This is a tale about loyalty and friendship in their truest forms. Now that the final episode has aired, I cannot help but comment on how wonderful of a journey it's been. I love everything about Merlin– it has its cheesy moments, yes, but it's so much fun! Thank you, Merlin, for reinventing the legends to create something that is unique, refreshing, entertaining, and inspiring. This show is a force for good.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Adult Written byJacieDaize October 18, 2011

BBC Merlin TV Series

There is a lot of killing in it and some episodes do have really bad swear words. Also there are some sexual references in a few episodes but not many. Low cut dresses are almost constant.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byChloe98 August 16, 2011

Absolutely fantastic!

I absolutely adore this show more than anything! It has amazing story lines full of magic, magical beasts, sword fighting and great characters! It brings you a new take on an old legend. There is violence but it's nothing to worry too much about. The language is absolutely fine and so is the romance.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 8 year old Written bytjones0214 February 16, 2011

Great Intro to Classic Fantasy Fiction

Good take on the Arthur story. We've supplemented with "King Arthur and His Knights" by Howard Pyle. Good way to introduce differences in fiction. I'm on the border with the violence and some of the creature effects; however, both tend to be overshadowed by the positive and classic 'good vs. evil' role played out by the characters. From a Christian perspective, magic is presented as "...the old religion" but it is shown as being "practiced" and not worshiped. I would watch at least a few episodes so that you can address any concerns.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 8 and 10 year old Written byMemet Burnett June 1, 2013

BBC wins again.

My 8 and 10 year old loved this series. Merlin is funny and quirky, and the female characters are strong and capable. A great entry into the world of King Arthur.
Parent of a 12 and 14 year old Written bybrown_eyed_girl February 24, 2013

Think Smallville meets the Round Table

Merlin is a fun fantasy romp, with some seasons and some episodes being more suitable for younger children than others. Each episode has the obligatory sword fight featuring the knights of Camelot and someone is in danger from sorcerers (both good and bad it sometimes seems) at some point in each episode, which might be more dramatic tension than some youngsters can handle. As the seasons progress, the show does get darker as the evil forces gather strength to threaten Prince Arthur and Camelot. The fight scenes become more graphic and disturbing in season 4. Also through the seasons we see the development of Merlin, as he gains more skill and confidence, and Arthur, as he begins to question his father's beliefs and stand up for what he feels is right. The relationship between the two young men starts out strained but soon becomes very close, even if Arthur can never quite allow himself as king to be truly friends with a servant and Merlin can never quite come to terms with allowing others to take the credit for his deeds done in secret for the greater good. One of my favorite aspects of the show is how every episode characters question what they have been told is the right thing to do vs. what they feel and believe is right - there is always a tension between duty and tradition vs. treating people with kindness and respect (with the latter always winning out in the end). I think Bradley James (Arthur) is an amazing actor - he's at turns an insufferable brat, a bully, a soldier willing to lay his life down for his men, a comedian, a son staggering under the weight of his father's expectations, and a man willing to give up everything for true love. By the end of the series you can't help but root for him and for Merlin every step of the way, even if many of the Arthurian characters in the TV show aren't quite true to the traditional legends. Beginning in season 3, there are several instances of chaste kissing between Arthur and his love. Knights are occasionally shown shirtless after an injury or w/o pants (bare legs but with long tunics) for comic effect, some of the dresses are low cut but otherwise nothing racy. The language is very mild - when irritated with each other, Merlin calls Arthur a "clotpole" and Arthur often calls him an "idiot". People are sometimes drinking from metal goblets at feasts and a few references to taverns, but there's rarely anything obviously alcoholic. More often people are given "potions" either for medicinal purposes or when one of the bad guys is attempting to harm Arthur or someone inside Camelot.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old January 6, 2013

BEST T.V. SHOW!

The best T.V. show ever! They have four seasons on Netflix and all seasons for no charge on youtube. I think that many people will enjoy this show. Many episodes are very humorous! It's a little iffy for kids 8- but tweens and teens will especially love it! The only language is a rare D**n. There is little romance. But in one show there is a lot of "humorous" kissing . Nothing much though!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent of a 5 and 8 year old Written bySnoozhe March 1, 2012

One of the best family shows available right now!

My husband and I watch this show regularly, and our kids occasionally--but this is because we have a 5 and 8 year old and they are frightened by some of the monsters. We have let them watch some of the more funny episodes. The story is fun, the acting is good and you are excited to watch the next one. There is violence, but mostly sword fighting and no gore. Of course, there is romance--but in a mostly very clean way. There are great themes of loyalty, tolerance, and courage in a fictional setting. Why isn't there more tv available like this? Watch the series from the start on Netflix. Beware if you record this on SyFy, the previews for the other shows are NOT kid appropriate.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 17 years old Written byJulia from Sweden November 13, 2010

Not a very good show. Has but one good actor.

A fresh take on the story, and buffy-style monsters would have made this show fun to watch, had it not been for the HORRIBLE script. Everything you see in this show has already been seen before in Smallville or Buffy (which, thanks to it's brilliant script, is probably the best show ever). The only thing raising Merlin from shame is anthony head's sometimes brilliant character portrayal. Besides that, it's just not worth watching. It's too similar to the extremely bad show "legend of the seeker". Watch Buffy or Harry Potter 2 instead.
Parent of a 4, 8, and 10 year old Written bymikeslie June 16, 2010
Parent of a 1 and 9 year old Written bySteffauri516 March 23, 2012

Brilliant series, some scary scenes

I started watching this BBC series when it first premiered on the Syfy channel several years ago and I love it! I have two kids, ages 1 and 8 and I probably wouldn't let my oldest watch it just yet. The show isn't that violent, but this is a series set in the middle ages, so there are plenty of sword fights, arrow shootings, and hand to hand combat. However, there is rarely any blood ever shown, though if a character is injured the cuts and bruises are present. The only other issue I have is with the swearing, although it is very minor, and not very frequent, words like d**n and h**l are used. Apart from those minor hang-ups, I highly recommend this show for preteens and adults alike. For anyone who is a fan of the King Arthur/Camelot stories, this series is a fresh, vivid, and imaginative take on the classics. The role models are positive, engaging and humorous, and preach messages of positive change in humanity and that good always triumphs over evil. I'd recommend it for anyone 12 and up.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent Written bytreat02 February 26, 2012

violence.....scary....language.....

it is quite violent. It does have scary images and poison. This does have some disturbing deaths, wounds, and other things that children may not be able to see. There is not much language a couple of uses of "hell" in some episodes, otherwise this is a good series.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 10 years old April 19, 2011

great!

this is age appropriate, but i chose 10+ because things can scare people under 10 and that it might be a bit too boring for under 10
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old September 15, 2015

Okay show overall, hard to get interested in after watching some other titles

After watching some other titles, this is not the best show as far as television. At first Merlin is interesting, but it slowly gets less and less so. For a start, it's a great show, just don't watch it before you watch some of the other more popular shows. It's a great family show, not extremely intense, and does not include explicit content.
Teen, 13 years old Written byManyuTheReviewer August 10, 2015

A Morden Remix On The Age Old Tale

As I have said before, Common Sense needs to take more time with its reviewing. I believe that Merlin is a great TV show and that it has some great points. The show stresses the Code Of Chivalry especially for Arthur, to always help the needy. The show also stresses that no matter what evils does that good will win in the end. Granted ,Merlin does not make the best decisions, but he always wants to help people in his heart. Role Models are relatively infrequent in Merlin. Uther Pendragon is a tyrant. Merlin is rash and sometimes doesn't listen to his elders. Sometimes even the line between good and evil is blurred by those supposed to be good. However, both the characters, Merlin and Arthur, both are caring and want to help people. In short, Merlin is a fun and exciting series. Despite it not having overflowing postive messages and characters, people from all walks of life will enjoy this family -friendly tale.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byCommonSensitive July 1, 2015

Fun and heart warming for all ages

I think the positive role models/messages rating should be higher for Merlin! For example, Merlin is incredibly patient when it comes to not being able to use his powers openly and this is what makes him different from many other magical characters who use magic for revenge. Also, even though he takes an initial dislike to Arthur, Merlin fulfills his duty to protect the prince consistently and proves to be very self sacrificial in protecting other characters as well. Both Merlin and Arthur turn out to be very loyal to each other as the series progresses and their friendship/banter is one of the highlights of the story. Even though Arthur is immature and needs to learn manners initially, his sense of fairness and kindness are seen from early on. He opposes his father on a number of occasions because he thinks what the king has decided isn't the right thing to do and gives importance to his servant Merlin's words -something that a person of his status isn't expected to do. There are a number of story lines where Arthur learns to do the right thing and the audience learns with him or can be inspired by his value of fighting till the end -or in a modern day world, 'trying your best'! Gwen is an honest and resourceful servant girl and once Arthur and her fall in love, the two are patient enough to keep their forbidden relationship a secret until Arthur is king and they're able to marry. Morgana in the earlier episodes is a character who fiercely stands up for innocent people and even Uther, despite being one of the bad guys, cares strongly for his son which is returned even though the two have different values. Despite the shirtless scenes and women's dresses with low necklines, Merlin is a clean family series with heart warming characters and moments.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Kid, 12 years old August 29, 2014

I love this show!

This is my favorite show ever! I love it, getting further into the show makes you want more. Its great and Arthur and Merlin get to be great role models 2nd season and up!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byDragonRider5 July 17, 2013

A.M.A.Z.I.N.G

I love this show! It is in my top three favorites. The first episode dosn't really capture Arthur's true personality. The show is very clear on how pressure can effect one's personality and how Arthur really has a heart of gold. An example of this is found in The Poisoned Chalice and The Labyrinth of Gedref. There is quite a bit of violence but never shows anything that disturbed me, and I am a complete scardy cat. rarely any blood surprisingly. As for romance, there are a few love potions/spells and kissing but nothing terrible at all. Romance is actually not one of the main focuses. But I will say I cried in Queen of Hearts. :) The humor in the show is quite hilarious. I was watching the show on my laptop with headphones in and started bursting out laughing so hard I had to pause the show while I calmed down, trying to tell my sister I was O.K. ;) I highly recommend this show! I hope you have as much fun as I did! I only have 3 episodes left and I don't want it to end! :'(
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 14 years old Written byMerlinFan August 1, 2011

My favorite show!

This is my FAVORITE show! It's incredibly entertaining, ridiculously funny, and a great family show. Its so educational as well. I find myself wanting to read more about the Arthurian legend, and I am learning about so many characters. Violence is popular but not bloody, and usually more funny than scary. The charatcters (besides Uther and Morgana after season 2) show a kind heart and always do whats right. It's perfect for 11 and up, and probably even 10 year olds. Love it!!! *Colin Morgan (Merlin) is sooo hot!*
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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