Some random (and belated) thoughts on The Witcher

We’re behind on shows. Like, really behind. By the time we get around to watching *the thing everyone’s been talking about* for the last who knows how many years, not only is the buzz dead, it’s been buried, resurrected, buried again, and left to moulder away in obscurity. Put it this way — we still haven’t finished The Walking Dead, although that probably has more to do with comic vs. show angst. And the fact our daughter can’t stand how “stupid everyone is, all the time” (her words, not mine). We haven’t finished Grimm yet either, or Orphan Black, or Penny Dreadful.

When it comes down to it, we’re bad at watching TV. In retrospect, the fact that we’re only 3 years late on The Witcher is actually pretty impressive. Woohoo! Go us!

We’re 1.5 seasons in, and we’re enjoying it (so far). It’s exactly the kind of quick-paced, plot and character-driven fantasy we all needed. In fact, it’s delivering the same kind of not-much-brain-required comfort as our go-to stress-watch: the baking show.

But I have thoughts, and in no particular order, here they are:

Thought # 1: Geralt is attractive. No, I’m serious. This is a thing, because I don’t usually find BIG AND BUFF appealing, and I don’t find Henry Cavill attractive in his other roles. I gravitate towards androgynous looks and sharp features. Loki over Thor, any day. Little Person and I were discussing this, and we came to the conclusion that he’s attractive because he’s gentle and expressive, albeit in a mostly non-verbal way.

The long hair doesn’t hurt either…

Thought #2: Predictable is comfortable. This show doesn’t surprise me, and that’s okay. What I need from my entertainment right now is comfort and fun, and by giving us a dark fantasy romp that has yet leave me guessing, The Witcher is delivering on both accounts.

Guessed this very early. Little Person’s response was “You’re probably right, and I hate you”.

Thought #3: Yennefer is 100lbs of tropes in a 10lb sack. What do I mean by that? Well, here are some examples:

  • She couldn’t be really powerful until she became beautiful.
  • She couldn’t be really powerful until she became inhuman.
  • She gave up her fertility for power.
  • Despite willingly trading her fertility for power and beauty, she feels unfulfilled and yearns to be a mother….

See where I’m going with this?

Yennefer of Vengerberg

All of these tropes are common in fantasy portrayals of women (I wrote an essay on this topic in university) and are often used as a stand-in for actual character development. (Oh oh…let’s make it so she has to give up something for her power! What would matter most to her? Well, she’s a girl, so…her womb? And then…get this…she wants to have a baby! So tragic!) I mean, really…it’s 2022. What kind of gender-essentialist bullshit is this? Yennefer comes across as a men-writing-women attempt to create a complex female character, and ends up being reductionist as hell. This is my main complaint about a show that I’m otherwise enjoying, and it’s very much a personal opinion.

Thought # 4: So many cool monsters!

The Roachhound
The Leshy
And whatever the heck this thing was! So cool!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s