With the Game of Thrones finale ending with a rather dismal puff of dragon smoke, it hasn’t been the most encouraging year for fantasy fans.
And when initial whisperings about The Witcher appeared intriguing, we didn’t dare get our hopes up too much.
However, it looks like showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich has delivered us a high quality drama a sword’s cut above the rest; perfect for enjoying with your sturdiest flagon of mulled wine.
Being somewhat of a nerd, I knew I would lap up a story packed with mythical monsters and Medieval landscapes. But I admit I’m surprised at just how well The Witcher has been received.
At the time of writing, December 23, the epic fantasy series has already risen to become one of Netflix’s highest rated original series on IMDb; vying for top spot among the likes of Stranger Things, House of Cards and Peaky Blinders with a very impressive score of 8.8.
To put this into perspective, this is higher than other critically revered shows such as Mindhunter (8.6), Bojack Horseman (8.6) and Orange is the New Black (8.1).
Of course, this score still needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, and it isn’t uncommon for new shows to drop a bit on IMDb after a while. However, this is still a pretty promising first step for our journey through the Continent.
Over on Rotten Tomatoes, opinions are a little more mixed.
Audiences are lapping up the adventures of Geralt of Rivia, played by Henry Cavill, giving a superfresh score of 92% based on 7010 eager would-be monster hunters.
However, the show has also suffered from a fairly so-so critics’ score of 57%, drawn from a total of 44 reviews.
This could of course be on account of some critics I could name having skipped crucial episodes, having already decided the show wasn’t for them. But don’t even get me started down that particular avenue.
Fortunately, it appears showrunner Hissrich is far more concerned with the fans response than the opinion of professional critics, dropping the following shady tweet:
Many people have sweetly written me, upset about the #Witcher reviews. Know this:
Who do I care about? “Professional” critics who watched one episode and skipped ahead? Or REAL fans who watched all eight in one day, and are starting their rewatch?
I am f*cking THRILLED.
I don’t know about you, but my Boxing Day binge fest looks set to be filled with sword-fights and sorcery this year.
The first season of The Witcher is available to watch on Netflix now.
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