If you tried to watch the series “The Witcher” last year and found it too graphic, I won’t blame you if you ran away.
The only reason why I watched it at all was by recommendation from a YouTuber that is generally good about the reviews he gives.
This very nice young Scotsman discusses everything of the sci-fi/fantasy/comic genres and although I certainly don’t know or get into much more than maybe than half of what he discusses, his enthusiasm for a series on his book and game favorite, “The Witcher” made me take a look.
Well, they made one big mistake in the series: they changed the books and presented parts of the story that came subtly later into sheer graphic sexuality simply to grab the audience, and they lost a lot of it in the process, (and almost lost me).
After hearing from others and sticking out the first season, it became very amusing and intriguing to me, but honestly, after just the few episodes of the first ‘season’ of the series, I didn’t think I’d go back.
I was assured by others that the game was better, (which I will never get into) and that the books are good. I found them on YouTube audiobooks, popped my earbuds in, and gave it a try while I did chores…and what a surprise!
The books are good. Really good. There is adult content, but the sexuality is mostly behind closed doors; we get the picture through the lead-up sensuality and it is generally emotionally charged. There is violence, but it is mostly graphic between The Witcher, (a trained and actually mutated monster-hunter), and his prey.
Some monsters are not monsters, but some people are monsters.
The books are translated from Polish, and although I did one post on “How much is a translated work in the style of the writer and how much is it the style of the translator?”, I find the writing consistent and smooth.
Andrzej Sapkowski breaks some rules. He tells, rather than shows, much of the story. Many of the characters talk and tell stories, mostly of other people; however, it works. The tale/tales can be rich, and it is all compelling. It rather reminds me of Stephen King’s “The Gunslinger” series, but not as violently graphic.
I listened to what is essentially the first book of the Witcher series until I found that there was a previous one of short stories which tie in later, so I backtracked, but I haven’t even had time for all of that one yet with all that is going on.
There is something of a “Once Upon a Time”, (the TV series) in the books, which may come out in the series. The author added elements of well-known fairytales, sometimes in a mashup, within the story or side-tales, (which may or may not remain on the outside of the big picture). There is also a hint of the “Percy Jackson” stories, as versions of creatures from classic mythology show up, or are discussed, (again, which may or may not show up later).
I may go back to watch the new season. (Gosh, remember when a TV series ‘season’ was sometimes 34 episodes? I think The Witcher has six last year.)
Henry Cavill is more than worth looking at and I enjoy the humor in the TV series. I do like the Marvel and sometimes the DC comics movies, but I enjoy the humor which is mostly in the Marvels. When I went to check out the DVD of “Aquaman”, the library worker said that it was good. Jason Momoa is certainly eye candy, but I asked her, “Is it funny?” She said, “Yes, it’s funny”. She hesitated, then added, “It’s not Thor-funny, but it’s funny.”
The Witcher on TV is not Thor-funny, either, but it is funny, much more than the books, where the humor is subtler.
Does it have to be a trade-off? Graphic, quick, and funny in the series or better story, less humor, less beefcake in the books?
I have decided not to choose or get upset over what has been changed. I will simply treat the series and the books as separate entities and take what I like from each.