The Witcher is a magnificent work of visual and literary art

by Gordon Shelly

It is only fair to start this review by revealing that I am a fan of The Witcher video games and have read some of the fiction. With that, I had high expectations for the series.  In fact, my expectations were so I high, I feared that Netflix could only disappoint me with this one. There are times when the imagination and the pre-imagined worlds are far better than their visual counterparts.  The video game, The Witcher III, is a massive open-world game, with sprawling landscapes, immense character development, dozens of story arcs, appealing characters, and an overall grand adventure.  How can a TV show possibly live up to that? And, to top it off, Henry Cavill was cast in the lead as Geralt of Rivia. On the surface, Cavill is nothing like the lead character of the stories.

However, Cavill apparently believes in The Witcher as much as its most ardent fans, including this reviewer. At the time of writing this review, I have now watched the first full season of The Witcher multiple times and I couldn’t be more happy with it. Each viewing gives it more depth and detail than the previous. This is a magnificent work of visual art.

While it isn’t without flaw, it is masterful and compelling storytelling, with great consideration given to the storylines and the character arcs.  This first season, on a first viewing is somewhat confusing, as it takes place on multiple timelines and has many characters, most of whom are harkened to repeatedly throughout the season. The show has a multitude of characters whom you will come to care about and cherish. It is violent and relentless with a gratuitous amount of everything you’d expect from an adult-themed Netflix show (at times bordering on exploitation).

This is a show that takes an equal amount of attention from both its creators and its viewers. The first season, leaves us all with the promise of the greatness to come.

Gordon’s Grade: A