TV Show Review

TV Review: THE MUSKETEERS: Season 1, Episode 1: Friends and Enemies

Howard Charles Santiago Cabrera Tom Burke Luke Pasqualino The Musketeers

BBC’The Musketeers Friends and Enemies TV Show Review. The Musketeers: Season 1, Episode 1: Friends and Enemies began a not thoroughly original take on Alexander Duma’s famous tales. Unfortunately it is not really original in any other way as a piece of television or cinematic drama as well. The show provides the essential sword fights, villains and intrigues but no part of the first episode of the show ‘Friends and Enemies’ was memorable or exceptional in any way. There is nothing remarkable about the performances, the majority of the plot twists were predictable, the story offered nothing new in any way and the action scenes were truly boring. The end of the episode does get you hooked for the next episode and in the final minutes of this pilot chapter of the new show you indeed get something fresh and interesting to get you involved in the story but before that you have fifty minutes of the ordinary Musketeer material you have seen countless times before.

The story literally has everything that you have seen in a Musketeer film before-three Musketeers, all bad-ass and invincible who are joined by the ambitious ladies-man D’Artagan. There are two scenes which are incredibly clichéd-a fight following a card game cheating and an escape from a love bird’s bedroom. The first episode of The Musketeers abounds of such scenes and this is one of the reasons why you are not impressed in the slightest. There are constant attempts at jokes but none of it will make you laugh out loud as you would for instance at Sherlock’s comedy. Perhaps it is the actors, perhaps it is the script; either way, there is no rush, no feeling that you are getting hypnotized by the story. All the familiar characters are there-the high-ranking villain acting in secret from the king, the femme fatale that is brutal and murderous and the helpful love interest girl. You have seen this so many times that there is barely a chance for you to be surprised and therefore thrilled.

The actors are doing a relatively good job. The Musketeers are charismatic, cool and do provide that noble aura which makes you feel that you are witnessing and experienced warrior in action. Luke Pasqualion, also famous as Freddy from Skins, is doing quite well in the title role as he makes his way through women and battles like a true champion. The problem is that the script is so ordinary that absolutely none of those characters is capable of standing out. The truth is that there was so much more attention spared in the creation of the antagonists in this first episode than for the protagonists. The antagonists are clever, sneaky, tricky, smart and brutal. These characters might have been so much more exciting if the writers even tried to come up with a more complex and original storyline.

The stage for episode two and the rest of the show however is well set. Yes, the first episode might have been more or less a disappointment, but if it is, it is only because it wasn’t anything special. This is a good show, with beautiful production design and spectacular costumes. Its biggest disadvantage is the horribly edited and shot fight scenes. They are extremely lacking in any spectacular choreography whatsoever and watching them immediately exhausts you. They look as if kindergarten kids from your nearby neighbourhood are fighting with plastic swords in the park. Regardless, the conclusion of the story ties the characters in a very intriguing way that makes this new Musketeer world much more interesting. Hopefully, episode two will make us thrilled the whole nine yards and not at its conclusion only so that we are again left with some meagre hope for the next episode.

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Deyan Angelov

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