Reminding ourselves what the intros of the 90s were like is kind of refreshing isn’t it? Or is it? As far as retro goes the sound is alright, but even for the 90s one can tell that The Witcher would be a little racy since back in the day they still weren’t going all out with as much as the popular Netflix series shows. Things have certainly changed over the years since what was allowed on TV back then as opposed to now is next to nothing in terms of sexuality and even language at times. As far as violence goes a lot of it in the 90s was still fairly violent but not quite on this level it feels. In fact you’d have been more apt to see The Witcher turned into a feature film back in that decade than anything since there’s so much to it and so much content that people want to see that it might feel wasted on TV. Not today though. Today Netflix has changed the game in a big way and we get to see just about about everything without going TOO far. From a personal standpoint the retro look is kind of interesting and the heavy metal feel to it was to be expected, but apart from that it wasn’t bad. Kaila Hale-Stern of The Mary Sue has more to say on this.
One great thing about this show is that you can or can’t, depending on your point of view, call Geralt of Rivia the overall hero since he doesn’t want to be, doesn’t really act like one, and is more content to just spend his life the way he wants to. Nic Reuben of VG24 has his own opinion on this. But then comes Triss, and Yennefer, and a host of other problems along with his responsibility to Ciri, and things get complicated for lack of a better term. Geralt is perhaps one of the best protagonist characters to come along in a while on screen since he’s not so bound by duty and yet he’s not going to turn a blind eye to everything either. His moral compass seems kind of off kilter one moment but firmly set at the next as his principles tend to take over quite often. Some might figure this is kind of odd for any character and creates a confused character that people either cheer for or hate depending on the moment. But from a writer’s perspective Geralt feels like someone that’s just trying to get by most of the time and do his own thing. There are still times though when he feels the need to act and will do so in a manner that’s bound to surprise everyone. Face it, in the 90s he might have been turned into the straight-up, lone wolf hero that did things his way and was still gruff, but was known to be all about justice just the same. This Geralt, the one that people have come to enjoy, doesn’t really care about justice that much, he cares about getting paid and staying alive more often than not. And of course he cares about Ciri, Yennefer, Triss, and to a much lesser extent Jaskier/Dandelion.
The White Wolf as he’s called isn’t an unfeeling brute after all, but he is a complicated individual that doesn’t always get along with everyone on account of witcher’s being held in so much awe or reviled across the land for one reason or another. Such would be a hard life after all, especially if anywhere you go people start judging the moment they see you and don’t worry about getting any of the facts about your life. It does feel as though a 90s TV show would have picked up on this and perhaps used it a little more than we’ve seen, which might have been a detractor largely because too much time spent on a back story can turn off an audience whereas just enough can keep them interested and keep them guessing even when it’s time to keep moving forward. Thus far we’ve learned enough about Geralt to be curious and to possibly get people reading and even playing the video game, but the show hasn’t dwelt so much on his past that it’s compromised the story, which is just one reason why it’s been getting such a great response. Rowan Kaiser of Polygon has an interesting take on Geralt if you’re interested.
It feels very safe to say that back in the day The Witcher would have been a much different show and would have been presented differently had it been captured on screen, but thankfully it took a while to finally make it this far where it’s being fully appreciated. Back in the 90s it might have lasted a couple of seasons and then been dropped, who knows, but as of now a lot of people are anxiously awaiting the next season to see what’s about to happen and how much more we can learn about Geralt and his world.