Monday, November 19, 2012

Guinevere Where art thou? on SyFy's "Merlin"

I love watching new shows and especially those that have some fantasy aspect to them. Most of them don't last long on television. I guess not everyone is as excited about new worlds and possibilities like I am. But, (of course there is a but here) I haven't been able to get into Syfy's channel "Merlin."  Not because it's not entertaining. It has some fun things going on. It's not because Merlin is the same age as Arthur. I like a little diversity from the script. It's Guinevere.

Now, I read one blog that says if I don't like Angel Coulby as Guinevere I must be a "white supremist." Really? I don't dislike her in the role because I find her unattractive. She's very cute. I find that she doesn't have a chemistry with her Arthur, for one thing. She's not what I consider Gunivere material.

Besides the fact that she is not a white female actress, which I could care less about honestly, she is not delicate like Guinevere should be. In the fable Guinevere is a noble woman, in the show she is the daughter of a blacksmith. That's fine. She should still be a bit more stately and feminine, in my humble opinion, with a bit of spunk that shows she can take care of herself. In spite of the fact that most people picture the ancient queen as some blonde haired blue eyed bombshell, in reality during that time period the Welsh woman should have been brunette with maybe green eyes. That's beside the point. We can think outside the box.

Let's take a look at a few of my ethnic choices for the role. How about Vanessa Hudgens? She's young, vibrant, and has that minimal air that she could be an unwitting seductress. She has a seriously wide range of ethnicities in her background. She is also extremely talented. She could bring a sense of music to the role of Guinevere as well. I think just about any actor could have some chemistry with this adorable 23 year old actress. Forget that she is with Disney and that she dates Zach Efron. She would make a stunning Gwen. Of course there is the fact that she is not from the UK. I'm sure some people would frown on that, even though they seem to be tolerant of the race change which meant that people came to the UK long before the Vikings invaded and civilizations were travelling across waterways.

So, what about going out of the box then? How about Frieda Pinto? She is a very talented and gorgeous actress. She may not have been born in the UK, but she is from India which has a strong British influence. Especially since it was part of the British Raj until 1947. Listening to her in movies you could hear what might be interpreted by some as an "English" accent. However, if we are going to insist that there was an African influence in Arthurian England then it's not too much to expect that there could have been an Indian influence as well. Frieda would bring a lot of dimension to Guinevere's character, I would think. She's not only stunning, she has that sense of sensuality that seems to be missing in the current character.I could see the Frieda Pinto Gwen seducing Lancelot.

Of course if you really wanted an actress born in the UK there is always Ashley Madekwe! Not only is Ashley stunningly beautiful and a very talented actress, she brings a sort of elfish look to the character, which is perfect for a fantasy. It could also explain a bit of her background if the series wanted to go that way. It uses a lot of magic after all. Ashley has a very fresh and intoxicating look. Not only could she seduce Arthur and Lancelot she could probably give Mordred a run for the money. I think her chemistry with co-star Bradley James would bring ratings up for the Syfy channel.

So see? I'm not adverse to ethnic actresses holding the role of Gwen in the series. I just find it very difficult to like the character portrayed by the current actress. I'm not saying that Angel Coulby is untalented or unattractive - just not well suited for this particular part. I think she'd be a lot of fun to watch on Dr. Who where she could put some spunk into a role.

Of course this is just my opinion on the matter. I won't call you a name if you disagree. It would have been nice if the other blogger, whom I would credit if I could have found it again, would have extended the same courtesy.

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