Cursed: Season 1 – Review

Cursed premieres July 17 on Netflix.

By Ariba Bhuvad

When I sat down to watch the screeners for Cursed, I wasn’t quite sure if I’d be into it or not. When it comes to medieval fantasy shows, they’re often a hit or miss for me. I think that is largely due to not having read some of the novels and books the stories are based on. But something changed when I began watching the screeners for Netflix’s Cursed. The series is a slow burn that builds up to one hell of a wildfire by the end of the season–and it’s worth the watch.

The series is based on a young adult novel by Tom Wheeler, and ropes in famed writer and comic book illustrator, Frank Miller. Honestly, the moment I realized Miller was a part of the project, I was on board to give it a shot. The guy has given us the likes of Sin City, so you know anything he is a part of is bound to have something great about it.

Cursed kicks off to a slow start as it tempers you into its complicated world of fantastical species and beings. The point of attraction for this series (at least for me) is the fact that it is a completely different and unique approach to a beloved story. The story of King Arthur and his knights, that is.

What you’re expecting is not what you will get with Cursed as it takes you down a completely different narrative path than the centuries-old story you know. The Arthurian tale is manipulated and shifted to be told from the perspective of a completely different character and places the emphasis on the Lady of the Lake. Instead of Arthur, it is she that wields the power to take on the mystical sword. Talk about girl power! You won’t see the drastic changes coming, and that is the allure that Cursed provides.

While it admittedly took me at least 3-4 episodes to truly get into the story, by episode 5, I knew I was hooked. The magic, the story, the characters, and everything in between just pulls you right in. However, at times, and at least initially, there are many characters to get acquainted with. But eventually, that confusion becomes an intricate part of the story that Cursed weaves into a web you don’t quite want to get out of. It truly is a modern twist on an old tale–in the best way possible.

Some of their visual effects could have certainly been given more attention, but luckily, the costume design, set design, and overall production are enough to keep you engaged and entertained. Did I mention animations are used to transition between scenes? It helps set up what comes next but in a very intriguing manner and very Frank Miller.

The series boasts an all-star cast that you have most certainly seen before and adored, by the way. It’s got 13 Reasons Why’s Katherine Langford alongside Westworld’s Peter Mullan, Fear The Walking Dead’s Daniel Sharman, Vikings’ Gustaf Skarsgård, and Barry’s Devon Terrell. As I said, it’s got a pretty amazing cast that breathes life into the complicated world of Cursed.

The depth and heart of Cursed will slowly pique your interest, and while it is off to a slow start, I can assure you the wait is worth it. If not for anything else, then its finale. Oh, what a finale it is!

For all you medieval fantasy lovers out there, get ready to dive into the world of Cursed which mimics the nature of The Witcher while roping in a legendary tale with one hell of an emotional twist. Could you ask for anything more?

I give Cursed a B.