Its appeal is both primal and refined, afforded by its astute mix of facets. You get well-written (believable and earthy) North English language; enchanting period drama of a fantastical era; horrendous meaty violence forcing either tentative bloodlust or Zen acceptance; thoroughly loveable characters of delicious valor and honor we can cling to and hope for; thoroughly hateful characters so contentedly evil you have to watch the next episode to ensure the expediters of justice come along and feed them their own eyeballs. But it works. We love it.
Over five years, the creative team took this unlikely mix of genres and features that sounds like a formula for a dire B-movie, and – thanks to balls, money and good writers – produced a sharp, poignant, engaging smash. It’s a 40-hour-long Pan’s Labyrinth – a magical, brawny, disturbing fairytale. It’s all going so well, isn’t it.
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