The upcoming Netflix rendition of The Witcher has some pretty serious hype surrounding it. Many fans are super excited to be seeing a live-action representation of Geralt, Ciri, and the other main cast from CD Projekt Red’s massive RPG series.
It seems that the studio is also pretty excited. The series still doesn’t come out until next month, but Netflix has already confirmed a second season.
However, despite the hype machine working overtime for the show, there is just as much a chance that it’ll get panned as well as praised.
Even though the show is clearly being made due to the popularity of the gaming franchise, they’re not actually directly linked. The games are an adaptation of the book series by Andrzej Sapkowski, as is the Netflix series. Although they feature the same characters, there are certain to be key differences.
These differences are sure to upset at least part of the fickle audience. Many people who’re going to watch the show are fans of the games. They also probably won’t consider the fact that the series will more closely follow the books, meaning changes are likely.
The end result is likely to be part of the audience hating the series for petty reasons. While you can pretty much guarantee that with any show, it might cause problems here. Since most watchers will be the games’ fans, there’s a real chance that a very large section of the audience will hold this infantile grudge.
Given the fickle, petty natures of human beings as a whole, the producers of The Witcher might be in trouble – even if the show is well-written and entertaining in its own right. When so many people have high expectations to live up to, it’s so much easier to disappoint people.
Don’t get me wrong. There is just as much of a chance that everything will go smoothly. Maybe The Witcher will come out in December and get rid of the sour taste that Game of Thrones left behind. If that happens, then Netflix will have gotten lucky and could end up with a highly anticipated season 2.
My biggest concern is what abject failure might mean for fantasy television. Game of Thrones may have ended weakly, but it’s basically the reason that we’ve got a fantasy TV show renaissance going on right now.
If The Witcher is a failure, it would soil that renaissance – and potentially kill off the genre for decades. Unless Amazon’s Lord of the Rings actually ends up being any good.