Review: Witches, monsters, castles, once again

Tom Long
The Detroit News

Monsters and broadswords and castles. Hot naked witches and a world broken into warring factions. Peasants and lords, magic and mayhem.

Wait: Haven’t we seen this on TV fairly recently?

Yes and no. While there are many “Game of Thrones” elements in the new Netflix series “The Witcher,” there are also touches of “The Lord of the Rings” (no hobbits but elves), Harry Potter and myriad other fantasy works. But “The Witcher” does lean toward a more adult audience, what with those hot naked witches and an elevated gore quotient, and like “Thrones” if often leaves a viewer wondering what the heck is going on.

This image released by Netflix shows Henry Cavill in a scene from "The Witcher," premiering on Netflix on Dec. 20. (Katalin Vermes/Netflix via AP)

What appears to be going on is a convergence of three characters (although this could change), chief among them being a witcher, Geralt (Henry Cavill, the sometime Superman). Witchers are apparently a fading race of monster-hunter mutants who are immortal until a monster extinguishes that immortality. They are also supposed to be emotionless, but you know how that goes.

Geralt seems destined to do… something… with a princess named Ciri (Freya Allen), who’s being hunted by nasty bad guys in armor, and the primary aforementioned hot naked witch, Yennefer (Anya Chalotra). The first five episodes available to critics are a swirl of stories that appear to be pointing to this… something.

That swirl moves between baffling eye candy and entertaining schtick. Since Netflix has already approved a second season of this must-be-costly show we’ll assume the something eventually isn’t nothing. And although “The Witcher” is more fantasy balderdash, it’s also somewhat addictive fantasy balderdash. Bring on the blood-spilling, the orgies, the haunted forests and wizards: It seems we can’t get enough.

'The Witcher'