The world has moved on from 50 Shades (I say, with an equal amount of sadness and relief), and frankly both The Mister and the second 50-Shades-but-from-Christian’s-PoV cash grab were both so woeful that trying to recap them proved impossible.
So instead, let’s talk about A Discovery of Witches: a series that is, in many ways, 50 Shades‘ spiritual successor.
Back in September 2018, a delightfully cheesy vampire-witch show popped up on British TV and entertained me for 8 glorious weeks. It was sexy, fun, and kind of stupid… but in a way that I thought (my partner disagrees) was intentional.
Naturally, finding out that it was based on a series of books, I picked them up. And hoo boy, was I in for a surprise.
In nearly every instance where I’d found the show charming and a bit ridiculous, the books were puzzlingly self-serious and plodding. Bless star Matthew Goode in particular for being able to get through a series of truly ridiculous lines of dialogue with not just a straight face but a certain penache that the material really didn’t deserve.
Think of A Discovery of Witches as being very much like the first 50 Shades movie: yes, there are moments that make you wince from corniness, but there’s a strange sense of the cast and crew very much knowing what’s going to make you cringe, and leaning into it in a way that makes the whole experience feel surprisingly fun. In much the same way, I’m now more fascinated by the show’s ability to transcend its source material than the show itself (though I do still love it for its own sake).
And seriously, if you haven’t seen it and you enjoy the strange charms of a 90s-style fantasy show (think The Witcher, but with less violence and more longing glances), give it a watch. It’s a solid B, and the second season (which is due out sometime in 2020) will likely be even better.
But, me being me, it’s going to be far more fun to focus on the book.
So strap in, and let’s explore this complete mess of a series together from now until I eventually get bored of doing this.
Recap 1 should be up in the next few days. Til then, let me know if you’ve read the book, seen the show, or just generally want to yell at me about my Stephen Fry post from like 5 years ago.