Which reminds me, my BuffyWatch sort of petered out around mid-fourth-season. High time I got back into that. (To nick a line from The City of Death - "Time, professor! It is all a matter of time!")
Anyway...I must admit that I've been a bit of slack keeping up with the latest of series of Merlin - the fact that they broadcast the first episode whilst I was busy getting married (I still suspect that Sarah's responsible for that...) and the second whilst we were returning from our Minimoon didn't help. Mind you, I've only got myself to blame for there still being a couple of eps from the first season that I've not seen yet.
But going to the Bradley James/Angel Coulby signing last weekend reminded me that, really, Merlin is basically my new fandom, and it was nice to finally get round to watching some of the second season, starting with both episodes of Beauty and the Beast, and, you know what? It was brilliant.
Actually, I'll go further than that - it sort of summed up why I love this show so much: it's fun.
That's not all there is to it. It's escapist fantasy, for one thing (which is better than drab, dreary and realistic any day of the week, IMO); it's also (quibbles about historical and mythological accuracy aside) well written, and well made; it's well acted - which, granted, is pretty much inevitable when you have actors like Anthony Head and Richard Wilson stealing every scene, but Colin Morgan and Bradley James have slipped quite comfortably into the lead roles despite being relatively unknown at the start of the series, and Angel Coulby and Katie McGrath are also good in their roles; not to mention the host of big-name guest stars. And John Hurt as the slash dragon, a role which he probably recorded in a Soho recording studio one afternoon, but which helps to add a wonderful atmosphere to the series.
And it's full of adventure and excitement and drama and peril. But the important thing is, it never gets dark or angsty. It retains its sense of fun and humour - and Beauty and the Beast had that in spades. It's a programme I can watch, and come away from feeling really rather happy and cheerful.
And for that, more than anything else, I love it.