When I first heard about this Smallville-esque retelling of young Arthur and young Merlin in Camelot -- imported from the UK by NBC -- I was excited because, well, I like Smallville (though not as much these days, admittedly) and I like the legend of King Arthur (both Sir Thomas Malory and Excalibur!).
But oh my god was this bad. About ten minutes in, shortly after Anthony Stewart Head's "as you know, Bob" speech about how he, King Uther, has, as everyone knows, outlawed the practice of magic in all the kingdom under penalty of death and also caged up the last dragon under the castle blah blah blah...shortly after that I just went ahead and deleted it from my DVR schedule.
Still, I forced myself to sit through the whole episode, hoping something would hook me, but to no avail. In fact, it only got worse as the episode progressed, not better. Terrible special effects -- I never want to see Merlin's eyes glow gold again, and it's only been one damn episode -- terrible CGI dragons spouting platitudes about destiny, terrible attempts at humor that aren't funny no matter how much the incidental music wants you to think it is. Even poor Gwen from Torchwood had nothing to do as a sorceress intent on killing Arthur (though I did like all the little Snow White touches to that storyline: the mirror, the apple, the dress she wore to the recital -- if only they hadn't felt it necessary to show her true reflection in the mirror in every damn scene).
Anyway, I could go on but I don't want to waste any more time on this nonsense. The TV Nerd says this Merlin should never have been pulled from the stone.