Netflix Promotes ‘The Witcher: Blood Origin’ By Virtue Signaling Its Featuring Of “The First Kiss Between Two Men In The Show” And “A Deaf Character Using Sign Language”
Netflix has taken to promoting its widely-panned 'The Witcher: Blood Origin' prequel series with outright virtue signaling.
Ever a surefire sign that a given production will fail to live up to even the barest of audience quality expectations, Netflix has taken to promoting their The Witcher: Blood Origin prequel series on the fact that it checks a number of superficial boxes rather than on the merits of its story and writing.
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A one-off miniseries taking place 1,200 years before the events of Geralt’s adventures in the core The Witcher series, Blood Origin sets out to tell the story of the Conjunction of the Spheres, a cataclysmic event which resulted in the series’ setting being seeded with both extranormal creatures and the concept of magic.
Notably, though Netflix’s core The Witcher show serves as an adaptation (in the loosest sense of the word) of Andzrej Sapkowski’s original novel series of the same, Blood Origin features a completely original story written by Netflix’s production team under the supervision of showrunner Declan de Barra and general series executive producer Lauren Hissrich.
Unfortunately for Netflix (albeit unsurprisingly), their attempt to rewrite Sapkowski’s lore – quite literally in some instances, as seen in their introducing of original character Éile as Ciri’s first recorded ancestor – seems to have wildly missed the mark not just with dedicated The Witcher fans, but the mainstream media in general.
Prior to the series’ general release on Christmas Day, mainstream media critics who had received early access to the series near universally found themselves disappointed with Blood Origin’s quality, with many ultimately writing it off as a pale imitation of the core series.
This sentiment was so widespread that, as per a December 22nd review of the scores by Bounding Into Comics, the series was left with a roughly 37% ‘Rotten’ rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes going into its premiere.
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Ostensibly taking note of the fact that the ship had started sinking even before it had left port, Netflix attempted to entice audiences into watching the series with Hollywood’s current favorite tactic to drum up easy attention and sympathy points: virtue signaling.
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Taking to the official @witchernetflix Twitter account on Christmas Eve, the streaming giant attempted to drum up interest in Blood Origin by sharing a brief clip wherein the prequel’s cast gave “10 reasons why you should watch” their upcoming series.
Featuring a mash-up of clips taken from different press interviews, the video begins with Joey Batey (Dandelion) exclaiming, “I can give you a thousand!”
The cast give 10 reasons why you should watch The Witcher: Blood Origin… ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/3HzCuTsxlF
— The Witcher (@witchernetflix) December 24, 2022
Taking the lead, actor Nathaniel Curtis (Brían) gives the first reason as “The cast are insane.”
“The action is fierce,” offers actress Minnie Driver (Seanchai) as the second.
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“It’s got Michelle Yeoh, who is, I mean you already know that, but she’s just incredible!” adds Curtis, notching in the third.
Giving a fourth, deaf actress Amy Murray (Fenrick) signs, “It’s set a thousand years before The Witcher.”
“It explores part of the lore of The Witcher that hasn’t been explored before”, then proclaimed Huw Novelli (Callan), confirming both the fifth reason to watch the series and the ‘fan fiction’ nature of its plot.
For the sixth, director and screenwriter Vicky Jewson asserts, “There are monsters like we’ve never seen before.”
Returning to Curtis for reason number seven, the actor notes, “It has the first kiss between two men in the show.”
Following him with the eighth is Francesca Mills (Meldof), who argues, “The costumes are divine. The make-up, the hair…bon appétit!”
For number nine, Murray explains, “There’s a deaf sign language using character.”
And finally, at number ten, Curtis declares, “It’s a show that’s made with so much love, and that’s really fun.”
Unfortunately for Netflix, these superficial platitudes did little to mask the quality of their work or sway public opinion.
As of writing, with the full series having been released to the general public, The Witcher: Blood Origin currently holds a 38% ‘Rotten’ rating amogst 24 critics and an embarassing 7% among 1121 users.
The Witcher: Blood Origin is now available for streaming on Netflix.
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