The latest Netflix show Barbarians has seen a bunch of hype since its debut last month. I was invited to watch and study the first episode and see if it’s worth adding to the Netflix list. And my reaction is, maybe! Let’s take a peek at the first episode of the Barbarians on Netflix to see if this show is for you. Spoilers to accompany the first chapter of the Barbarians.
Barbarians: Another Gritty Historical Drama on Netflix
Barbarians is a new Netflix series that revolves around Germanic tribes battling back against Roman conquerors in AD 9. The program is also in German (in Latin) and the English translation is not perfect. I viewed the first episode with subtitles and my own bad understanding of the German language. But that’s a knock against this episode being genuinely capable of a binge. As much as I love to learn, many people won’t want to follow a subtitled historic drama for hours to come.
This isn’t like the German-language Dark show, which was even better with the subtitles. Dark was quick to binge because of the complex mystery at its heart that had fans like me watching several episodes in a row. The Barbarians are a bit odd. While it has a lot of sex and violence, it’s also a historical drama. And the pilot didn’t even push me to watch the next episode right away.
Barbarians appear to be building up to a famous war between the Romans and the Germanic tribes. The battle of Teutoburg Forest saw the Germanic tribes banding together to strike against the Roman armies. So, in the middle of fiction, there are certain true world factual aspects at stake here. That means we know when the story is going to finish. But we don’t know who’s going to win, or how the key players are going to handle the final fight.
Barbarians: A Female Protagonist Emerges Center Stage
The first chapter of the Netflix Barbarians presents the key characters of Sonelda along with her boyfriend Folkwin. Thusnelda is a fearsome character. She has the courage of a fighter, but sadly she is just a human in a historical drama. This implies that her story involves an arranged marriage subplot with a man who inspects his teeth like a horse. Thusnelda, nevertheless, is a convincing character. From the first moment on the television, her fiery spirit is evident. She has a deep affection and devotion to her relatives and her tribe, even though she struggles with much of their actions.
Sonelda is lively, autonomous, and physically open. She’s got all the characteristics of a perfect heroine. As the Romans come to her village to claim homage and obedience from the Germanic peoples, she responds with outrage and indignation. Unfortunately, This leads to a severe injury to her younger sibling. Sonelda blamed herself for This disaster. She swears vengeance against the Romans and sneaks into their camp under the cloak of night with Folkwin and friends to snatch the emblem of Roman supremacy from all over the world: their golden eagle.
The episode concludes with a bit of a surprise that shows that one of the Roman officers is really one of Sonelda’s long-lost relatives, who had been taken over by the Romans years ago as part of a peace deal that has now been violated. This wasn’t an especially shocking surprise, considering all the clues that build up throughout the course of the show. Yet that would definitely add to relationship strife and fractured trust as the series continues on.
Barbarians on Netflix Episode One Highlight
My favorite moment of the episode was when Thusnelda knelt by the river and pleaded to the ‘Sisters of the Wood’ for the courage to strike back at the Romans. Her sorrow And anger at the point was strong. And personally, I love the pagan aspects of the story. I would like to learn more regarding the war between the pagan traditions of the Germanic tribes at the period and the Roman conquest of Christianity. This is something the Vikings have been discussing quite a bit throughout the duration of the season. And for me personally, This is one of the most interesting historical aspects of these plays.
Barbarians Similarities with Other Historical Dramas
Barbarians are reminiscent of other brutal period dramas such as Vikings and Brittany. It takes the same conceit of a formidable female fighter in Sonelda (who is remarkably identical to Lagertha – the strongest character in Vikings). Even if it sounds a little like pandering, I love seeing women rising beyond the oppressive restrictions of their cultures in ancient times. Vikings found out that women were also soldiers in those days, though. Unfortunately, the Barbarians fell back on the cliche’s woman who behaves much like a male to be embraced by the men’s standard.
The display is filmed well enough, but the flat color palette exhausts me. It appears to be the case with some gritty historical dramas. Yet that still helps the planet feel less vibrant than it should be. I recognize that color grading has been a jargon for a variety of genres. But after a bit, it makes all the shows appear the same. Offer me the lush green of the teutoburg trees, the vivid red of the Roman uniforms, the sparkling gold of the eagle. Offer me a distinction between the Germanic tribes And the Roman attackers, instead of drawing them with the same brush.
Both the nudity and gory action in the first episode often looked a tad too much like Netflix was attempting to attract viewers to Game of Thrones. There’s nothing wrong about that now, but I think it came at the cost of characterization and storyline. The first episode of the Barbarians drew a strong distinction between the Germanic people, who were known as good men, and the Romans, who were clear-cut baddies. This lacks the complexity of other historical dramas that aim to offer several viewpoints. This can improve as the series continues, of course, but it left the first episode feeling a little unfinished.
Final Thoughts on Barbarians On Netflix
Now let’s get down to the issue of whether or not you can connect Barbarians to the Netflix list. If you want gritty historical dramas, then yeah, you’re bound to add it to your list. Whether you’re a viking or Britannia enthusiast, you’re likely to find a lot to love here. Are you a professional German speaker? You may find the display more bingeable than the others.
The first episode of the Barbarians definitely set up the key characters and tensions we would anticipate from the season. Although it could be too close to actual reality at the risk of suspense. While I considered the role of Sonelda to be convincing, other reports suggest that the series moves the emphasis from her to her long-lost Roman child. And just thinking about it makes me yawn.
In the end, the first episode of the Barbarians on Netflix wasn’t persuasive or interesting enough to make me want to keep watching. I may be tempted to watch a couple more videos to see how it really pulls me in. Unfortunately, though, it sounds like another version of the traditional historical fantasy factory. That doesn’t always mean it’s a poor film, but it’s certainly not going to be for everybody.