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18 January, 2016

Medievally Speaking Reviews: Marco Polo (Fusco)

Pamela M. Yee reviewed Netflix's Marco Polo series (John Fusco):

Early in Netflix’s 2014 original series Marco Polo, the title character, recently traded by his father to the Mongol court, asks: “Am I a privileged guest or a prisoner in this hell?” (“The Wayfarer”). Viewers, ensnared in the show’s sluggish and sometimes incoherent narrative, might well wonder the same thing. One must admire its sheer ambition; its astronomical price tag, its epic narrative scope, meticulous world-building, and in-your-face shock factor inevitably draw comparisons to its more successful cable cousin, HBO’s Game of Thrones. As Mitchel Broussard observes, “there’s a certain scrappiness here that I found endearing, a show, who [sic] pretty much draws comparison to one of the biggest TV series of all time by merely existing, attempting to stay on level ground with said behemoth.” But Marco Polo fails to capture either Game of Thrones’ popularity or its critical acclaim. As of this writing, Rotten Tomatoes lists the show at a dismal 24% rating, averaging a rating of 4.7 out of 10 from 33 reviews. Hank Stuever at the Washington Post drives the nail home, calling the streaming service’s offering “practically binge-proof.” Ouch. READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE