Many great labyrinths exist in pop culture. There’s Jim Henson’s 1986 gem Labyrinth and Guillermo del Toro’s mystical and delightfully creepy Pan’s Labyrinth. And now there’s the CW miniseries Labyrinth, which, to its detriment, does not feature any cameos by David Bowie or deformed creatures with eyeballs on their palms.
The CW’s Labyrinth is based on Kate Mosse’s book of the same name about two women, one from the 13th century and the other from the 21st century, in search of the Holy Grail. And that’s about it. Kidding! (Sort of.)
If you watched Thursday’s premiere, you know that it starts off slow. If you haven’t watched Thursday’s premiere, here’s a warning that it starts off slow. The book Labyrinth is based off of was a bestseller, and the cast isn’t half-bad – Downton Abbey’s Jessica Brown Findlay and Golden Globe winner John Hurt star – yet it has so little plot and so little excitement that watching it guarantees you’ll be spending a lot of time waiting for something to happen. It has the accents of Reign without any of the steamy drama; it has the French setting of The Returned without any of the sweeping landscape shots. In a word, it’s a letdown.
This is why, in the two-hour premiere, not much stands out except for a few highlights ranging from Alais’ bad excuses to hairstyles of the 13th century:
-Oriane (Katie McGrath) and Alais (Brown Findlay) are sisters; Oriane sleeps with Alais’ husband Guilhelm (Emun Elliott). Minutes after Guilhelm leaves a naked Oriane in bed, Oriane (now dressed) tells her sister, “Men are fickle, their affections change.” “Guilhelm’s not like that,” Alais replies sweetly. Oh, honey.
-One minute we’re staring at a man as he talks on the phone while walking down the street, lookin’ cute in his leather jacket and tie combo and then… he gets hit by a car. Because he was walking in the middle of a street. On his phone. This might be the climax of the entire episode – and it’s only about a half-hour in. Oof.
-Will (Sebastian Stan) is listening to his iPod on a raft in the pool when Alice (Vanessa Kirby) interrupts his relaxation and causes him to fall in the pool out of surprise. Everyone knows you shouldn’t bring your electronics near water, dummy.
-When Oriane demands to see what’s hanging on Alais’ necklace, Alais gives her two laughably bad excuses: “It’s a common piece of little merit” and “I fear such poor workmanship would offend you.” Yanking off her necklace and sitting on it so Oriane wouldn’t see probably would have been less suspicious.
-All the men in the year 1209 have long hair with weird, wispy bangs, as seen in the photo up top. Ah, so there’s the Bowie reference!
The second-half of the two-part Labyrinth airs Friday at 8 p.m. on the CW.