Picks and Pans Review: Merlin

updated 07/06/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/06/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

NBC, Sundays, 8 p.m. ET/PT |

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Grafting Harry Potter onto Arthurian legend, this lightweight but entertaining British import follows the adventures of young Merlin (Colin Morgan) as he learns to harness his magical powers. There's also a teen Arthur (Bradley James), a strapping, arrogant jerk who doesn't seem to have the dignity or intelligence to be king of the prom court, let alone England. Morgan, a thin, pale whelp, is geekier than he needs to be—more Harry P., please, less Ollie Twist—but the special effects are fun and imaginative. I liked the toxic snakes that emerge from a knight's enchanted shield, and the dragon in the castle basement.

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