why i do and don't like a discovery of witches

3 of the Reasons Why I Don’t (& Do) like ‘A Discovery of Witches’

October 30, 2019 Rissi JC 11 Comments

Like anything that’s “hip,” I’m consistently behind in the game when it comes to seeing (reading, listening to, you name it) what all the cool kids are. The same can be said for a new and quite popular show. Adapted from the novel by Deborah Harkness of the same name, I finally sat down to indulge and discovered there are a few reasons why I don’t like A Discovery of Witches.

But let’s be honest. as is true of anything, there are reasons why I do enjoy this show, too, especially because the production quality is top-notch.

If you’re like me, and don’t know anything about this show (highly unlikely, I know), it follows an intelligent professor by the name of Dianna Bishop. Born a witch, Dianna grew into adulthood refusing to use her powers given what happened to her parents. For a while, she’s able to live in peace, and without being bothered by those she’s closest too. All this is fine until she calls up a book that no one has had access to for many, many years; a book that could be the key to the safety of witches.

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Soon, everyone, including her own kind, wants Dianna to again call up the book for their own gain. This is how she meets the mysterious Matthew Clairmont, a vampire who Dianna somehow trusts, despite the fact her life could be in grave danger…

After having seen three episodes, I thought I’d share three reasons why I do and don’t like this show. All things that will be solely based on the show, since though I did consider it, I never read the novel.

3 of the Reasons Why I Don’t (& Do) like ‘A Discovery of Witches’

3 Reasons Why I Don’t Like A Discovery of Witches

1: The Character: Matthew

Much as I adore Matthew Goode, I just don’t fully like his character, Matthew. I mean, I appreciate that he’s fighting against his nature, but the way the character is written makes him seem more predatory than I think his emotional characterization is meant to be – does that make sense?

2: The Romance

I’ll confess, much as I want to adore this romance, I’m struggling with it. I think the promise of an extremely swoony romance is another of the alluring reasons why I did watch episode one, and I’m just not feeling it… which is why I think I’m watching this so darn slowly, too. There’s something “too sinister” (unhealthy? Creepy?) about the romance, which for me, is a turn off. That said, I’m going to contradict myself as we move further on down the page.

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why I don’t like A Discovery of Witches

3: The Supernatural

I know, it’s weird that I even watched an episode of this if I’m not into fantasy or supernatural genre stories, and I’m not. Pretty sure, it’s mostly the hype of this one that got to me, well, that and the cast, which leads me into my first “do like” part of this list.

3 Reasons Why I Do Like A Discovery of Witches

1: The Cast

I love this cast! From Teresa Palmer (The Choice, Warm Bodies) to Matthew Goode (Downton Abbey, Chasing Liberty) in the leads to Louise Beasley from Sherlock and (), the cast is all about as who’s who of international accent-speaking talent, and I love it.

2: The Production

There’s no denying this production is quality. From the settings at Oxford, to the quaint cobble lined streets, and finally Matthew’s lair aka a castle, it’s easy to admit to this being a production that has been given a great deal of time and attention to all of the details. It’s both beautiful and when need be, terrifying.

3: The Romance

Yes, I am going to be contradictory. For three episodes despite Matthew’s interest (stalking…?) in Dianna’s and her instantiations interest, I just haven’t been able to root for these two… until the end of episode three. What changes this? Matthew rescues Dianna in a grand fashion and whisks her away to safety, but before the credits roll, I’ll admit, my heart kinda’ melted. As the episode winds to its close, and the pair walk side by side out of Oxford, Matthew reaches over to gently take Dianna’s hand, leading her to safety as she looks up at him with a genuine kind of trust.

It’s in this moment that I will admit, I feel good about a burgeoning relationship between the two, and in this moment, I’m a goner.

Whether or not I’ll still feel this way as I press forward, time will tell.

Is there a romantic ship you haven’t been a fan of? If so, why?

I’m curious, is there a reason why you don’t like A Discovery of Witches? Do you have a list of reasons ‘why I don’t like A Discovery of Witches’? If so, what are they? Do have you have any of the reservations or questions I do; have you read the novel? Comment all of your thoughts down below!

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

You can find the novel on which this is based from Amazon; or find the TV show, digitally, on Amazon Video, on DVD or also BluRay.

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About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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  • Michelle October 30, 2019 at 8:17 PM

    Hi! I normally lurk, but I couldn’t help but comment on this one when I saw your link on Twitter.

    I absolutely fell in love with the series when it aired last year, and I read the books while the series was airing. What you wrote about your feelings about Matthew’s character being predatory at times, there’s more going on with that than what you see in the first season/first book. The reason(s) behind it are revealed in the second book, and I found it all quite fascinating. I can’t wait to see how it’s handled in the show.

    • Rissi JC November 1, 2019 at 1:46 PM

      Hi, Michelle! Thanks for being a reader, and anytime you’d like to comment/disagree/share thoughts, you’re most welcome. I’m all about good conversation. :)

      SO glad you like the series! I’ll confess, as it stands now (end of episode three), I’m definitely getting into it more than the beginning. I went in with high hopes because it was hyped as a super romantic story, but just couldn’t “buy” into the whole romance, which to me, seems too toxic… or maybe that’s not the right term. Awesome! I’m glad there’s more to Matthew’s character (writer’s usually do such a good job digging into character’s backstories, don’t they?) and I look forward to see what comes! I wonder if the second season will follow book two then? Either way, I’ll likely watch more… and hope it fully hooks my TV addict self. ;)

  • Dini @ dinipandareads October 31, 2019 at 4:18 AM

    Great post, Rissi! I remember discovering book one of the trilogy in 2012 when it wasn’t hyped (at least not to my knowledge) and I immediately fell in love with it. I wasn’t so picky with the more ‘insta-love’ vibes then and I loved both Diana and Matthew’s characters, their romance and the paranormal elements of the story. I admit I’ve forgotten pretty much 90% of it now and am tempted to re-read the series before starting the adaptation. I’m always so hesitant to watch adaptations lol

    • Rissi JC November 1, 2019 at 1:43 PM

      I’ve never read the books, but the show did pique my interest because of the cast – and the promise of a swoony romance, which I’m always “all about.” ;) I really like Diana as a character. She’s very interesting, and I like that she’s selective (or fighting against?) her magic to live a normal life (and I know that’ll be changing). Hope you like this adaptation if you see it, Dini! Let me know what you think if you do. Thanks for reading! :)

  • Sandra Preti October 31, 2019 at 9:59 AM

    Thanks for your thoughts!

    • Rissi JC November 1, 2019 at 1:41 PM

      Thank you for visiting and reading. :)

  • […] LIST | 3 of the Reasons Why I Don’t (& Do) like ‘A Discovery of Witches’ […]

  • […] LIST | 3 of the Reasons Why I Don’t (& Do) like ‘A Discovery of Witches’ […]

  • TamTam March 8, 2020 at 7:11 AM

    Hi! I was also a “late bloomer” to ADOW. I am now on my 3rd watch through.

    Was their relationship a bit creepy at the beginning? It was, but I appreciated that. He was drawn to her for the book and then realized it was more. He knew of the covenant and the dangers. Of course it would be natural for him to fight against that.

    I love that they resisted and that the power drawing them to one another was just too strong.

    I think it adds a wonderful depth to the story that many like this lack.

  • […] DISCUSSION | [Three] of the Reasons Why I Don’t (& Do) like ‘A Discovery of Witches’ […]

  • Elina July 30, 2021 at 3:00 PM

    I have mixed feelings about this show, too. I’m personally not feeling either of the lead actors (I love the Vampire squad though) or their romance. And I think it’s all written a bit sloppily. But DAMN I love the styling, settings and everything about the visuals & the ‘world’. And I feel like they’ve picked up the quality & budget on the 2nd season. And I’m actually really looking to the 3rd season!

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