The Witcher Producer Blames American Audience for Simplified Plot

The Witcher producer has explained some of the show's controversial changes from the books they are based on.

The Witcher fans have often criticized the writing of the Netflix series. Not only does the series deviate from the source material regularly, but the plots it has developed are fairly simple and held back by writing that put simply comes up short compared to the source material it's drawing from. Part of this is apparently intentional, and done with American audiences in mind. According to Tomek Baginski, executive producer on Netflix's The Witcher, the show in more than one way is simple because it caters to a wider, American-heavy audience. 

According to Baginski, there are other reasons the show deviates from the source material other than that's what the writing room wants to do. To this end, the producer notes sometimes it's the result of production chaos leading to plots needing to be rewritten, sometimes "within a few hours," so the production can continue uninterrupted. 

"Sometimes the changes are the result of production chaos, because, for example, an actor fell ill and his plot needs to be edited and rewritten within a few hours so that it can be shot the next day, because this is not a plot for which the whole production machine will stop," says Baginski via Wyborcza. "There are a lot of understandable reasons why controversial decisions are made, but the viewer does not have this context, so sometimes it hurts because something was better in the book."

The producer continues noting that sometimes things are also changed, tweaked, or even watered down to appeal the largest audience possible, noting that "the higher level of nuance and complexity" the less likely it's going to engage the broader target audience. 

"When a series is made for a huge mass of viewers, with different experiences, from different parts of the world, and a large part of them are Americans, these simplifications not only make sense, they are necessary," says the producer. "It's painful for us, and for me too, but the higher level of nuance and complexity will have a smaller range, it won't reach people. Sometimes it may go too far, but we have to make these decisions and accept them."

To be fair to Baginski, he's far from the first person to make this remark about watering down content to ensure it's acceptable for mass viewing. However, how much of the show's shortcomings can be chalked up to this, well that's a different story. There are plenty of shows over the years that have their cake and eat it too.

H/T, Redanian Intelligence