'Merlin'

tvpartyw530.jpgThere's something about the story of Camelot that seems to resonate with everyone: Arthur, Gwen, the Round Table. Probably the only way to make it better would be to recast it as "the early years," as though Teen Beat magazine had script approval. And it's with that in mind that we celebrate Merlin, airing Fridays on Syfy. It has all of the mystery, the fantasy and right versus might that we'd expect from the tale but with a lot more Clearasil ads than if the late Richard Harris were to have reprised his role as Arthur. So if you love fair maidens, knights in shining armor and wizards bearing a striking resemblance to Harry Potter, call your friends and neighbors because we're throwing a Merlin party!

Setting the scene:
Aside from the dragon and troll droppings, the mythical kingdom of Camelot looks a lot like you might expect from 12th-century England with its stone castles, wooden stables and royal trappings. And so the easy way out of this is to raid the nearest Renaissance festival, stealing everything from banners and flags to goblets and castle keys. Add medieval tapestries over stone-look wallpaper for that just-moved-into castle vibe. Other great decor items include shields, swords, suits of armor and period furnishings. Gothic sconces and statues are a nice touch, but don't forget a crystal ball - it'll tell you what to expect from this shindig. Invitations should be on parchment paper and written in calligraphy.

Attire:
Noble or peasant - those were the only options during medieval times. Encourage guests to come as their favorite character from "Merlin," and if they still come in modern garb, tell them they'll be burned as witches.

On the menu:
Times were simpler then, so do a spread that features food fit for an Arthur, such as whole chickens or duck, leg of lamb and smoked trout surrounded by a table of cooked and raw vegetables. Wine and beer should quench a maiden's whistle.

On the hi-fi:
The Wizard by Uriah Heep, The Wizard's Vengeance by Legend, Knights of the Round Table by Monty Python, If I Were Your Woman by Gladys Knight & the Pips, Give It to You by Jordan Knight.

The showstopper:
Watching Merlin have all the fun casting spells and doing wizard stuff has inspired us to enroll in the Grey School of Wizardry to learn all the ins and outs of magic. We suggest you enroll all of your guests so that we can all become apprentice wizards together!
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