I agree some of the modern Smallville and/or family approach is too silly and juvenile. The early episodes of the seasons have so far both taken this 'we must atrract audiences with cool crap!' road at the expense of the charactherization. Once the season gets on, however, Merlin gets dark,serious, and adds positvely to Camelot mythos. I would rather the entire season be serious and grim, but they just have to have those silly monster effects for the kiddies that aren't even watching!
I'm curious about the Starz Camelot, but I really hope it isn't a 90210 type contemporary soap edition. I wish someone would just make an LOTR calibur Arthurian movie.