As I write this, there are only 5- or 1-star reviews. I say don't believe either: Beowulf is not a masterpiece, but it is clearly not terrible either. As it's obviously riding the backs of runaway successes like Vikings and Game of Thrones, we could be forgiven for dismissing Beowulf as simply a copycat series. But after viewing two episodes, I'm not convinced Beowulf doesn't have a strong personality of its own that warrants attention.
✔ Cinematography: Ambitious. Not only the locations chosen for shooting, but the occasional elaborate set.
✔ Actors: Not consistent in quality, but more hits than misses. Kieran Bew as Beowulf is capable in his craft, on top of [for some viewers] sex appeal. William Hurt, a personal favorite, appears in flashbacks (yup, Beowulf's got damned flashbacks) each episode. I like Gísli Örn Garðarsson as the comic relief character: don't worry, it's a moderate humor rather than cheesiness that could ruin an otherwise serious show. Edward Hogg is absolutely fantastic as Varr, and writing that made me just realize his character may be inspired by Lord Varys (so perhaps it is a copycat serial!)
✘ Plot & Characters: Will depth be added in future eps? Beowulf's world is not bad so much as it isn't particularly good. I very nearly forgot the entire plot the day after viewing the pilot; thankfully, the story thickens up a bit in the second episode with the introduction of more thanes. Sadly, however, Beowulf is perhaps the least interesting character.
✘ Supernatural? I want some sorcery. Sure, there are a couple of fictitious fuzzy monsters in Beowulf, but more is needed to remind us we're not watching the History channel. Either go all the way or go home.
Final thoughts: I'll continue on despite the absence of a crush on any of the female actors, which is usually my primary reason to keep up with mediocre fantasy at all. Coincidentally, I'm currently watching the first season of another mediocre UK fantasy series, BBC's [[ASIN:B00FRQ0P5C Atlantis]] (which was cancelled after two seasons). I don't know if Beowulf is any better (or should I say any worse), but at least it is different.