Friday, October 31, 2008

Sepinwall on TV: 'Legend of the Seeker' review

In today's column, I review "Legend of the Seeker," the disappointing return of producers Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert to the world of first-run fantasy syndication.

26 comments:

electricia said...

Ah, that's really too bad. Did you watch "Jack of All Trades"? My husband and I recently watched it on DVD and loved it. (I was reminded of its existence after we watched "Brisco County, Jr.", which we also loved.) It was even more over-the-top and tongue in cheek than Xena et al. I would have loved a new show that lived up to what they did in the past.

Pamela Jaye said...

I didn't kknnow you did syndie (and i wonder where there is to air it nowadays) but i don't do fantasy (Buffy was an exception and I waas 5 years late)

Dan said...

I don't really need another show to watch, but it's Raimi and for that alone I want to give it a couple episodes to catch my interests.

The first 10 minutes of the pilot is on Seekers website. http://www.legendoftheseeker.com/

Anonymous said...

I agree with your review. I'm a fan of Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series. After watching the 10 min preview online I am sorely disappointed. I'm aware that it can be difficult to follow the storyline as it's written in the original work, so I expected some things to be off. But even the characters do not fit the physical profiles. I'll watch the first few episodes, but after that I'm sure that I'll be too horribly disappointed to continue.

Decorative Diva said...

While, I found the preview disappointing, I actually ended up enjoying the 2 hour premiere. In my household, 2 of the 3 adults had read the books, and 1 had not. While we thought it was a bit cheesy, it was overall enjoyable. I figure if we can give Sanctuary a chance, I can give this a chance as well.

grndzro said...

I was so hyped up about this series that it gave me goosebumps......

But after watching it I feel like I wan't to vomit.

I'm a big fan of the Sword Of Truth who has read the series 5 times. This show is so far from cannon it makes me sick. I cannot in good continence ever watch it again.

I'm gonna go chug a gallon of vodka to help me forget this tv series even exists.

grndzro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nicole said...

Maybe it's better if the viewer hasn't read the novels. I haven't, and found the first episode pretty decent. Once you accept that it's being played straight, as opposed to the campiness of Xena and Hercules, it has some potential. There were some Star Wars derivative moments at the beginning, but there are far worse things on television, and Saturday night doesn't have a lot of competition anyway. A quick check over at IMDB scared me because how many times can you say "it's not like the book OMG!", but then again the same thing is happening with the new Merlin series, which also mixes up the original mythology (of which there are several versions anyway). Books and television are entirely different mediums, and I have long accepted that being faithful to the original text isn't always possible, and sometimes makes the program better.

If Knight Rider can remain on the air, then this series deserves a chance.

Amanda said...

Your review is lackluster and boring. Seriously - I think *I* would like to get royalties every time someone wants to pretend that they understand either sci-fi or fantasy by making some reference to George Lucas. George Lucas didn't invent good vs evil, nor did he invent evil characters. (Please note: sci-fi and fanstasy are two different genres. You probably tried to compare Lord of the Rings to Star Wars, too, didn't you?) You were looking forward to another Xena? Really? Did you read these books? If you did, you would have some understanding of why HOPING for another Xena with this series is ridiculous.
All that being said, I found the show to be painfully cheesy at times but otherwise not bad - I remember thinking the first book was kind of cheesy, but I stuck with it and was rewarded. Give the show a chance.

Kenrick said...

I was certainly not hoping for another Hercules or Xena and liked that they're playing the fantasy genre straight. I used to watch Hercules and Xena as a kid and understood that it was campy, but have since wanted to see a solid fantasy series made, as I have read my fair share of fantasy books.

Seeker is about what I expected it to be for a TV series, although I was hoping it would be better. I found the first episode to be decent enough that I'll at least stick around a little longer.

Amanda - As much as a love Star Wars, I too find it annoying when it's referred to as if it were completely novel. However, I will disagree with you on the scifi/fantasy aspect of it. IMO, Star Wars is very much fantasy. All the elements of it: the Force, lightsabers, Jedis, Master/Apprentice, singular hero that is destined to save the galaxy, are all analogs of fantasy themes. It just happens to be set in space, so it's referred to as scifi-fantasy. It's not really science fiction at all, except for the space part. Its setting only superficially differentiates it from fantasy.

What I'm really anticipating is HBO's adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, but who knows when/if that'll ever happen. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R R Martin is my favorite entry into the fantasy genre, although it's less about magic and heroes and more about political maneuvering in a medieval setting with the fantasy elements serving more as historical background.

Jay said...

Dreadful, really. As a fan of the series, it's amazing how much two hours of TV can totally butcher the plot. I am afraid even the most die hard of fans will be hard pressed to sit through many more episodes of this.

dez said...

Goodness, is this going to be the new "Moonlight" for you, Alan? ;-)

I didn't make it through the whole thing, but I might check it out if I happen to be home on a Saturday night with nothing better to do. That Jango Fett-lookin' dude was kind of cool.

Decorative Diva said...

Chase (Jay Laga'aia) was in Star Wars Episodes 2 and 3 as Captain Typho.
He was also in Xena as Draco.

I think since the 2nd half of the premiere was better than the first half, the show definitely has potential.

Maybe those of us in my household who read the books and enjoyed it, enjoyed it because we understand that tv and movie adaptations aren't going to be 100% the same. I still think Sam Raimi did an admirable job of conveying all of the major points through the premiere.

Play'nWitYoMomma said...

I enjoyed the show. It will require more commitment than a typical tv series (ie Heroes) because the plot is much more complex. Viewers will be rewarded down the road.

At first I didn't like Horner as Richard; but, he grew on me during the show. For those of us who've finished the series it is often hard to remember Richard as a young, naive man.

I've heard of the "Eye of the World" being made into a movie but I haven't heard of "A Song of Ice and Fire" being done by HBO. That sounds interesting, but I think even HBO will have to reign it in a bit. That being said, I don't have high hopes for "A Game of Thrones" being done. I predict that Martin will croak long before his series is finished, and if he switches gears, and starts a tv series before he finishes the novels the series will suffer.

A Song of Ice and Fire was my second favorite series but it has slipped to third for Steven Erikson's "Malazan Tales from the Book of the Fallen". #1 for me is "Memory, Sorrow and Thorn" by Tad Williams.

Jenni said...

While I will agree whole-heartedly with you that this show left a lot to be desired, I would like to point out that hard-core fans of the show would NOT enjoy this show. Yes yes, you can't compare it exactly to the books, blah blah. But the reason I'd say it's worth comparing it is because this does not even come CLOSE to how interesting the plot of the book was... they took out every thing that was interesting and by the time you examine what's left, it seems trivial and unimportant. It also missed pivital stuff like how Zedd was an old dear friend to Richard and that Richard's father had already died before the story began and the book Kahlan is trying to bring him didn't exist at this point-Richard had it when he was young and his father made him memorize it and destroy it... which comes up later as being vital to the story.

And I agree that the action was weak, and the story is indeed "straight" but the way it's depicted here is cheesy... the bridge Richard builds in the beginning was such a weak attempt at portraying the heart of the character... which they completely undo anyway by making Richard refer to Zedd as that crazy old man. Richard is usually the first person to see past someones quirks and appearance and be kind to them. This was just a snotty kid.

So no, no one will be fan of this show.. unless like you mentioned they are a fan of abs.

dez said...

Chase (Jay Laga'aia) was in Star Wars Episodes 2 and 3 as Captain Typho.
He was also in Xena as Draco.


I knew he looked familiar! Thanks!

Who's the Gandalf-lookin' dude? Is that Zedd?

wjf said...

I really enjoyed the premiere episode but I will readily admit I have no knowledge of the series, never read the books, never even heard of the author...maybe ignorance really is bliss.

I agree with the poster above that if Knight Rider can get a full season then this is far more deserving.

Anonymous said...

i am on book five of the series and i am very attached to the charactors that terry goodkind has created. after watching it i was totally disgusted. whoever did the casting should be shot. richard is totally wrong. i am bigger than he is he should have been played by somone like brenden fraiser. kahlan is nowhere near pretty enough, zedd is a total joke,darken rahl is supposed to have blond hair, and more importantly what about the boxes of orden!!!!

Anonymous said...

If you haven't started watching this, don't bother. If you have, try to forget. This show, on its own merits, as just a show, with no connection to Goodkind's series features bad acting, bad writing, Hercules/Xena style special effects and a lame plot line. The fact that it is supposed to be based on Goodkind's series adds in a whole layer of reasons you should just turn off the tv when it comes on. All of the noncheesefantasy elements of the book are left out of the tv series and replaced with cheesefantasy elements. The plot of the entire series is also now in jeopardy from drastic and almost complete deviations from the book's plot line. Again, do not bother with this...

Anonymous said...

Terry Goodkind is involved with the plot and the casting of the series.

See: http://www.terrygoodkind.com/news/news2.html

So if its good enough for the author, its good enough for me...

Anonymous said...

I hate to tell this but Goodkind is in no way involved with the series apart from selling the rights. Disney bought the rights and don't want to involve him.
Other site is he is busy writing a book so doubt he would spend to much time if he would be involved.

Series are pretty bad, but if People think LOTR was a master pieces I can understand they thought they could get away with all these adaptions.
People are stupid, so the series are made for stupid people because they the Majority in the targeted public.

ELASTICWAISTBANDLADY said...

My husband is HOOKED on this show.

Me? Well, it only took 20 minutes for me to see that Legend Of The Seeker is the cheesiest crap to come to TV in a very long time.

The worst dialogue EVER. I was trying to sleep last week while my husband had the show on and I turned over to see the female lead breathily telling some guy that she can't give herself to him because she would unleash something from within her that would be dangerous to others.

That's a new one. Why can't she just tell him that she got accidentally smacked with a fairy wand and has a splitting headache like all the other good little fantasy realm people who don't feel like getting it on?

ELASTICWAISTBANDLADY said...

Oh, and after 12 years I FINALLY got to see the entire first and last season of the brilliant Sam Raimi produced American Gothic series.

Why can't they make more shows like that? Dark, brooding supernatural mystery with a lot of funny wit and dialogue thrown in.

Rachel said...

People are stupid, so the series are made for stupid people because they the Majority in the targeted public.

Count me as stupid person, then! I loved LOTR *was* a masterpiece. And last night I couldn't sleep so I tried watching an episode of LotS on Hulu. Hours later, I was still wide awake, having watched every available episode.

Is it groundbreaking? No. Is it a faithful adaptation? I have no idea. Is it even necessarily that good? No, but it has it's moments.

I think it's my new guilty pleasure. I look forward to DVRing it and watching on Sunday afternoons.

Christopher said...

I stopped watching halfway through the second episode... I just couldn't take it anymore. The story/plot got so twisted and butchered that I wanted to cry. The casting left A LOT to be desired. I try to forget what I saw on TV and am reading the books over again (for like the 8th time) so that the nightmare that is this show can be erased from my memory.

Tori said...

I think most of you are completely crazy! I had never heard of the Sword of Truth book series, and thought that the trailer for The Legend of the Seeker looked awesome. I have been watching it every week since the premiere, and absolutely love it. It actually inspired me to take a break from my love of vampire love story fiction, to read The Sword of Truth books. I am 1/2 way through the first book right now, and have to say that I am sooo excited to see that, although the characters on the show aren't exactly as described in the book, the stories on the show are straight from the book. I am now a hardcore Seeker fan, and, even with reading the book, am still a HUGE fan of the TV series.

Oh, and as for comparing it to Hercules and Xena, I used to watch them too, and would continue to watch them if they were still on!