Hello. As you know, Fantasy Friday isn’t just for books, but also for television shows and movies. Today, it’s The Shannara Chronicles in the spotlight.
I wrote a blog at the beginning of the year about the first two episodes and what I thought overall. That was a mostly positive post. This blog will not be as glowing as the first.
SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!!!
I still hold my opinion that the first four or five episodes weren’t that bad. I could push past the differences, understand why those differences were there, and for the most part I enjoyed each of those episodes. But then the episode Utopia came about and…that killed it for me. That sent everything over the top and ruined what I could enjoy.
Let’s start with Amberle:
Amberle is a character that I did not like from the very beginning. Nothing against Poppy Drayton, but I thought her performance was lackluster at best. There was no real emotion to the character- every line delivered grated on my nerves. The only time Amberle was likeable was during the Gauntlet, and just afterward. After that, the acting went downhill.
There were moments throughout the first season where that changed slightly, but those moments were few and far between. By the time she became the Elcrys, I cheered, and cried tears of joy that she was finally gone. That’s not how I should have felt- not by a long shot- but there it was. Utter joy.
But Amberle wasn’t the only character to get on my nerves…
Oh, Will. His acting wasn’t horrible, but the writers changed his backstory and who he was in the book a great deal. Now, I could’ve dealt with those changes had the writers not made Will too stupid to live. At times, it was almost unbearable to watch his scenes. Not because they were poorly acted, but because the writing was so bad that it made Will’s idiocy, as well as his legitimate emotions, painful to watch. I just couldn’t stand watching most of his scenes.
Another pair of characters that were hard to watch? These two:
The princes- Ander and Arion.
They had no depth to them. I mean, absolutely no depth in the first five episodes. By the time the writers gave them some real personalities, it was too late. If the writers wanted me to care for these two they should have inserted character development in the FIRST five episodes- not the LAST five.
Who did I like?
Who doesn’t love JRD? I love the man 🙂 And I do find it rather amusing that he went from Gimli the dwarf, to King Eventine- an elf. He brought Eventine to life, which made some of the scenes with his sons a bit easier to bear.
I really hate that the writers killed him off so early, and the way they did it was a bunch of bs (in my humble opinion). When that happened, I actually cursed at the tv, as if the writers could hear my discontent. That was one of the worst decisions made by them, and stole a valuable asset from the show and other characters.
From the elf king to the druid:
Many changes were made to Allanon, but I enjoyed Manu’s portrayal of the Druid. He really jumped off the screen and brought a good depth of character and charisma. Now, that doesn’t mean I liked his storyline- there were parts that really irritated me- but all in all, he was one of the reasons I tuned back in each week.
Which brings us to:
My favorite character 🙂 I loved Eretria! She really made the entire show. She was kickass, badass, and was one of the few characters who really showed personality and emotion, so much so that I really didn’t see how Will would want Amberle over her. She truly risked all of herself, and didn’t hold back in any regard.
The love triangle was one of the worst aspects of the show. The writers handled it so horribly. So, so horribly. They could have made the triangle part of the journey (as it is in the books) without turning it into what they did. It ruined so much of the show for me.
Other characters, like Bandon, had promise but the writers failed them. Especially Bandon. From what I can see, he’s going to be one of the baddies for season two, which would have been fine had they written his descent with more emotion and thought.
And they really failed with the Reaper. I was so let down I could have cried.
In closing, yes, I did enjoy the first five episodes for the most part. But once the second half started, everything fell apart. There were moments that shined, but those, like so many scenes, were few and far between. I had to force myself to watch the rest of the season after Utopia. Those little moments just weren’t enough to make up for the growing mess the writers spun.
Will I watch Season Two? Probably not. If they focused solely on Eretria I’d watch in a heartbeat, but that won’t be the case. There is just not enough meat to the story (which is sad, since there’s soooooo much source material to pull from). Chances are I’ll tune in for the first episode, to see if they’ve improved the writing, but I don’t have much hope. I think they’ve made it clear how they’re going to run the show. And I don’t think I could handle it if they brought Amberle back, in the flesh- there’s a reason she turned into that tree. A good reason. Bringing her back would a horrible decision (again, in my humble opinion).
Have you watched the show? Read the books? What are your thoughts?