Sunday, November 2, 2008

Legend of the Seeker

Fans of Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series likely knew about the new television series based on Wizard's First Rule that came out yesterday. At first I was excited about this series, Legend of the Seeker, when I first heard about it a while back. Though Goodkind's later books left a sour taste in my mouth, I found his first book to be made of awesome and win. My excitement died a little when I realized that it was likely the people making the series might botch a few things, but I accepted that.

When I watched the first episode of The Legend of the Seeker, I was very surprised to find they hadn't botched a few things - they had botched very nearly everything. Before I dive too deeply in my comparisons and contrasts and pointing and laughing, I want to give a heads up that this will most definitely contain spoilers. So if people don't want to be spoiled, I suggest they not finish this article.

In the Sword of Truth Series, the two main characters are Richard Cypher and Kahlan Amnell. Richard's character was shaped heavily by the way his father raised him, and his friendship with Zedd, his best friend. Richard is this opened minded, intelligent, thoughtful, inquisitive man. Please note that I'm stressing the man. He's not a teenager, he's well out of his teenage years, and somewhere in his mid-twenties.

Kahlan is a woman of power and prestige in her homeland, so she carries herself in a certain way. With dignity and grace and strength. She is also a woman, and not a teen. During her first encounters with Richard they had a couple misunderstandings, but mostly they got along great. He was always very kind to her, and enamored with her from the get go.

Let's look at the television series...

Richard is no longer anything he once was in the books. In the series, he is whiny, reckless, and has many moments of teen angst. He and Kahlan were right bratty with one another during their first encounter as well, before parting ways for the first time. In the series, likely what I found most appalling, was the fact Richard didn't even know Zedd. At times he was downright disrespectful to the man.

I understand things likely have to be changed from book to series, but did they have to change parts of the foundation?

Kahlan gave Richard the Book of Counted Shadows in the show, then he burned it to keep it out of the D'Harans hands. Oh, and the D'Harans aren't blue eyed and blond anymore. Did I mention D'Harans broke the Boundary (That rift between the living and dead) with a catapault? Then Richard and Kahlan went on Slaughterfest '08 in the Hartland Woods.

We learn in the first episode that George Cypher is not Richard's biological father, where that came later in the book series as a plot twist.

Craig Horner looked nice without his shirt on at least. Gogo, fanservice!

So the cons are: Everything.
The pros are: A moment of fanservice.

I may try to watch another episode, but if it's more or less the same, I likely won't be watching this series.

Perhaps I'm speaking unfairly, and judging too harshly based on the fact I read the book. Perhaps people who haven't read the series and don't know 'what's supposed to happen' will like the show, and not find it to be hollow and too-fast paced with terrible inter-character relationships. It is targeted to a younger demographic than I am, after all. And when I was a teen I'd watch a show if it had fanservice. I admit it. I watched Smallville because Tom Welling was hot.

But once the novelty of that passed, I was done with Smallville. It didn't help that the characters they focused on couldn't act their way through a high school play, but that's neither here or now.

So if you're a teen and like fantasy and stabbity stab and shirtless guys? Give LotS a go! If you like things with substance, I'd pass.

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