Sunday, December 25, 2011

TV Series Review: Legend of the Seeker

So, there haven't been a lot of tv reviews here for the past few months which is basically because I haven't been watching as many American/British tv shows. I did try out Angel
  months and months ago and then went "okay, this is the third episode, if this was an anime I'd be dropping this so screw it, never touching it again" and thus my "I don't know why everyone loves this guy" relationship with Joss Whedon continued. Next up on my list was this series which, while it wasn't terrible, I just wasn't driven to watch for a really long time. Combine that with tons, too many really, anime to watch in the summer/fall (10 currently airing shows seems to be my limit, plus up to three shows being streamed on a weekly basis by Nozomi plus all the shows I had borrowed from friends and needed to finish up ASAP) I just didn't have the time. But recently I did feel the urge to finish up this series, just to put it on while working on other things and, since I was pretty close to the end of the first season, I just put the rest of that on and blasted through it after all.

Legend of the Seeker

 Summary: Richard was an ordinary woodsman living a comfortable life when the unimaginable happens, a person crosses through the impenetrable barrier from the neighboring country of D’Hara and is looking for him. Her name is Kahlan, a powerful confessor (someone who can make anyone tell the truth and make them her slaves with a single touch) and she is looking for the Seeker, the only person who can wield the sword of truth and take down D’Hara’s evil ruler, Darken Rahl. They are joined by the wizard Zeddicus as they go on the run to try and prevent Darken Rahl from becoming all powerful and figure out just how to defeat him.

The Good: I was rather surprised, and it's sad that this was surprising, at how none of the female characters were ever told "you can't fight because you're a woman" (which might be due to the roles the female characters were in) and it was nice to have a fantasy setting where everyone was completely capable of taking care of themselves. I also thought that the pacing worked out fairly well, there were some episodes that felt like padding but overall it felt like nearly every episode was contributing to the overall larger plot which was great. There weren't a ton of things that stood out and impressed me in this series but it was a solid, average series. 

The Bad: I’ve said this a lot recently but, I’ve seen just so much of well, so many things that a story has to be great, not just average, to impress or even entertain me these days and Legend of the Seeker is decidedly average. It works but the story doesn’t do anything new or exciting, plot wise, setting wise, or even character wise. As for actual bad things about the series, I’ll admit that the Mord-Sith characters really rubbed me the wrong way, possibly because women wearing dominatrix-y things while wearing dominatrix clothes feels so passé (I feel like it is a trope but I can’t figure out which) plus I felt like the writers were trying to make the character in question likeable when they really weren’t. Finally, the ending plays with one of my least favorite ending tropes* 

The Audio: I didn’t notice much about the music in this show except for the ending theme (there wasn’t so much an opening theme as there was a five second animation of the sword of truth, anime really spoils me there). I feel like I did notice the music when I would have the show on in the background and be doing other things but again, other than the ending theme nothing really stood out to me in the show.

The Visuals: I have never seen a tv series use so much bullet time, I think it was used in at least one battle sequence in every single episode. Aside from that stylistic quirk, everything looks pretty good. The setting looks appropriately “fantasy” (lots of pristine meadows, rivers, the woods looked a bit young though), the characters actually had a rotation of clothes (instead of wearing the same ones every time) which was a nice touch and the special effects looked alright for a tv show (I liked the one for Kahlan’s confessor powers the most).

So, I won't be trying the second season of this show since it just didn't impress me enough for that but I do plan to try and get back on track to watch more American/British television. I have a few lined up that I want to try and, since a lot of anime will be taking this week or the next week off and I need to get a lot of sewing done (ie, watch stuff in English so I don't have to keep looking up at subtitles) I think I'll be able to start tackling some stuff in the next few days.

*for those curious, it’s the “oh no we went to the bad future and we must go back to the present to make it all go right!” one. I don’t like it because it always comes off as padding since the characters always do exactly what they were planning to do from the beginning, it’s just frustrating.

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