MTV's newest series just ended its first season and just like with all my season reviews, I'm going to talk about the pros and cons about this new fantasy series. To sum up my thoughts, I'll just say that I thought Shannara Chronicles was a very cool show with some interesting characters and story but it is far from being perfect. Let's get some more detail as to why and just like always, I start with what was good:
Characters are the most important thing for any story and the protagonists in this show kept me going because not only are they very likable but they have great chemistry with each other that I really enjoyed. The best characters being Wil Ohmsford, Allanon, Amberle, and Ander; Wil is probably my personal favorite because of the extremely funny commentary he bring to every situation. Eritrea started off iffy, I didn't think I was going to like her but after awhile she grew on me (despite a few cringe worthy scenes with her) and it's cool to see Sofia from Pan's Labyrinth all grown up.
This Show is Beautiful
Everything from the forests of Arborlon, the fields, the beaches, the Palace, everything is amazing to look at: the New Zealand film location does give a Lord of the Rings feel to some scenes but overall it still feels like its own world...which is technically our world. There are lot of practical sets in this show, my favorite being the palace in Arborlon, so much great detail is put into the many rooms especially the room with the Ellcrys (the big tree). Every location great to look at and nothing felt the same which made it at least fun to look at throughout the season.
The Action Was Good
Despite a few irritating moments of high-framerate shaky cam, the action was nicely done whenever it would pop up: magic, swords, staffs, martial arts, etc. It was all nicely done but I hope there is a bit more action in the next season.
He's not exactly a villain but he's no hero either so I'm just going to give Cephalo his own section to talk about: I really enjoyed this guy. He was funny, he was cool, he was a jerk but he had him redeeming moment...then he would be a jerk again but he was something cool, I hope he comes back in the future.
Despite my enjoyment, I cannot deny there were times I found myself bored because the formula: the trio travels for a bit then stops at some place where something bad happens and one of them has to get saved, the Dagda Mor is shown for a few seconds, tensions raise in Arborlon. The one formulaic thing I got tired of the most was constant saving of characters; okay I get this a dangerous quest and getting captured is inevitable but when somebody had to be saved almost every episode, it gets a little annoying.
We Have A Love Triangle...
Not much I can say other than that love triangles bore the crap out of me and is overused in storytelling. Wasn't too interested here considering I thought only Amberle was the only good romance for Wil.
The Villain Is WEEEEEEAK!
Remember Malekith from Thor: The Dark World? Well take him, make him uglier, and make him even more boring and BOOM! You have the Dagda Mor; this was by far the weakest part about the show was that the villain was every typical fantasy villain ever. I won't spoil anything but the villain they set up for Season 2 seems more interesting than Dagda Mor. The demons they fight throughout the show were more interesting than him. At least we can expect an epic showdown between him and the heroes right? Hehehe...........yeah no.
Lord of the R- *cough* What?
Okay so I know similarities to the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit are pretty much inevitable since it is the definitive fantasy story that many other stories are inspired by...however Shannara Chronicles' can sometimes feel a TEENY bit to similar to Lord of the Rings at some points for my taste: the demons and their land is almost identical to Mordor. The main character has to trek to a far away location to throw a small object into a fire? Yikes.
Does she provide anything for our heroes? Nope. Is she a cool fighter? Nope. Is she interesting? Nope. Does she serve any purpose other than eye candy? Nope. Then why is she even in this show?
Overall I enjoyed the Shannara Chronicles but I recognize that they need to really improve on a lot in Season 2 which I will check out. If you're interested, I say check out Shannara Chronicles Season 1 in the future just don't expect the new Game of Thrones. I give the first season a 7.5/10.
So that's my review for the Shannara Chronicles. Have you seen it? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!