Like many scifi nerds I have a low tolerance for fantasy. I’d like to say that it’s just the repetition, but science fiction isn’t exactly summer’s eve fresh, if you catch my drift. Leesa remarked that all too often it reads like a romance novel with ancillary sorcery, and I think she’s right; if you take the science out of most science fiction you’d have a broken storyline, if you take the magic out of a fantasy novel, you have… a novel.
On the other hand, I think The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are neccessary reading for anyone, anywhere. Plenty of smack has been spoken of them (the cool have always delighted in toppling the giants of the past) and I don’t have a lot to say about those people – fools walk the earth, I can’t deny it. Furthermore, and lending somewhat less credence to my love for Tolkein, is my enjoyment of what can only be described as bad fantasy. It’s like watching a sitcom or eating tatertots with nacho sauce for dinner: I never meant for anyone to see me do it, but there it is.
My point: newly debuted television show Legend of the Seeker, baby of Sam Raimi (hello, Xena!) and author Terry Goodkind is exactly what I mean when I curl my lip and say “Fantasy?” I mean, this is Hulu.com’s description:
“In a distant land, Richard Cypher discovers his true destiny as he, a mysterious young woman, a wise old wizard and a magical sword are all that stand between the evil tyrant Darken Rahl and his quest for total domination. “
Whoa, whoa, wait a second. There’s a handsome, young, well-meaning pauper lad, a mysterious and physically stunning young woman, an aged wizard and some kind of enchanted sword? And an evil tyrant with the word “Dark” in his first name? I don’t get it.
An aside: I keep reading the name as “Drunken Rahl” which impresses me, and then I catch my error and am disappointed.
I am but a lowly forest lad, building things for charity.
Anyway, this is what I’m thinking, as I am sure you are: please. Just… stop. Why are you doing this to yourselves? I mean, you’re the sorority girl at the party getting wasted on Long Island Iced Teas and then puking on herself. You’re an embarrassment but worse you’re a cliched, predictable, dime-a-dozen embarrassment.
And then I started watching the show.
And oh god, is it terrible. And delightful. A kind of hysterical, overseasoned superfantasy top-heavy with slo-mo and dramatic CG, it is that glistening pink donut encrusted with sprinkles that makes you say “I can’t, I’m a grown-up,” and then you’re cramming it into your mouth, icing smeared over your face and hands while onlookers queasily retch.
I guess I would pay to see a 7-foot tall man holding a chicken on his nethers.
Bruce Spence?! Is that you? Dear god, man, you were the Gyro Pilot in Mad Max, what are you doing here? Bruce Spence who played the role of The Mouth of Sauron (a scene that should never have been cut from the theatrical release) in The Return of the King, or one of the Strangers in Dark City?
Oof. Well, here’s my advice: if you’re home sick or pretending to be sick or maybe want to be sick, you can do worse than to sit around and watch Legend of the Seeker. I recommend laying in a nearby store of strong liquor, a bowl of popcorn, some cherry cordials and holy shit is that Haldir from Lord of the Rings? This show is knee-deep in LOTR sloppy seconds! Anyway, it’s pretty, it’s confusing, it’s not like you have a huge holiday to prepare for in the next two weeks, so watch up.
Legend of the Seeker at Hulu.com