TV thoughts: Legend of the Seeker (2008/09)

Legend of the Seeker is the show that Sam Raimi was born to make. 

I remember watching Hercules and Xena with my parents, and I liked them well enough.  There was a high cheese factor and I was never sucked into them as much as other shows, but they were fun.  I’ve always had a soft spot of the Evil Dead movies, with their mix of horror and goofiness.  And, of course, the action and adventure of the first Spider-man film is hard to deny. 

Legend of the Seeker takes all of those elements that Raimi is so good at directing and mixes them together in a story of high-fantasy.  If you ever watched “Lord of the Rings” and wished you could hang out in a magical world for longer than the 9 hours that all 3 movies run…well, you can now join the Seeker.

I’ll should probably mention that I have not read any of Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series.  I’ve never been able to read fantasy novels because the world building usually bores me to tears (though sometimes the movies will encourage me to read the books).  I like a lot of action and adventure and I want it NOW.  That’s why Seeker is so great for me.  It has the action sequences of Hercules and Xena, the evolving plot of Spiderman and sometimes even the creepiness of Evil Dead.  Yes, sometimes it feels like half the stuff out of their mouths is “exposition exposition exposition” but I’d rather get it from episode to episode than all at once.

Some might say it is derivative of other fantasy stories.  To that I say – what isn’t?  Seriously, everything is a take on the Arthurian/Tolkien/Lucas mythos that we all know and love.  At least, the good ones.  Seeker takes the classic fantasy story of the chosen hero and the evil villian and creates a very polished story. 

For those not familiar with the specifics – Richard Cypher is a normal farm boy out in the woods and he runs into a mysterious woman in white being attacked by soldiers.  Being all noble and such, he jumps into the fight to protect her.  What he doesn’t know is she doesn’t need his protection – she has her own magical powers.  She is a Confessor and has the power to suck away a persons free will and make them do her bidding.  Together they escape the guards and she tells him she’s looking for the Seeker.  They go to visit the crazy old man in town who turns out to be (surprise!) a Wizard!   He rescued Richard back when a prophecy said he would grow up to kill the Evil Bad Guy Darken Rhal.  Now Richard must journey back to his home land and defeat Darken Rhal with the Sword of Truth.  (Seriously, if Rhal turns out to be Richard’s father/brother/cousin/college roommate – I would not be surprised and I’d still love the show).

See?  He’s Luke!  He’s Arthur!  He’s wandering around like Aragorn, hanging out with a Gandalfian Wizard (complete with kooky sense of humor). 

One of the things I really like about the show is Kahlan, the female lead, played by Bridget Regan.  Kahlan, the Confessor, is a very strong character.  Yes, there is a love story involved with her and Richard, but she is more than just his girlfriend.  When she ventures off into battle, you know she can take care of herself.  Usually she is the one saving Richard or coaching him on how to be a better Seeker.  It’s nice to see a non-damsel in fantasy.  I get chills when she goes into battle with her twin daggers, her gorgeous dress twirling as she jumps and stabs a guy.  Awesome. 

I don’t know why Jay La’gaia is on the poster – he’s only in a few episodes.  Zed, the Wizard, should be on there but I guess he wasn’t pretty enough. 

I am very impressed with this show.  It starts off slow, but after they get their footing and establish the characters a bit, it really gets going.  The stories are clever, the characters are likable, the battle scenes are awesome.  I’m only halfway through Season 1 and I was just so impressed I had to write this up.

and season 2 premieres next week. 😀

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