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Shannara

Pp wanted to watch The Shannara Chronicles.

"It'll be terrible!" I warned him.

"It might be good!" he said.

The look of dawning horror on his face as we watched the first fifteen minutes was a thing of beauty, but now things have pretty much dissolved into helpless giggling.

Pp's conclusion: There should be more lines like: "Are there any elven traditions you respect?" "Only the ones with parties." Or "I was expecting something more woodsy".
And characters named after minor African countries.

My conclusion: MAKE IT GO AWAY! THE HORROR! THE HORROR!

I think the very worst bit for me was the Elventhrone of Obviously Moulded Plastic, surrounded by garden centre silk plants. You feel that there should be an overpriced tea-room and a shelf of new age music just around the corner.

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Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
lil_shepherd
3rd Mar, 2016 21:13 (UTC)
Well, I suppose that as bad books often make good films (and TV series) Pp might have beeb right to hope. But I honestly think the Shannara books are pretty much unreadable, so...
bunn
4th Mar, 2016 08:52 (UTC)
I haven't tried in over 20 years, but that was my recollection too. If the measure of success of a TV show was to live up to the quality of the original book, then this one has definitely ticked the box.
lil_shepherd
4th Mar, 2016 11:32 (UTC)
*snork*
alitheapipkin
4th Mar, 2016 13:08 (UTC)
Yeah, even as a kid I couldn't get through the books! I saw that it was on and didn't investigate further, although I'm now wondering whether 5 mins to laugh at the Boy's face might have been *maybe* worth it ;)
bunn
4th Mar, 2016 13:23 (UTC)
There is no reason, on the face of it, why elves should not look and sound like clean-cut and muscular American youth.

AND YET.
louisedennis
4th Mar, 2016 13:42 (UTC)
A friend of mine has been watching. I can't say I've read her reviews, but I've been amused by the increasing levels of invective that appear above the cut each time she talks about it.
bunn
4th Mar, 2016 13:53 (UTC)
I think I have a fairly high tolerance of the kind of bad TV you can watch while doing other things, but this was on another level. The thing is a venomous pollutant, and deserves to die screaming.
ladyofastolat
4th Mar, 2016 17:32 (UTC)
But is it the sort of awful that would actually be great fun to watch (at least for a little while) with a group of people - people who are gathered together for a roleplaying weekend, for example? :-D
bunn
4th Mar, 2016 20:29 (UTC)
Hmmmm. Well, I'm definitely not watching it again sober, that's for sure.
natsuko1978
7th Mar, 2016 19:58 (UTC)
I only watched for 5 minutes, but I think if you took a sip every time there was a line of naff Mr/Ms Explainer dialogue - like someone telling another person what the relationship between the two of them was - you could get pretty drunk very quickly. And very drunk by the end of an hour.

It was like a lesson in How Not To Write. :(
bunn
8th Mar, 2016 08:47 (UTC)
YES. The writing was baaaaaaaaaaad. I think that's the killer blow really, naff sets and stupid plots can be overcome.
natsuko1978
8th Mar, 2016 18:28 (UTC)
I'm a fan of opera and Classic Who. Naff (cheap!) sets and stupid plots can be charming! :D (Character has TB - and SINGS about it... of course she does. But the music is glorious.)

And to get over the whole "Sci-Fi is very expensive thing to make" when trying to sell Red Dwarf to the BBC, the trial scripts had comments like "HE WALKS DOWN A CORRIDOR [it's a very plain and ordinary corridor. It could be a corridor anywhere, really. Even Television Centre.]"

If the writing and characters grab you, sets and even plot are distinctly secondary. But Person A telling Person B what her race and rank are, is just dire and cringe-worthy: "You are an elven princess!"; "I am your friend and servant!"

Oh, God! Make them stop.
bunn
8th Mar, 2016 19:21 (UTC)
That's the worst thing about it. Once watched it infects your brain...

I'm more of a Blakes Seven person than Who, personally, but yes +1 on the 'cheap sets are fine!'

Also, I was a BBC Merlin fan, so it's not like my fantasy bar is set unrealistically high :-D
jane_somebody
15th Mar, 2016 22:05 (UTC)
Hmm, this post is the first thing that has actually made me interested in watching this :-D After all, it's not like the abomination that was the Earthsea miniseries, in that the Shannara books are *not* a series I'm personally invested in :-)

Skordh adds: it sounds as if they have borrowed the stage sets from Beastmaster 3: The Eye of Braxus. That had similar quality of sets/props, and indeed dialogue.
jane_somebody
15th Mar, 2016 22:10 (UTC)
Sample dialogue:

Beastmaster: "Where does Lord Agon keep his prisoners?"
Random Castle Person he accosted: "In the dungeons!"
Beastmaster: *lets RCP go and dashes off, without asking for directions to the dungeons or preventing RCP from sounding the alarm*
Us: *facepalm*
bunn
17th Mar, 2016 19:58 (UTC)
Do things explode? I do like a good explosion in a terrible movie.
bunn
17th Mar, 2016 19:57 (UTC)
You'd be taking your life in your hands, unless your alcohol allergy problem has gone away... I think this is beyond 'so bad its good' territory. I think it might be so bad it's really really bad...
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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