Saturday, January 30, 2016

"The Shannara Chronicles" Review

On the DZA Scale, I put this between "Great Big TV Show of Cliches and Stereotypes" and "good, but if they turn it into a movie it'll suck," depending on the episode. There's even a couple "awesome" moments.

This is based off of The Shannara Series, which I've never read, so I can only judge the show purely by the show, none of that "Well, in the book..." But I've heard the books are pretty good, so I might pick them up sometime.

The show takes place in our world, a few thousand years or so after the destruction of human civilization. Humans are still around, but the world is ruled by elves and there's also trolls and gnomes and dwarves and, oh yeah, demons. Those guys are a problem.

The demons have been closed off in another world with a sacred tree as the lock and key. The tree's now dying, and every time a leaf falls, a demon gets released into the world. And they're not exactly thrilled about being locked up for the past thousand years without any cell service or HBO to fill the time.

I'm waiting to see if they ever try burning down the damn tree. Seriously, it's a tree.

The series centers around Wil, a half-elf wizard of sorts, Amberle (pronounced like Amber-lee), an elven princess, and Eretria, a human rover (thief). All three have been selected by the tree/destiny/fate to save the tree and lock all the demons back up. And these characters are great. Wil's a smart-ass (and an idiot), Eretria has trust issues, Amberle is proud but at the same time overwhelmed by their only problem with these guys is the stupid love triangle they've got going on. They either need to stop with the high school drama or someone's gotta die.

You've got some classic clich├ęs: Wil has magic stones given to him by his mother via his wizard-y father on her deathbed (deathbed scene), quest that brings three unlikely characters together and forces them to work together, love triangle, girl with trust issues being told by her love interest to get over her trust issues...

One other problem: everyone on this show is Captain Obvious. The first time we meet the druid Allanon (the father figure/guide), he's waking up from a thirty-year sleep alone in a cave and says, "It has begun" to no one in particular. Just stupid stuff like that where the characters are just being obvious and dramatic.

Other than the obvious dramatics, the love triangle, and the slightly sub-par acting, this is a decent show. The people I thought were going to die in the first three episodes are still alive, the people I thought would still be alive are now dead (except for the core three, of course).

I do, however, have some predictions that I would bet $100 each will come true:

-Allanon's going to die
-Amberle's going to end up queen (which means her uncles have to die)
-Wil, Amberle, and Eretria are all going to survive
-the demons will lose, but not until after the "Darkest Moment" when it looks like all hope is lost and they're going to win

And one that I'm not so sure about (maybe worth $50):

-Wil's going to end up with Eretria

Because Amberle's a princess and will probably need a political match. Plus, Wil's the one who's always going on about trusting people and that's Eretria's biggest challenge. And they've already slept together.

I'll stick with this show unless it really starts to suck. And while I'm waiting for the next episode I'm going to start catching up on the new The X-Files. Because aliens!


Thanks for reading! :)

Know a good movie, show or book? Any questions or concerns? Then PLEASE contact me.


  1. I hope that you do not mind that I am commenting, and if so please remove this assuming its an option if not then message me and I will make sure to take care of it right away. I am very conflicted because I didn't intend to write nearly so much, but then had trouble erasing very much also. I will admit it is a bit unfair that I have seen the next couple of episodes since this was posted, yet I promise this is my first viewing of your blog. First I want to say I truly like the "voice" you gave the review, it's just the right amount of sarcasm and noting of flaws, with important pros I agree with as well. I do want to note a couple of recent things that have been huge let downs for me. 1.) I'm pretty sure that at least one character manages to get captured in every episode so far. Yet what I have to say next is so much worse. 2.) There's some terrible changes in how the leading ladies are being portrayed. They both started off as competent fighters that made people regret underestimating them. However In the last two episodes I felt like they weren't even the same people . One big example is that the skill level of their combat choreography was reduced dramatically. I hope the great characters we started with get restored, or if not that these changes are blended in better at the very least. Yet if the bouncing between starts to become a trend, then regardless of how much I liked it so far I just won't be able to keep watching.
    To address your predictions I should note I'd prefer to abstain from the bets :) I agree that Will and Eretria have an unusual kind of chemistry. While on the other hand I felt that most everything just seemed to become too awkward between him and Amberle. (To be honest didn't remember her name had to check IMDB) Even though I felt that way, soon after getting a look at Will's home and the little valley it's in, along with watching his mother die it all instilled the notion in me that he's too much like a white hat and wants someone to rescue. I do think he ends up with a love interest that the first thing after meeting proves herself to be more intrepid, and self sufficient than himself. I figured that miss elf was more likely lean toward to the maiden in distress archetype and thus more likely. I am interested to know why it was you thought Eretria if you don't mind. I bet you thought of something I didn't consider. The bit you said about her uncles was spot on for Mr#1 and I Mr#2 is likely going get swatted like a fly eventually too. There is just one last bit I wanted to add but it definitely requires me to give a

    [[Spoiler Alert]] Keep in mind that there is a chance none of this will matter because it's been proved they are doing whatever they want when Bandon was added I found out he's a new character that they decided to write in

    I am mostly unfamiliar with Elfstones which is the book this was originally based on but around 15 years ago I read Wishsong the book that follows it, though it's a bit fuzzy now I am pretty certain that Allanon doesn't die in this part of the story. I confess I was more interested when reading the next series and can recall it better. It was set a few dozen generations down the road from Wishsong during which time Allanon had become a shade that could see into possible futures and sometimes talk to people in their dreams. Anyway he definitely kicks the bucket either before or right after this series ends. I just think it might be a decade or two from now when the story is focused on Will's two descendants Brin and Jair.

    I Thank you very much for writing the review I really did enjoy reading it, and just in case you are displeased by any of my responses, please know that I thought you would like reading them and I didn't mean to offend.

    1. Hey, I love getting comments on my blog. I wouldn't have this neat little comment area down here if I didn't! :P

      Thank you so much for the feedback! And you're right, I am really disappointed in the girls and I don't think I'll keep up with Shannara. I vastly prefer Lucifer and the sci-fi show "The 100" looks way more interesting.

      Glad you enjoyed the review! Stay tuned for more blog posts! :)