by Diana Vaccarelli
MTV original programming adapts the SHANNARA CHRONICLES, a series of novels written by the late Terry Brooks from 1977 through 2015.
The TV version begins with the world in great danger because the Ellcyrs tree, which is the only piece of magic that is protecting the world from Demons, is dying. Will our little band of warriors succeed in saving the day?
• The best parts of SHANNARA are the special effects and the set designs. You really feel like you’re a part of a fascinating new world. The series is visually stunning. And let’s not forget the Demons. Their appearance is simply brilliant.
• The acting is topnotch. Especially that of Manu Bennett, who plays Allanon, a Human Druid with magical powers.
• The writing just doesn’t make it for me. Storywise, it was like revisiting THE LORD OF THE RINGS. The hero, Wil (yes, that’s how it’s spelled), even has to go on a quest (for stones) way too similar to a certain quest for “the one ring to rule over all.”
• The writing is off in other ways as well. Especially the dialog, which is, in a word, cheesey. Come on, Hollywood, let’s use our brains. OUTLANDER manages to keep us in suspense while remaining true to the basics of the story and the setting in the books by giving us fascinating characters and plot twists…and dialog that never makes us wince.
Diehard fans of the SHANARRA books probably will be more than satisfied with THE SHANNARA CHRONICLES simply because it brings them to life. But if you’ve never read the books, the similarities to THE LORD OF THE RINGS may turn you off. If you’re unfamiliar with both series of books and are one of the three people in the world who haven’t seen the LOTL films, the look and acting just might hook you into sticking around to see how the story ends. As for me, I’ll continue to watch because…well, because it’s Shanarra! In the “flesh!”
Guess I’m just one of those diehards.
Diana Vaccarelli is a TVWriter™ Contributing Editor. Learn more about her HERE