Betsy Speicher

Legend of the Seeker (2008)

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14 posts in this topic

Terry Goodkind’s novels are often clumsy and overwritten; but I appreciate him because he was the one that introduced me to Objectivism almost ten years ago.

I also appreciate his characterization. Here where characters in fantasy that acted like adults! They where rational, proud, and intelligent (especially the main protagonist, Richard.)

The series (based on his first book) seems to have taken what I loved most about the novels, and thrown it out the window. The Richard in the series is whiney, childish, and indistinguishable from any other fantasy protagonist; you might as well watch Eragon. Richard is no longer a hero because he is a rational man of enormous stature, but because he swings a sword at the right people. I admit I cringed in a few scenes.

I suppose there is always the possibility that they intend to turn Richard into the Richard I know through the course of the series. And to be fair, I only watched the premier, and it’s a bit too early to judge what they are going with the characters (also, in the name of fairness, I think I should mention that there are scenes in which Richard does act like Richard.)

As for the rest of the characters, they all do a decent job (and are within the ballparks of their written counterparts.)

The story is changed from the book, and often expanded quite dramatically. I don’t mind this, but some of the changes are unnecessary and a downgrade from the book.

But perhaps I should detach the serous from the book and judge it as its own universe. Looking at it this way, and I have to admit that there is not much different here then from any other high-quality cable fantasy show (the show also gives far too much away in the first episode; why don’t the producers think the audience can be patient?)

Again, it is too early to judge it fully. I gave it a 7, but a lot of that had to do with the incredible New Zealand scenery.

-Ryan

P.S. – For those looking for Objectivism on TV, you won’t find that either; the show is light on philosophy. The bad guys are bad because they hurt people, and the good guys are good because they fight them. That’s it.

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I agree with RM Alger: I was very disappointed in the first two episodes, the gratuitious changes that screw up many key developments and, as he said, turn ingenuity and resolve into brute force... and not so brute and forceful at that. The Sword of Truth had none of its remarkable qualities, though it did light up (toys should be available in time for Xmas). Richard had none of his remarkable qualities, though he didn't light up. Zedd was not the brilliant, playful-yet-deep wizard of the novels. He looked like someone recently out of rehab. The effects were a bit on the cheap and were deployed in the service of their changes, not where they could have realized the original story: I'm thinking boundary (just throw rocks at it!?) and sword (shouldn't have needed more than a few swipes to shatter any normal sword and, should have caused him pain to wield it), Kahlan's allegedly sonic boom-like power, etc.

They've turned it into a fairly routine sword and sorcery. Oh, well...

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...Oh, and another thing for those who know the books: Snake vine? The significance of its appearance? The boxes of Orden? Forget it. They seemed to use set pieces from the novel without understanding (E.g. the dragon's appearance was just to showcase Richard's brand-spankin-new sword, not the presence of Mr. Evil

Darken Rahl

himself in Westland).

On the other hand, some adaptation is necessary. As RM A says, Goodkind could be a bit long-winded. We'll have to see what they can do to redeem themselves. The next installment doesn't look too promising: "Bounty" -- "An evil cartographer sells magical maps that allow bounty hunters and henchmen to track Richard's every move." This really sounds like the creators of "Hercules" and "Xena" just see this as an opportunity to have a "weekly adventures of..." episodic, milking the genre by inventing all sorts of non-Goodkind maguffins to keep it going, even as they eliminate huge chunks of story development. But maybe it'll get better.

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I'm on the 9th book of the series and have enjoyed it a lot. I saw the 30 minute sneak peak of the t.v. series they released on itunes before the show officially started. I didn't like it that much, and it appears that others were disappointed in the first couple episodes.

But, for what it's worth, the first 7 episodes are available on hulu.com. I may watch a few just to get a better sense of the t.v. series. My expectations are low, though. Nevertheless, I'm enjoying the book series.

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Many of us fans are very disappointed with the direction the producers at ABC have taken. Mr. Goodkind was very selective in choosing someone to adapt the books to video, and at the time he sold the rights to WFR, he was promised by Sam Raimi (who had come and discussed the matter with him personally) that the integrity of the message and characters would be preserved. He was also promised to have creative input on the show. Unfortunately, Disney ABC has wrested control and had their own horrid way with it to the displeasure of Mr. Goodkind, Mr. Raimi, certain sympathetic members of production, and fans allike.

We've been asked on the official forums to put to words exactly where we feel ABC production has failed to do as it has promised, and offer suggestions as to how they might get back on track. These will be sent by one of the member's who has direct contact with members of ABC responsible for the show, in hopes of salvaging whatever episodes remain to be written and filmed. We don't have high hopes, but doing something may be better then just complaining. If any fans of the book are interested in adding their own comments, feel free to head over to terrygoodkind.com's forums (the suggestions category).

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I'm just curious: Is the show popular? Is it going to continue?

I've watched quite a few episodes on hulu, but I couldn't tell you when it was on television.

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I'm just curious: Is the show popular? Is it going to continue?

I've watched quite a few episodes on hulu, but I couldn't tell you when it was on television.

I found this on the Wikipedia article:

Legend of the Seeker premiered on the weekend of November 1-2, 2008 in the United States and attracted more than 4.1 million viewers over the two days.[17] The first two episodes obtained an average of 1.5/3 Nielsen Rating among 54 metered markets with a 1.4/3 rating on Saturday and a 1.7/3 rating on Sunday. In addition to improving its broadcast time periods in several top markets, Legend also improved the audience numbers in the key 18 to 49 year old demographic in all airings.[18] Over its first month of airing, the show averaged more than 3.6 million viewers.[19]

It seems to be doing well enough to continue.

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Many of us fans are very disappointed with the direction the producers at ABC have taken. Mr. Goodkind was very selective in choosing someone to adapt the books to video, and at the time he sold the rights to WFR, he was promised by Sam Raimi (who had come and discussed the matter with him personally) that the integrity of the message and characters would be preserved. He was also promised to have creative input on the show. Unfortunately, Disney ABC has wrested control and had their own horrid way with it to the displeasure of Mr. Goodkind, Mr. Raimi, certain sympathetic members of production, and fans allike.

We've been asked on the official forums to put to words exactly where we feel ABC production has failed to do as it has promised, and offer suggestions as to how they might get back on track. These will be sent by one of the member's who has direct contact with members of ABC responsible for the show, in hopes of salvaging whatever episodes remain to be written and filmed. We don't have high hopes, but doing something may be better then just complaining. If any fans of the book are interested in adding their own comments, feel free to head over to terrygoodkind.com's forums (the suggestions category).

Thanks for letting us know about this. I don't know if I'll have anything useful to say after watching some episodes, but I'll certainly give it some thought.

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I watched the premiere (which was two episodes), and one episode after it, last night. Here are some brief thoughts.

First, they got the wrong person to play Richard. Aside from being muscular, the actor bears little physical resemblance to how Richard is described, is too young, and doesn't project the kind of character Richard has in the book. Since this whole story is about Richard, these facts pretty much destroy the show for me. I simply can't watch and admire this character the way I do the Richard from the book.

The television Kahlan is a good physical match (at least to my mind) and projects a strong character, like Kahlan in the books. But there is no way the television Kahlan could develop romantic feelings for "boy" Richard on the show. He looks like her kid brother.

The rest of the characters are passable, some more than others.

In the books, Mr. Goodkind not only explores intellectual issues, but many psychological ones as well. This is part of what makes the books so interesting and enjoyable to me. However, by removing the relationship between Zedd and Richard, making Richard the Seeker of "Evil," and barely touching on the Sword's power as related to anger, they rob the story of its intellectual and psychological base. These issues are core to understanding the characters and the story. Without them, R.M. Alger and alann are right: the show is simplified to "bad guys hurt people; good guys fight them," and here's the next weekly installment.

I'm passing judgment on limited viewing as well, but I don't want to watch any more while I'm still reading the series. The show is too superficial in comparison to the books, and I find trying to enjoy them both at the same time is impossible. Perhaps when I'm done with the books I would watch it, but treat it as essentially a completely different story and world than that of the books. Viewed that way it might be somewhat enjoyable.

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**Warning** Spoilers follow:

I watched a little of the first episode and could barely stomach ten or fifteen minutes of it.

Our first sight of Richard is literally a zoomed in slow panning of the camera along his rippling abdominal muscles as he does some kind of physical exertion while lathered in sweat; the nature of the way he was introduced and the pathetically mismatched actor for the role conveyed to me that they apparently had no appreciation or understanding of who Richard was other than he was good looking. I have nothing against the actor (he seemed good), but it was just such a glaringly poor choice; Richard may have been a boy by age, but he still carried himself like a strong, mature man with wisdom beyond his years. The actor looked like he had been plucked from "N'Sync" and then greased up with body oil.

Then Kahlan is introduced, as she and some random companion are jostling on horses in a scene directed so that three seconds can't elapse without cleavage exploding out of the TV screen. They are being pursued by D'Haran guards who are about as menacing as the Energizer Bunny, which is a crime considering the amount of extensive detail Goodkind went through to portray them as the most vicious, terrifying barbarians who ever slit a throat.

Then, again, a pathetically mismatched actor and character is introduced, this time as Zed, and you know for sure now that rather than to give Goodkind's wonderful story some credit they simply used the fame to turn a buck by peddling more Xena/Hercules trash :D

I wouldn't be this harsh if I didn't like Goodkind's work so much... I had low expectations, but I didn't expect they would bungle it this badly. It's like they never even read the books...

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But there is no way the television Kahlan could develop romantic feelings for "boy" Richard on the show. He looks like her kid brother.

I was thinking that when I saw the show, too. And it's not just his looks, it's the way he carries himself. Even when he acts serious I can't buy it.

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My wife has read the entire series and I have yet to dive into them. I understand they're pretty good. I don't want to ruin the reading experience by watching the poorly filmed television show.

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How absurd is it that television heroes have the time to shave every piece of hair off their chest. Its like he is thinking, "Hey I am hero that has to save the world and defeat bad guys on a daily basis, but instead of engaging in manly activity, I am going to shave my chest."

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