10 November 2008

Is Anything Original Anymore?

So last night Mandar and I watched the first episode of The Legend of the Seeker. It's a new fantasy show on WGN America that looked like it would have some potential. We had DVR'ed it and had it sitting on there for a while. Now, first of all the show is based on the Sword of Truth novels by Terry Goodkind. There are currently 11 novels in the series which means that if the show does good it could be on for a while.

To start with, the show began with this long chase scene with some girl and her sister. Her sister dies and then the one girl opens up a magic portal with some magic stone thingy. It's okay to start. The very next seen we see the protagonist "Richard Cypher" wearing hardly anything at all, making a bridge.

Now to start, he is quite gorgeous but the problem is that it is so obvious that they had to throw in a shot of him shirtless and stretching right in the beginning to keep the interest of women and queers. I wasn't swayed. In fact, I was a little offended that they would be so blatant with their gratuitous semi-nudity.

This whole thing seemed kinda familiar. I was reminder of a scene from the Eragon movie where it's lead hot protagonist shares a less than one minute scene meant only to show him removing his shirt and showing of his hairless and firm body. Nice to look at. But completely gratuitous.

So then the show started to progress. The majority of the plot is pretty nondescript and quite generic. I love how Richard can suddenly slow down as he jumps in the air to attack thought. Very realistic.

Later in the show the girl is gone and the bad guys are trying to find the boy (who manages to keep his shirt on throughout the rest of the show). Richard apparently wants to know more about the girl, and his father tells him to talk to the strange and mysterious man who's been mysteriously around ever since he was born ::cough cough, star wars. cough cough::.

So he goes up and then meets the old man and the girl. There is some arguing and then it's revealed that Richard is the 'seeker' or 'the chosen one.' The girl has this book which is written in another language and Richard says, "I can't read this." She responds, "Look again, the chosen one can read it." He looks again and says, "Oh, I can!" Wow, can I have some wine with that cheese? I'm honestly amazed that the actors can keep a straight face saying these lines.

The lines are so terrible that I had trouble paying attention. I thought, give it time, it'll get better. It didn't, in fact, it got way worse. We learn about this evil bad guy named Darken Rahl. I'm sorry, but if your name is Darken, then you're just destined to be an evil lord. Seriously? Darken Rahl?

At some point the old wizard guy tells Richard that his father isn't really his father. Apparently there was a prophecy of some sort and he doesn't know who his real father is (remember this little fact for later in the post).

So like the archetypal reluctant protagonist, Richard decides that he just can't be 'the chosen one' or the 'seeker' so he leaves and goes home to live a peaceful normal life. Oh no! His home is being burned down and his father ends up dying. Oh no! His father confesses on his death bed that he isn't really his father. Oh no! Who ever saw that coming!?

The rest of the episode is pretty much just Richard deciding that he has to live out his destiny as the seeker that way the prophecy comes true and such. Snore.

This morning I hadn't totally given up on The Legend of the Seeker. I was kinda curious if there was any fan art of Richard Cypher to see if this stud playing him looked like he was described in the book. I typed in 'Richard Cypher' into Google and clicked on the Wikipedia link which had him down as "Richard Rahl (aka Richard Cypher)." Apparently sometime in the 11 books, Darken Rahl (evil bad guy) is revealed to be Richard Cypher's father!!!

Are you fucking kidding me? Is there anything out there that hasn't ripped off Star Wars or Lord of the Rings? I thought Eragon was bad! The problems with Eragon and Legend of the Seeker are so bad that I don't even know where to begin. So here's a nice little chart.

What is so annoying is that both authors of Eragon and Legend of the Seeker have openly stated that they were inspired by Star Wars. What the fuck! If you're gonna steal the plot from a movie, don't call it your greatest inspiration!

So I give up on Legend of the Seeker. The only good thing it has to offer is an attractive guy playing the lead role, but I can just as easily look up images of him without wasting my time watching the show. Thankfully there are a few things out there that are original. Harry Potter may have borrowed scenery and themes, but it's main plot is original and new. Even more original is the His Dark Materials series by Phillip Pullman. I shall cling to them, along with Star Wars and the Lord of the Rings, as the original originals. For every penny shelled out for the piles of plagiarized filth of The Legend of the Seeker and the Eragon series, I die a little inside.


Mandar Malum said...

it is truly disappointing that the show ended up being as such. Not is the story a rip off, but they decided to film in the same locations that the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings films were shot...

Oh well, i guess my search for a good show to occupy my time must continue on...

Asylum Seeker said...

Originality has been dying a slow and painful death for a while now. Mostly because everything that does manage to have originality still manages to suck, while the same cliched dreck we see over and over again is actually presented in films, books, etc. that actually go about presenting the cliches in a competent and compelling fashion so that we usually don't mind. But, yeah...never payed attention to the two series in question, and they probably lifted other things from the fantasy genre as well as Star Wars (the reluctant chosen one and destroyed home are common fantasy staples).

You can never be wholly original. But you can at least try not to be a complete carbon-copy.

Pandora said...

Oh god...I can't believe you made it through the whole episode.