Season two has arrived! This series, directed by the directors of Xena and Hercules, is a fantasy series that I really enjoy. In fact, it inspired me to read the entire 12 book series. Which got admittedly preachy as it progressed, but still was quite good otherwise. Some people were upset about the lack of goofball type humor in the series that Xena and Hercules employed but I rather like this slightly more serious version of fantasy.
Anyway, the season premiere: It was mostly awesome with couple of moments of COME ON mixed in.
I guess I’ll start with the irritations. Now, I understand the difference between book and film. I very clearly understand that books have the liberty to share far more information and events than a movie can. After all, movies are limited by time while books can be as long as the author writes it to be. TV of course is a whole different story. On the one hand it has more time, on the other, they must make everything visual and so not everything can be as it was in the book. (Or they can do something lame and uncreative like voice over, but as I said, it’s lame.) Plus change tends to happen much more gradually, characters don’t change in drastic ways unless it’s over a period of time (think of how long it took Seven of Nine to really become human again). The only time I complain about changes between book and screen is when the change is for no reason. (Or at least, for reasons I don’t like.) In this episode, that primary change was have Cara be gay. It’s not that I have anything against gay people, but there’s another Mord Sith in the series that was gay while Cara has an entirely different story which I do not want to ruin for anyone who decides to read the books. And why make her gay? All for the onscreen, two second kiss. Not even two second at that. It just seems like a gratuitous moment where someone said “let’s get hot girls to kiss!!!”
My other complaint about the show was that it actually decided to portray the underworld and not altogether well. For starters, it didn’t actually look too bad, largely because you couldn’t really see much other than the fact that Lord Rahl was naked. And also, it did not make the Keeper look very scary.
Now onto the good. The Skreeling, for one. So creepy looking! And the way they killed it, while certainly not the most unique idea, was still done with good effects.
Aside from the gay thing, I really like the way they brought Cara into the story. It was even more exciting than the way it was done in the books. In particular, I think they got a great actress to play her. Sufficient stare that could stop most in their tracks. I kind of felt bad for her when the others turned, but that’s probably just because of what I know of her from the books.
Other details about the Mord Sith: Charisma Carpenter plays one of them. Hooray Buffy/Angel alums. Well done with every bit of their storyline really. The taking of the little girls, threatening Rachel while she tries to comfort the others.
I’m also not upset about the way they changed it so that Richard and Kahlan still can’t be together. I would like to see it happen at some point, but I don’t mind it being drawn out for longer. They were maybe a little too lovey-dovey in the book (for lack of a better word).
I forget what the deal with the three signs and Richard are, but I was surprised by Shota’s arrival and am excited to see how it all pans out.
I think that the battle with the Keeper requires a more careful handling than that of Darken Rahl (since special effects can just as easily make things cheesy as excellent, particularly without a huge budget).
So far we haven’t seen any sign of the Mud People (sadly) or the Sisters of the Light (a little less sadly), but any number of things are in store for the coming season. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
(Totally unrelated to the actual episode comments: Not a fan of Richard’s new look and also, anyone else think that the Confessor’s dress is not only unflattering but completely impractical?)