I had extremely low expectations for this book-to-TV adaptation but I am a sucker for anything that features Elves. I don’t know why, I guess it in an alternative universe I believe I’d have pointy ears, be a dragon rider and wield fire magic.
When they announced that MTV was doing an adaptation of the Elfstones of Shannara I couldn’t help but cringe. In my experience there have just been so many really bad fantasy adaptations.
I get it, A Song of Ice and Fire was adapted amazingly and thus commercialised the genre of Fantasy. So this would be MTV’s answer to Game of Thrones, trying to cash in on the Fantasy hype while it lasted.
Having read the books and enjoyed them when I was about 13 I feared that they would destroy yet another awesome Fantasy series much like they destroyed the Inheritance Cycle. To pull this off MTV would have to have a huge budget.
And then they released the trailer and it looked good until I saw who they casted as the King. Ok, so maybe my opinion is completely biased because John Rhys-Davies just makes a cheesy ass looking Elf King. Nonetheless when the show premiered I had to watch it, curiosity always triumphs.
And I was thoroughly impressed. It is not as cheesy as I expected, MTV seriously put some good money into the budget. The 2 hour premiere did well to establish the main characters. I think they did very well in the casting with the exception of the King, however I will admit the Rhys-Davies isn’t half as cheesy as I thought he’d be.
The plot is established early in the episode. I love the fact that they didn’t turn down the gore and they were very clear in where the series is going.
Something I was very worried about was that there would be this huge info-dump. But MTV stayed clear of the severely cliche ways of world building such as voice-over narration. (They way they did it in Eragon and even Lord of the Rings) Instead they were smart enough to show more than tell. And I am so glad for that.
This is going be high fantasy and I really hope that this series will be successful. They’ve produce a strong pilot and I hope the series will only get better.
I’ll be watching episode 3 and 4 sometime this weekend and my expectations are high. I really hope MTV will not disappoint.
On the other hand, now I really want to reread the novels.