Shannara Chronicles: My first impression of the new TV show

My absolute favourite genre is fantasy, so happening upon a new adventure, fantasy television series is a major win for me. Raiding my brothers book collection, I noticed that he actually owns the novel version that this show is based off, but deciding to watch the show first and read the books later.

The Shannara Chronicles based off the books called The Sword of Shannara trilogy, follows the adventures of the Four Lands and the quests to stop the invasion of the Demon world. An Elvist tree, known as the Ellcrys, is dying and Amberle (Poppy Drayton) is the only one that can save it. With the help of Wil Ohmsford, she travels to unlock the lost magic.


What’s good

Firstly, MTV making a half decent television show automatically makes me suspiscous. As the latest things to come out of MTV is Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant, I was wondering what their take on a fantasy series would be. From the start, it is apparent that they have set a big budget set for this series. I am also keen for many other series to make it to the screen, so I am always happy for classics to be revisited and adapted for fans.

As TV shows go, the demons are pretty good – likened to the quality of Game of Thrones. I can see MTV trying to capitalise off GOT, creating a young adult series that people can get into. The effects are equal to any other premium television channel.

There are also some great casting for the show. My number one favourite is Manu Bennett as Allanon.  The Australian-New Zealand actor fits the role of the Druid perfectly – and acting with New Zealand as the backdrop is a bit of a winner (LOTR’s anyone?).


Image Credit: Omfgtv

Marcus Vanco as Bandon is pretty cool. His character is introduced so suddenly it was a bit strange, but I am curious about his story and think his acting is realistic.

It seems like a backhanded compliment, but the opening credits to the series is pretty bad ass too – much along the same thoughts of Game of Thrones. MTV really are spending big with this one, I hope it pays off.


What’s bad

Initially thrilled that Austin Bultler was going to be a lead in this show, as the episodes are released, I am slowly doubting his role. As a non-reader of the books, I am not sure how much his acting deviates from the canon, so I am unsure at this point whether I dislike his acting or the character itself. I am hoping that as the series goes on, Austin will settle into his role and it will feel much more natural.

The narrative seems to be inconsistent and strangely paced. The current episodes have not really explained the characters too well either. One minute Amberle is strong getting into the chosen and then she is worried about telling her guy she doesnt like him.

It is also began quite abruptly, there wasn’t a period of the plot or the characters developing. Even as a I watch episode number five, it seems still trying to explain what is happening in the story. From what I’ve heard, the tv show begins at the second book which may explain why everything seems undeveloped and inconsistent.

I admit, I watch ABC Family shows because the actors and actresses are always so good looking. However, in the Shannara Chronicles the characters are annoyingly good looking and reinforced by the teenage angst that seems to be a common theme.


Really, what I was trying to say is put rather eloquently by another review:

“And that’s the big flaw with The Shannara Chronicles right now: it spends too much time on the stationary moments of the story while shortchanging the dynamic ones. On Amberle and Wil’s journey back to Arbolon, for instance, the discovery of another vision-plagued elf named Bandon (Marcus Vanco) arrives so fast that it becomes confusing when he and Wil have an argument later on. The way the former begs the latter not to return to Shady Vale implies there’s a deep bond between them, some sort of longstanding trust that the series never bothers to show during their travels together. Sure, Bandon can possibly see the future, but writers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar never build up the characters’ relationship to the point where Wil’s faith in him feels plausible.”

Dan Caffrey

So what are your thoughts? What do the book-fans think of the screen adaptation?


-The Nominations Girl

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