Couch Pumpkin: Sofa Adventures
News and reviews for the big and small screens…where potatoes fear to tread.

Two New(ish) Shows

Legend of the Seeker (left), Kings (right)

Legend of the Seeker (left), Kings (right)

I checked out two new(ish) shows this week, and wanted to share my thoughts: Legend of the Seeker and Kings. They don’t have much in common, apart from a basis in legend!

Legend of the Seeker

Do you like your baddies dressed in black leather and cackling madly as they dip their pen in a goblet of blood? Do you like your goodies all rippling abs and heaving bosoms, fending off foes with some wicked swordplay and a spell or two? Do you like your wizards grizzly and eccentric? With liberal applications of magical beasties?

If so, you will absolutely love Legend of the Seeker, which has all the above and more fantasy clichés in spades. Based on Terry Goodkind’s ‘Sword of Truth’ saga, Legend of the Seeker is a large dollop of classic swords and sorcery set in the stunning New Zealand landscape (the real star of the show).

I’ve never been a huge fan of the classic fantasy genre, but an enthusiastic friend convinced me to give LoTS (as it is known in fandom) a go. It’s cheesy, it’s hokey – and yet I enjoyed myself despite knowing exactly where every plot turn of the pilot was headed. Its leads, Craig Horner and Bridget Regan, are endearingly pretty, with some good chemistry. The secondary cast sport Kiwimerican accents that range from excellent to laughable, but this reminds me of The Tribe and Xena (the show’s forebear by way of the producers) so I view it affectionately. The fight scenes are numerous and very impressive, not least because of the liberal application of slow mo, making every move clear as crystal. I had to laugh, though, because all I could hear in my head was Garth Marenghi: ‘everything that wasn’t dialogue was considered for slow motion’! Good fun, but best viewed with a sense of humour.

Kings

When I first heard of Kings a few months ago I was sceptical. An updated version of the King David story exploring an alternate universe American style monarchical kingdom? Sounded a bit of a mess.

Actually, the pilot of Kings turned out to be very enjoyable and, despite some flaws, shows great potential. Set in the (fairly young) kingdom of Gilboa, it follows soldier David Shepherd (Chris Egan), who, via an act of bravery in the field, is thrust into the unfamiliar world of the Gilboan court. The King, Silas Benjamin (Ian McShane) is a formidable man who believes he rules with God’s divine blessing; his family (Queen Rose and children Jack and Michelle) enjoy a life of luxury. The pilot follows the story of Biblical David to some extent, pitting him against a Goliath tank, showing his early meeting with Reverend Samuels (the prophet Samuel) and setting up a relationship with Silas’ daughter Michelle. However there are also Shakespearean themes of succession and a King growing old and out of favour while the powerful manoeuvre around him. Not to mention some more modern additions, such as Jack’s homosexuality, which threatens his status as heir.

The writing is a little overwrought at times, although that’s arguably fitting given the epic themes. A couple of plot points felt a bit forced, such as David and Michelle’s relationship, which doesn’t seem organic. However, with so much to establish in the pilot, it’s understandable that some development fell by the wayside. I look forward to seeing the rest of the tale unfold!

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