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

Alas, poor Seeker

Legend of the Seeker cast

We Legend of the Seeker fans knew the show was perilously close to cancellation. Alas, this week it was announced – LoTS is no more. Woe!

The show has had more episodes than most UK shows ever manage, but I still feel it could have run successfully for one or even two more seasons. I think ABC is unimpressed with the ratings (which is why it was dropped from Tribune stations earlier this year) but it’s been getting 2 million viewers regularly despite playing in syndication and at odd times with little to no promotion.

What’s so sad about the situation is that Seeker’s quality has gone up hundredfold during Season 2. What started out as a guilty-pleasure cheesefest for me has become something I genuinely enjoy watching and look forward to every week. So here are the reasons Seeker will be sorely missed, not just by me but by its incredible fans:

The Girls

Bridget Regan as Kahlan

I love well written, complex female characters and LoTS has done surprisingly well for a genre show despite the dodgy connotations of Goodkind’s source material (women want to make you their love slave! With magic dildoes!). First up we have Kahlan – beautiful, feminine but also tough as nails under her lovely exterior. She saves her lover Richard about as often as he saves her – they fight and work as a team and there’s no sense that Kahlan is ever downplayed to allow Richard to take the focus as the manly hero. Their relationship is loving despite their inability to have sex (it’s complicated…) and well sustained throughout the series.

Tabrett Bethell as Cara

Then we have Cara, a huge part of Season 2’s success. Damaged, some might say psychopathic, yet utterly badass, her journey towards greater humanity has been compelling (and fun!) to watch. Although Cara has had one or two romantic liaisons, love hasn’t been a huge part of her story. Actually, what’s been most satisfying has been the development of her friendship with Kahlan. As many of you will know, female friendships in genre shows (well, most shows unless they’re Desperate Housewives) tend to fall by the wayside quite often, which is why LoTS, with its high Bechdel Test score, is a refreshing change. I have a serious weakness for ass kicking blondes, but I know I’m not alone in my affection for Cara, who has emerged as a fan favourite.

The Boys

I don’t have much to say about Zedd, apart from the fact that the revelation of his chequered past has added an interesting layer to his character this season. I do think Richard merits a mention, however. I really like the way that he doesn’t play into the brooding hero stereotype. Instead, Craig Horner lends him a puppyish charm that lifts the tone of the whole show. Of course, we also have Darken Rahl, the hilariously camp villain and now lapdog of the Keeper. This is one trope that’s played fairly straight (ridiculous red velvet outfits, English accent) but Craig Parker is just so good in the role that it’s impossible not to enjoy his scenes. The most recent episode, Walter, provided a great opportunity for him to showcase his range and it paid off.

The Humour

LoTS is nowhere near as ridiculous as its predecessor Xena: Warrior Princess, but it does have a certain levity to it in between the swordplay and more serious moments. It’s a show that doesn’t take itself too seriously, which means it doesn’t descend into pretentiousness – hence why it’s such an enjoyable watch.

The Pretty

The show’s cinematography is beautiful. The landscape of New Zealand provides plenty of natural eye candy – then we have the wonderfully choreographed fight scenes against that backdrop.

The cast are also gorgeous.Which leads me to…

The Cast

Regan and Horner

The leads of this show need to get some high profile jobs after this. Newcomer Tabrett Bethell has been consistently good as Cara, but it is Bridget Regan as Kahlan who really steals the show with her nuanced performance.

Season Two has also brought us some very cool guest stars like Jolene Blalock, John Rhys-Davies, Charisma Carpenter and Keisha Castle-Hughes.

It’s fantasy…and that’s okay

I’m not going to lie to you. Seeker doesn’t revolutionise the fantasy genre. It revels in practically every fantasy/sci-fi cliche EVER. Season Two has moved beyond this to some extent (probably because they used them all up in Season One!) and this has been to its advantage.

It really took me by surprise that I could enjoy a straight up  ‘swords-and-sorcery’ story so much, because I’m generally not a fan of that genre. LoTS is such fun if you can accept the cheesiness that its well-worn path is still worth travelling.

I don’t think we’re going to see its like again for a while. There is something of a resurgence of historical/fantasy series going on (New Camelot series on Starz, Merlin if you really must, GAME OF THRONES GAME OF THRONES GAME OF THRONES), but I can’t see something so light hearted appearing any time soon. I mean, Game of Thrones is like Seeker’s polar opposite (and I need to do a whole other post on that to express my excitement). As much as I’m looking forward to it I’m going to miss the pleasure of chilling out every week with my darling Seeker.

Quick shout out to the fandom, too, quite possibly the greatest and least wanky I’ve ever come across. Love you!


2 Responses to “Alas, poor Seeker”

  1. Don’t give up yet. A lot of fans are organizing a protest and it’s starting to look like we’re being heard.

    You should add your voice to the growing thunder.

    • Thanks Michael. I’ve seen a lot of protest already, but I tend to be rather cynical about these things. As nice as it would be to be given a reprieve, I’m not going to get my hopes up.

      As an international viewer there’s not a huge amount I can do either – just express my love for LoTS via my blog/twitter etc., and sign petitions, which I have already done.

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