By all means this is not a review of the series, it’s more of an impression about MTV’s newly released series “The Shannara Chronicles”. The first four episodes of the series were released on the 5th and 6th of January and the reactions to it were mixed but leaning towards something good. People who have read the “The Shannara Chronicles” trilogy written by Terry Brooks have complained about the fact that the TV-series have skipped some important parts which give the series the feeling that something is missing. Other than that, the production and the world created to represent a world of magic and fantastic creatures are simply amazing.
However, “The Shannara Chronicles” isn’t the type of TV-series you’d expect from MTV as they usually base their plots on the dramatic and “complicated” life of teenagers and their struggles against the world. Although the newly released TV-Series base their plot on the complicated relationship between an elven princess and half-breed elf who apparently has some magic in him, their relationship isn’t the main focus of the story. As I was saying before, the way the world is shaped and all the CGI used are very well thought and create a perfect balance reality and fantasy. The characters involved in the story such as Demons, Druids, and even Elves don’t look fake at all, after watching the four episodes you might even consider them to be pretty realistic.
The story revolves around an old magic tree, Ellcrys, which keeps demons hostage. For a long time, the tree has kept evil away from their world(which is apparently Seattle), for so long that elves started to believe that magic has died alongside the last druid. One of the key focus point that has got my attention is the fact that the last druid is not dead, he was merely hibernating and he is played by Manu Bennett who impersonates a powerful druid, not a lame one as I have seen in other TV-Series or movies. For once the druid is actually more impressive than the elves who seem to have lost their powerful magic. Although I cannot recall a lot of cliche moments because they’ve managed to make the interactions between characters a little bit more original, they do in fact seem stiff and awkward in some moments. Because the main characters just had to be teenagers who fall in love because that’s MTV’s style of TV-Series, some older people might not find the characters appealing. By avoiding all the teenage drama, the main characters do have some potential as they are giving an important task, the only hope that the world has.
The plot might be lacking but the CGI is not to be taken lightly. A lot of TV-Series and movies could take MTV’s example and not spend excessive money on useless special effects that only look unrealistic and use their funds wisely and add effects only when needed. Probably the most impressive thing of “The Shannara Chronicles” is the way the producers managed to make a teenager story look like a beautiful TV-Series without focusing the plot on the characters as much as they have focused the story. But then again I could be wrong, we just saw four episodes of “The Shannara Chronicles” the following episodes might become cheesier or the actors might get more comfortable in their characters and perform more maturely.