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Legend of the Seeker
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this swords 'n' sorcery series follows the adventures of a young man (the titular Seeker) who discovers he's destined to become a hero. The bad guys are truly nasty, while the Seeker and his allies are obviously fighting for truth and justice. There's magic and monsters, wizards and fairies, and plenty of battles. The combat scenes are exciting and somewhat graphic, but there's little blood or gore despite the high casualty count. There's some sexual tension between the central characters, but not much in the way of action.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
When Richard Cypher (Craig Horner) steps in to aid a mysterious woman who's fleeing from a gang of heavily armed soldiers, he has no idea the encounter will transform his life -- and potentially change the fate of an entire kingdom. The woman is Kahlan (Bridget Regan), who has ventured across a magical barrier in search of the Seeker, the man destined to overthrow the evil king Darken Rahl (Craig Parker). Both Kahlan and Richard are stunned when mysterious wizard Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander (Bruce Spence) reveals that Richard is the Seeker and that he must leave behind his simple life to accept his fate as a legendary hero.
Is it any good?
LEGEND OF THE SEEKER is the brainchild of Rob Tapert, who created a basic blueprint for swords 'n' sorcery TV shows with his two prior entries in the genre, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. Legend of the Seeker follows the same model, as Richard, Kahlan, and Zeddicus gather allies in their campaign to defeat Darken Rahl. There's plenty of action and excitement, a good bit of magic, and the occasional monster -- as well as a strong hint of mysticism as Richard gradually learns more about the prophecy that foretold his birth.
Based on Terry Goodkind's popular Sword of Truth novels, the series will satisfy fans of the fantasy genre. The fight scenes are exciting, the overarching story gives the characters enough background to be interesting, and the New Zealand locations are stunning. But it may not have broader appeal. The effects are merely adequate, the script sometimes has huge logic gaps, and the acting is spotty: Spence is a hoot as Zedd, but Parker's villainous Darken Rahl is an overacting cliché and Horner (who comes off like an excitable Mark Wahlberg) may have been selected more because he's easy on the eyes than for his acting chops. Legend of the Seeker doesn't break new ground, but it might be enough to satisfy people looking for a good swordfight and an evil overlord.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about destiny -- and how Richard rises to the one that the prophecy foretells for him. Do you think people's fates are predetermined?
Can people alter fate or escape their destiny? Why do such prophecies play such an important role in so many fantasy/sci-fi films and TV shows?
Why does this particular genre tend to inspire such love-it-or-hate-it reactions? What's the appeal of fantasy? Why might it turn some people off?