Last night, Brooks and I attended a fun, private event at EMP. The author Terry Brooks threw a party and showed the premiere of MTV’s The Shannara Chronicles, a new series based on his books. MTV hasn’t done a show like this before, but you wouldn’t know it. The quality of the visual effects, costume design, and casting demonstrate high production value.
This first episode has some seriously beautiful landscapes. The show’s CG people skillfully built gorgeous emerald valleys over the post-apocalyptic ruins of the United States. The sight of old decaying technology, like helicopters and bridges, overgrown with magical elven forests is a compelling juxtaposition.
The costume design makes me long for a better wardrobe. Hooded cloaks, leather vests, and fancy chainmail accessories make me want to change worlds. I do hope that in later episodes the elven princess gets more practical armor, but that notion doesn’t make her costumes any less admirable. The rover chick’s costume manages to be more practical yet just as aesthetically pleasing.
The casting has plenty of young, beautiful people with flawless skin and pouty lips, and thankfully they have acting skills, too. The show also has some seasoned veterans, like John Rhys-Davies and James Remar. And Manu Bennett is a very intense, very convincing 300+ year old druid.
The first episode ended with an intense scene that definitely left me wanting to watch the next episode. I don’t have cable so that is going to be a challenge. But there are many ways to watch TV these days, so where there is a will there is way.