Hello, viewers! How you liking all those legal procedurals on TV? Exciting right? Lots of lawyers and cops being all legal and justicey – mmm, good stuff. Every now and then you can mix it up with one of them medical procedurals too! Lives are on the line! What’s the procedure?! Wow, so much variety, it boggles the mind.
Okay, now that we’ve got all the rest of audience distracted and thinking about what great entertainment all the cops and doctors are, let’s chat. We’re always up for something interesting and fresh, right? We’re enjoying the end of Lost, Heroes has let us down horribly and we really gave Dollhouse a try but somehow Joss Whedon’s mojo was just misfiring. That leaves us with Chuck and Human Target, which are great fun (emphasis on great) – “chuck-full” of action/adventure, but aren’t fully tickling that fantasy/sci-fi vibe-loving part of the brain. Too bad such shows aren’t as plentiful as sitcoms or legally medically stuff.
Supernatural’s got the whole package, delivered in a Hardy Boys as Ghostbusters wrapper. Lot’s of fun coming at you from all sides, except you may have missed the boat if you weren’t already onboard, as it looks like this is their last season – choosing to go out while the story’s still in top form. One to squeeze into your Netflix queue.
V? (Sad to say) boring, dull, “whatever”… just don’t care, wish I did – and that makes me bitter.
FlashForward? Not yet… Struggling to get their act together, they’re now on their 3rdshowrunner! Would like to like this show, but there isn’t one character I really care about. It’s just a general sort of, “this weird science is neat, now why should I care? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?”
Well, I’ve got something to tide us all over until Spielberg greenlights a Joss Whedon creation, produced by J. J. Abrams. (Shut up! It’s my dream! Bite me!) Ready? Wait. Let me start a new paragraph for emphasis…
Legend of the Seeker. Why aren’t we watching this show?! I’ll tell you why. [Option 1.] We don’t know about it. As a syndicated show, no one network is tied to its success or failure, so there are no promo-spots airing for it. (I’ve actually seen announcements for late night airings of syndicated superstar Star Trek: The Next Generation, which hasn’t had a new episode since 1994, but none for Legend of the Seeker.) No posters, billboards or magazine coverage. [Option 2.] We know that it is a medieval set fantasy adventure, but we found Hercules and Xena a little too tongue-in-cheek back in the day and are now gun shy of swords and magic on TV. [Option 3.] Thinking that fantasy is dumb. If this is your option you may now leave and return to cnn.com or YouTube videos about cats flushing toilets. Or, wait, stick around and the rest of us can try to help you remove that stick from your ass.
We should be watching Legend of the Seeker – not at all out of obligation, this show is quality entertainment. A lot of us just don’t know it yet. It’s not delivering, say, the deep emotionality of solidly built characters, like House or Dexter – but it doesn’t leave you with the shallow emptiness of V or FlashForward either. It’s heavy fun with a light touch.
The premise of Legend of the Seeker itself is nothing that will blow the doors off of the storytelling industry. Farm boy discovers he’s destined to swing the Sword of Truth and become the Seeker (of Truth). He leaves his home for a magical far off land, never to return (except for that one episode), to fight baddies, rescue the helpless and generally free the oppressed people of the world from an evil ruler. The fun in the story starts with his traveling companions – a crazy-looking old wizard and a young woman from a mystical dagger-loving sisterhood who can turn any man into her slave when she grabs them by the neck and her eyes turn stormy. Both are sworn to protect the Seeker on his mission. Each of the first season episodes are generally even better than the last, and it all ends very satisfyingly and conclusively, which made me wonder about where they’d go for season two. It took me an episode or two to buy into it, but soon I was having even more fun as the Seeker was now fighting, what amounts to, the forces of hell (which is green, which I like). Much better choice than Evil Ruler No. 2. Upping the stakes. Part of the merry band now, also sworn to protect our hero, is yet another young woman from a mystical club-loving sisterhood who can turn any man into her slave when she chains him up and whips him while wearing tight red leather. Like I said, the show keeps getting better.
Why watch? I’ll tell you why. [Reason 1.] For those of us that didn’t know about it, I’ve just done my part – so now we all know. For most of us this will be enough. The show’s drawing close to the end of season two now, so there’s some delightful catch-up marathon weekends in store for those who are just getting on board. [Reason 2.] Hercules and Xena were fine for what they were – but to me, those shows never took themselves seriously, so I couldn’t either. I was just never able to connect with them, and I was always hoping for something more along the lines of Lord of the Rings, Ladyhawk or even Willow (Shut up! I love it! Bite me!) in the form of television fun-time. That time is now, dear friends – and the show is Legend of the Seeker. [Reason 3.] For people who think fantasy is dumb, allow the rest of us to say, “Open your eyes, you narrow minded literalists!” You want what’s real? Fantasy and science fiction is, hands down, one of the very best ways to deliver social commentary and hold a mirror up to ourselves and our world – whether it’s the subtler sci-fi angle of A Clockwork Orange illustrating the coming-of-age rage to maintain your own identity in a society demanding conformation, The Lord of the Rings mirroring the destruction of nature under the wheels of the industrial revolution, or Star Trek beaming into the living rooms of the 1960s to show us just how absurd and dangerous racism really is… it’s all there, delivered in easy to digest elves, aliens and robots. Why are racist alien elf robots easier to digest? Because they’re not our neighbors, our parents… they’re not us. They’re not threatening to the reality we hold dear, so we’re able to listen without jumping to conclusions. The message gets through.
And now, as if by magic, I will convince all the stragglers at once: Hottest outfits on TV! We’re talkin’ tight tight leather, lacy little nothings and buckets of cleavage! Legs! Legs! Legs! There’s sweaty shirtless men rinsing off, swingin’ swords and rescuing distressed damsels! There’s canoodling in the woods, on the road and in the castles! This cast isn’t just a little sexy, it’s the collision of a Victoria’s Secret dominatrix model party with a Calvin Klein cowboy/pirate/firefighter convention! I think this bears mentioning mainly because I never had any plans to watch this show whatsoever, until I saw it on in the background at my friends place – I couldn’t even clock the cleavage per minute – and that’s when I decided to give it a shot. I was glad to discover it’s a great show to boot.
Now all parts of my brain are tickled – from my hippocampus, around my neocortex to my thalamus. Actually, those are just brain words I picked up watching that hot doctor, 13, on House. From my feely part, to my thinky part, to my hot animal sexy action part. Thank you Legend of the Seeker. From all of us. (Shut up! We’re doing this together! Bite me!) You can thank me later.