The Shannara Chronicles – a review

I’m recovering from a cold here, but I recently finished catching up on the Shannara chronicles second season.

I never read the books when I was younger, so I went into watching this show with no real expectations other than that it was going to be some high fantasy YA stuff. But I was game for something light.

It’s set in a wold that’s clearly supposed to be extremely distant future earth, judging from the ruins of a collapsed civilization reminiscent of ours. Laid on top of that is a world of elves and trolls and humans battling demons and warlocks. The elves have a magic tree that keeps the demons bound in their own realm, but of course the tree is dying and the characters must go off on a quest to save the tree and keep the demons where they are, all the while trying to work through their adorable teenaged love triangle.

It is light. It’s a steaming trash heap of YA fantasy tropes.

I love it.

There’s something about campiness when they just go all in and don’t try to hide the campiness. It’s like Xena Warrior princess for the new generation, only where the bisexuality is right out in the open and not just hinted at in subtext. I feel like they just took all those nineties shows – Xena, Hercules, Sinbad, etc, and studied them to figure out why they stayed on the air so friggin’ long, and updated the format for the modern audience who doesn’t have the patience for filler episodes and loves the story arcs that take a whole season to tell.

The costumes look like cosplays. Well constructed cosplays, but cosplays nonetheless, that are constructed to look like some geek boy’s fantasy that he drew up for a video game or comic book and was never intended to be an actual practical outfit. Fake plastic boned corsets abound, and leather tube tops pass as adventuring gear. How do they move in those skintight leather pants? Must be magic. The ball gowns though – over the top delights.

I did note that while there was LGBT representation in the first season, there was far less POC representation. They did bring in more POC characters in the second season though, if you hold out for that, including a princess and her mother the queen of the human kingdom, which is extra awesome because black girls don’t get to be princesses often.

There wasn’t anything racy or coarse – I’d rate it PG, it would be perfectly suitable for a fairly young audience as long as you’re not one of those people who seems to think LGBT content is automatically adult only content. There was implied sex, but they drew the curtains at kissing.

It’s junk food for your brain, but sometimes you just want to eat garbage, and that’s ok.

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