Going into something like the Legend of the Seeker pilot the expectations have to be pretty low. After all it’s based on Goodkind’s weak and confused Ayn Rand meets Wheel of Time books and Sam Raimi has produced such great TV fantasy projects as Hercules and Xena. So with that kind of pedigree Legend of the Seeker would have to fail spectacularly to be worth criticizing, and it doesn’t. Instead it’s actually a mildly watchable piece of TV fantasy.
Legend of the Seeker is by no means great or even particularly good, like the source material it’s a grab bag of fantasy cliches, but with a lot of Goodkind’s awkwardness polished away leaving a decent if entirely predictable 2 hour pilot. The series premiere does gruesomely abuse slow motion but aside from some absurd moments, such as when Richard, Kahlan and Zed stop their pursuit to have a cheerful dinner at Chase’s house, even though Richard’s adopted father had been murdered only hours ago, it hangs together well enough.
For fans of the book, Legend of the Seeker’s Richard is ridiculously juvenile compared to Richard Cypher and throughout the premiere he seems to cause half the problems that take place. He is certainly not a strong male character, though Kahlan as played by Bridget Regan does a wonderful job. Zed is played a bit too far on the awkward and goofy side, but still passes well enough. Darken Rahl though can’t help reminding you of a certain foreigner from Perfect Strangers. The Boundary, the dead, a Gar, the Book of Counted Shadows and Truth all show up among others,a long with a glimpse of the Mord Sith.
If there was more fantasy on TV to choose from, it would be easier to kick Legend of the Seeker to pieces but the truth is there are worse ways to spend your TV time, particularly involving just about any prime time program on the major networks.