Pretty Va­cant

SFX - - Reviews -

re­leased 6 June 2015-2016 | 15 | Blu-ray/dVd

Cre­ators al­fred Gough, Miles Mil­lar Cast austin But­ler, Poppy dray­ton, Ivana Ba­quero, Manu Ben­nett

What a pretty lit­tle show this is. Its mak­ers ob­vi­ously de­cided to make it look as at­trac­tive as they pos­si­bly can to en­chant its young MTV au­di­ence, and so ev­ery mem­ber of the main cast is as cute as a but­ton – their per­fect hair, wide eyes and pouty lips are al­most su­per­nat­u­rally gor­geous. The cos­tumes are beau­ti­ful. And as for the scenery – well, there’s a rea­son this se­ries is shot in New Zealand. Mountains, trees, rivers, more trees... Mid­dle-earth was hardly ugly, and nei­ther is this.

So, yes, The Shan­nara Chron­i­cles is nice to look at. But is it any good? Nope.

Based (very) loosely on Terry Brooks’s saga The Elf­s­tones Of Shan­nara, it rips off Tolkien to an al­most em­bar­rass­ing ex­tent, only with a Cal­i­for­nian surfer dude as its hero in­stead of a Hob­bit. Austin But­ler’s half-elf Will be­comes em­broiled in a quest to save the Earth, along­side the nev­er­know­ingly un­corseted elf Am­berle (Poppy Dray­ton) and “bad girl with a heart of gold” hu­man Ere­tria (Ivana Ba­quero). This quest in­volves hu­man/elf fight­ing, elf/elf fight­ing, gnome/elf fight­ing, trolls fight­ing any­one, and a horde of demons who didn’t make the cut for Peter Jack­son’s films.

Not only have you seen all this be­fore, you can prac­ti­cally talk along with it. The only twist is that Shan­nara is a post-apoc­a­lyp­tic world, so there are glimpses of things such as the Golden Gate Bridge to liven things up.

How­ever, de­spite all the down­sides, if you want noth­ing more from your TV-view­ing than eye candy, fa­mil­iar­ity and the odd amus­ing quip, chances are you’ll love it. It is pretty, af­ter all.

Extras None. Jayne Nel­son

In the worst/best mo­ment, some hu­man farm­ers screen Star Trek: The Mo­tion Pic­ture and boo Spock’s elf-like ears.

The three­some was go­ing all sorts of wrong.

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