Cherry Mischievous

for the love of SciFi/Fantasy

SHANNARA CHRONICLES Season 1

The Shannara Chronicles
 

A television series adaptation of the Shannara books by Terry Brooks
Genre: post-apocalyptic fantasy
Format: dvd box set

 

About The Shannara Chronicles:
 

The Shannara Chronicles roughly follows the storylines set out in The Elfstones of Shannara, set in the fictional Four Lands. As the series opens, demons start to return after being banished from this world to a place known as the Forbidding — locked by an ancient tree called the Ellcrys. The series chronicles the journey of Wil, Amberle and Eretria who, with the guidance of the last druid Allanon, must go on a quest to protect the Ellcrys from dying and releasing all the banished demons back into the Four Lands.

Source: Info in the About The Shannara Chronicles was taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shannara_Chronicles on 29/05/2017.

 

Book Trailer:

 

ALLANON

Allanon

My Thoughts:

For some reason I kinda imagined Allanon to be Gandalf-like, not that I’m complaining about Manu Bennett, mind. 🙂

The main reason I stopped reading the The Sword Of Shannara, four chapters in, is that I got annoyed with the “too stupid to live” (TSTL) element in it. I was kinda hoping that this would get lost in the translation from the book into TV series. That, was wishful thinking… *sigh*… With our heroes/heroines being TSTL, it’s a good thing that our villains are such incompetent, eh?! Otherwise the fight of good versus evil is lost. As if that is not enough, Poppy Drayton can’t act… *another sigh*… But anyway, the world building is beautiful. The cinematic effects are great and almost flawless. The plot is not bad. And, I really, really like the premise! **says the fantasy geek in me** Hopefully season 2 will see less TSTL and more kick-ass fantasy! By the way, is season 2 really happening??

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Cinematography = 4.5
Acting = 3.5
Story itself = 4
Ending = 4.5
World building = 5
Plot = 4.5

 

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries

 


 

FTC Disclosure:

This box set was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

05/06/2017 Posted by | 4 cherries, Cherry's reviews, dystopian, fantasy, review, Shannara, TV series review | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: SANCTUARY (Season 1)

Sanctuary TV series
Season 1
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: DVD box set
Starring Amanda Tapping, Robin Dunne, Emilie Ullerup, Christopher Heyerdahl, among others.

About Sanctuary TV series:

The first season of the Canadian science fiction–fantasy television series Sanctuary premiered on the Sci Fi Channel in the United States on October 3, 2008, and concluded on ITV4 in the United Kingdom on January 5, 2009, after 13 episodes. It follows the actions of a secret organization known as the Sanctuary, who track down a series of creatures known as abnormals, and then bring them to the Sanctuary for refuge. The main story arc of the season involves the Sanctuary working against the Cabal, an organization who seek to control all abnormals for their own gain. Amanda Tapping, Robin Dunne, Emilie Ullerup, and Christopher Heyerdahl are billed in the opening credits as the main cast.

Source: Info in the About Sanctuary TV series was taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanctuary_%28season_1%29 on 09/01/2013.

Show Trailer:

Show Links:
www.sanctuaryforall.com
imdb
Sanctuary TV series at Wikipedia

Review:

Now, I bought this dvd because I like the premise. I am an old urban fantasy fan, that is why I like the Supernatural and the Grimm TV shows. And I was hoping this TV series would be the same. But I’ve never seen a show with so bad an acting! Combine that with poor attention to detail and you get a show which wouldn’t win prizes. I’ve only managed to go through the first disc and packed the whole season 1 box set away because it was just that bad. I was not surprised that the show was cancelled. What surprised me was that it went as far as 4 seasons. The episodes I’ve seen thus far were all night settings. The show was all dark and never seen the light of day. That gets boring after some time. What kind of world is it that is always night? Unless that is the premise of course, but that is not that kind of world in this show so that one got old. Real fast. The cinematography was not that bad. The mixing of live actors with the supernatural elements was seamless. That was good. But it could not cover for the fact that Emilie Ullerup couldn’t act.

Empirical Evaluation:
Cinematography = 3
Overall Acting = 2
Story Itself = 4
World building = 4
Attention To Detail = 1

Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5 cherries

04/04/2014 Posted by | 2 cherries, Amanda Tapping, Cherry's reviews, Christopher Heyerdahl, DVD box set, Emilie Ullerup, review, Robin Dunne, Sanctuary, TV series, TV series review | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: ANGEL (Seasons 2-5)

Angel
Seasons 2 to 5
Starring David Boreanaz.
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: dvd box set

About Angel:

At the start of the series, Angel has just moved to Los Angeles. He is soon visited by Doyle, a messenger sent to him on behalf of The Powers That Be. Doyle receives visions that can guide Angel on his mission as a champion of humankind. Angel also encounters Cordelia Chase, who is trying to launch an acting career. The three group together to form Angel Investigations, a detective agency that hopes to “help the helpless.” When Doyle dies in the episode “Hero”, he passes on his ‘visions’ to Cordelia with a kiss. Shortly thereafter, the ex-Watcher, Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, joins the group. Meanwhile, the evil law firm Wolfram & Hart pay increasing attention to Angel. They tempt him toward darkness when they resurrect Darla, Angel’s ex-lover and sire — killed by Angel in the first season of Buffy in the episode “Angel”.

Source: Info in the About Angel was taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel_%28TV_series%29 on 25/02/2013.

Review:

I struggled with the first half of the first Season of the Angel show but because I haven’t got any better to watch, I eventually got through the first Season. And by the end of Season 1 I was an Angel show fan. Despite the annoyances along the way, I continued to be an Angel show fan. Until almost to the end of Season 5, that was. Okey so good and evil is very flexible in this world which I think made the fantastical world of Angel more realistic in the sense that it mirrors very closely what is good and evil in us humans. This made the show easy to identify with by the audience which in turns draws more followers in which I was one of them. Some shows carry this ambiguous presentation of good and evil with aplomb and sometimes not. In the Angel show, the creators almost got away with it. But I think they tried too hard or something and the cracks were showing. That I didn’t like. In fact it dialed down my Angel show fan-hood almost to nothing. In a way that was good and in a way it was not. It was good because there were no more Angel shows. It was bad because I would have rather keep my fantasy bubble. Anyway, The “cracks” first appeared when they tried too hard to make Cordellia one of the good guys and a bigger role. That didn’t sold. It didn’t tally that a selfish, superficial bitch could care that much for people she didn’t know and could not give her money or anything else but pain and suffering which is what was suppose to be her motivator. There is a huge inconsistency in the character development there. Sure a person could change, but not that much. Not a 180 degrees turn around. No matter that Charisma Carpenter portrayed the character really well. Then the creators sort of contradicted themselves by taking out Lindsey McDonald as a bad guy in the end. As I recon it, Lindsey McDonald is more consistent to become good than Cordelia Chase ever did. And I was royally annoyed with that inconsistency! It burst my “fantasy bubble” which I would have preferred to keep. By the end of Season 5, I was not much of a fan anymore. I would say that the Angel show could have been made better if given the chance to continue into further seasons as a TV series rather than cut off abruptly but they way it is now, I would rate it a 3.5 out of 5.

Empirical Evaluation:
Cinematography = 3
Acting = 4
Character development = 3
Story itself = 3
World building = 4
Attention to detail = 3.5

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

13/03/2014 Posted by | 4 cherries, Angel, David Boreanaz, DVD box set, review, TV series, TV series review, urban fantasy, vampires | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: TRUE BLOOD Season 5

TRUE BLOOD Season 5 dvd box set

True Blood Season 5

Starring Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, and Alexander SkarsgĂĄrd.

Genre: urban fantasy

Format: DVD season box set

About True Blood Season 5:

The fifth season of the HBO supernatural drama series True Blood premiered on June 10, 2012 and features twelve episodes, bringing the series total to 60. It picks up right after the events of season four. It is loosely based on the fifth book in The Southern Vampire Mysteries series, Dead as a Doornail, but incorporates much more of the following books than the previous seasons have.

Source: Info in the About True Blood Season 5 was taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/True_Blood_%28season_5%29 on 25/05/2013.

True Blood Season 5 Trailer:

TRUE BLOOD main cast


My Thoughts:

I had to re-watch the last disc of Season 4 because the first disc of Season 5 did not make sense anymore. I have forgotten what happened in the show after waiting for so long for the dvd box set of Season 5. And my memories of the show and of the book series are getting mixed up and the two are not the same.

The season still ended in a cliffhanger of course but I was prepared for that so the disappointment in that arena isn’t as keen as it used to be. With Season 4 I was disappointed with the show, however Season 5 restored my faith in the makers of the True Blood show that they could actually create a plot without relying on the characters to act stupid. There are still stupid scenes here and there but at least they are not as proliferated as it was in previous seasons, specifically, Season 4. But the stupidity is trumped up by the blissful several hours of enjoyment that I got from the dvd box set so am willing to overlook the stupid scenes. Plus the fact that the makers of the show obviously has superb 3D animation software and team which made the fantastical elements in the show come to life flawlessly and seamlessly through the screen! Kudos to the cinematographic team! All in all, Season 5 has restored my love of this show despite the disappointments and the stupids.

Empirical Evaluation:

Cinematography = 5

Character development = 4

Story itself = 4

Ending = 1.5

World building = 5

Attention to detail = 4

Plot = 4

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

Books In The Sookie Stackhouse series:

The Sookie Stackhouse series is also otherwise known as The Southern Vampire Mysteries series are the books from which the show is based from.

20/02/2014 Posted by | 4 cherries, Anna Paquin, Bill Compton, DVD box set, Eric Northman, review, Sookie Stackhouse, Sookie Stackhouse series, Stephen Moyer, TrueBlood, TV series review, urban fantasy, vampires | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: ANGEL (Season 1, Episodes 9 to Finale)

Angel
Season 1, Episode 9 to Season Finale
Starring David Boreanaz.
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: dvd box set

 

About Angel:

At the start of the series, Angel has just moved to Los Angeles. He is soon visited by Doyle, a messenger sent to him on behalf of The Powers That Be. Doyle receives visions that can guide Angel on his mission as a champion of humankind. Angel also encounters Cordelia Chase, who is trying to launch an acting career. The three group together to form Angel Investigations, a detective agency that hopes to “help the helpless.” When Doyle dies in the episode “Hero”, he passes on his ‘visions’ to Cordelia with a kiss. Shortly thereafter, the ex-Watcher, Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, joins the group. Meanwhile, the evil law firm Wolfram & Hart pay increasing attention to Angel. They tempt him toward darkness when they resurrect Darla, Angel’s ex-lover and sire — killed by Angel in the first season of Buffy in the episode “Angel”.

Source: Info in the About Angel was taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel_%28TV_series%29 on 25/02/2013.

 

Review:

I bought the 5 Seasons Angel dvd box set originally because I wanted more David Boreanaz goodness having been addicted to his Special Agent Seeley Booth character in the Bones TV show. At first I wasn’t too keen on his Angel persona. But after Season 1, I was a convert. The Season still ended in a cliffhanger, of course, but I got 4 more Seasons to go! Yay for me!! So the disappointment is deterred for another day. It is still very obvious though that this show was filmed during the times before sophisticated 3D computer animation was widely used in television. Because I could distinctly see the difference. In what I could only term as “smoothness” in the blending of elements in the show, or transition from scene to scene or whatever, in television now-a-days. The absence of this “smoothness” is sometimes quite distinct in the Angel show at times. I think this “smoothness” is quite important specially in a fantasy show because it plays an important role in being extra convincing that the supernatural elements in the show is authentic and not plastic props. Helps the audience forget the props and therefore adds to the enjoyment in the watching experience. But then again we have to remember that this show was filmed more than ten years ago. We have to be fair and give them credit for a good job without the advanced technology that film-making enjoys now-a-days… I still have questions about the world building though but I am now willing to put those issues in the back burner for the pleasurable few hours that an Angel show offers!

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Cinematography = 4
Acting = 4
Character development = 3
Story itself = 4
World building = 4
Attention to details = 3.5

 

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

16/02/2014 Posted by | 4 cherries, Angel, Cherry's reviews, David Boreanaz, DVD box set, review, TV series, TV series review, urban fantasy, vampires | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

TV Series Review: GRIMM (Season 1)

GRIMM Season 1 TV series dvd box set

GRIMM
TV series starring David Giuntoli, Russell Hornsby and Silas Weir Mitchell.
Season 1
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: DVD box set

About Grimm:

Homicide Detective Nick Burkhardt of the Portland Police Bureau learns he is descended from a line of “guardians” known as “Grimms”, charged with keeping balance between humanity and the mythological creatures (called Wesen, pronounced as “vessin”) of the world. Throughout the episodes, he must battle against an assortment of dangerous creatures, with help from his friend Monroe (who is a reformed creature), and his partner Detective Hank Griffin.

Source: Info in the About Grimm was taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grimm_%28TV_series%29 on 20/11/2012.

GRIMM Season 1 main cast

My Thoughts:

I like the premise of this show. I think they got that one right! It’s like a police Harry Dresden! The urban fantasy geek in me is ecstatic! I also had to give the cinematography lots and lots of kudos for a flawless mixing of fantastical elements with live actors. Excellent digital arts team!! It makes the werewolves and witches and what-nots come alive on the screen and I like that very much! Safe to say that the world building is fantastic! Holey, but fantastic! I am going to reserve judgement about the holes in the world building and keep my fingers crossed that they would do a better with the script in Season 2. Another thing that really bugs me about this series is that this is an american TV show. That means we get it here in the UK a YEAR after it airs in the US! WTF!! *sigh* But that is not the worst part about Grimm Season 1. It’s the Season finale which is one whoopping cliffhanger that has me pulling my hair out! I hate cliffhangers!! But because I really, really like the premise I would still buy the Season 2 dvd box set (when it eventually gets here).

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

14/12/2012 Posted by | Cherry's reviews, David Giuntoli, DVD box set, Grimm, review, Russell Hornsby, Silas Weir Mitchell, TV series review, urban fantasy | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Review: SUPERNATURAL Seasons 1-6

Supernatural
TV series starring Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles
dvd box sets Seasons 1 to 6

Genre: urban fantasy

About Supernatural:

Supernatural is an American supernatural and horror television series created by Eric Kripke, which debuted on September 13, 2005 on The WB, and is now part of The CW’s lineup. Starring Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester and Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester, the series follows the brothers as they hunt demons and other figures of the supernatural. The series is produced by Warner Bros. Television, in association with Wonderland Sound and Vision. The current executive producers are Eric Kripke, McG, and Robert Singer; former executive producer Kim Manners died of lung cancer during production of the fourth season.[1]

The series, which is filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, was in development for nearly ten years, as creator Kripke spent several years unsuccessfully pitching it. The pilot was viewed by an estimated 5.69 million viewers,[2] and the ratings of the first four episodes prompted The WB to pick up the series for a full season. Originally, Kripke planned the series for three seasons, but later expanded it to five. The fifth season began airing on September 10, 2009, and concluded the series’ main storyline;[3] however, The CW officially renewed the show for a sixth season on 16 February 2010.[4] On 26 April 2011, the show was renewed for a seventh season for the 2011–2012 season, which began on the 23rd September 2011.

Source: Info in the About Supernatural was taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernatural_%28TV_series%29 on 31/10/2011.

Review:

The thing I don’t like about this series is that the season finale is almost always a cliffhanger! Except Season 5. I always thought that the season finale is the “climax episode” of the season, but no, not with Supernatural!! At least, or should I say… the best yet was Season 5. That one ended with a bang! My favouritest season of the Supernatural series ever!

I have a few nitpicking issues with the show that kinda drags the “suspension of disbelief” down a notch… Like, angels are suppose to be unable to feel… so why is Uriel so emotional?! Castiel on the other hand, I can understand… cool as a cucumber!

I can’t help but notice that Sam & Dean is like the Leandros brothers. So much so that it makes me wonder if the scriptwriters had read the Leandros books. Take this image of Cal Leandros for example… don’t you think some features are quiet similar to Sammy? Like, both have longish hair, both are younger brother, both adore big bro, both not quiet human, both angsty… If you are wondering what the Leandros series is, it is very similar to the Winchester brothers written by Rob Thurman. Or maybe I’ve been reading too many urban fantasy… I’m getting it all mixed up in my head.

And like I said that I am an urban fantasy geek and I really like this show! (By the way, this show can get addcitive. Be warned!) It got all the elements I love… angels, pagan gods mythology, fairies, vampires. What can I say? I am such a geek… I also like the way they incorporated the different mythological elements, angels, etc. logically into the plot which brings the suspension of disbelief up a couple of notches. Plus the cinematographic effects, specially of the supernatural creatures and the like, are so professionally done that it looks fab on the screen! So that by the time I finished watching Season 6, I wanted Season 7 straight away! Unfortunatedly this is another American show so I gotta wait until it gets available in the UK… like, so next year!!!

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries

Supernatural Trailer:

Books in the Cal Leandros series:

01/12/2011 Posted by | angels, Cherry's reviews, DVD box set, Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, review, Supernatural, TV series review | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Review: TRUEBLOOD Season 3

TrueBlood Season 3
DVD box set

I watched the DVD box set before I read the books. I thought it would be a better viewing experience since I haven’t read the book yet as opposed to Seasons 1 and 2 where I know the story already before going in, therefore it would be a surprise this time around. Preconceptions at minimum. And it was a surprise! Furthermore, I also find that I kinda like the surprise of the alternate version of the story that they made in the show as opposed to the one in the book! Now I can’t decide which I like better. Read the book first before watching the show or watch without reading the book!

Unlike Seasons 1 & 2, the third Season is not only a serialization of Book 3, Club Dead, but has also incorporated elements from further books as far as Books 8 & 9, into the show. In this Season we see a whole lot more deviation from the original book series that the Sookie Stackhouse fan in me is starting to get anxious… However, they seem to be doing a great job of it thus far, so I am still a True Blood fan…

I don’t know if it was possible to get even stupider, but the Stackhouses? …they somehow managed it! *palm on face* Sookie is even more TSTL (too stupid to live) and it is annoying as hell! Now Jason, is TSTL too. But he is kinda charming TSTL. Maybe I’ve developed a higher tolerance with their stupidity. However, this is still my pet peeve with this series though. Annoying!!

I think the aspect I like the most about this show, other than the world building, is the layers of plot. I like the over-arc-ing of plots. It’s intriguing and it keeps me hooked to the series despite the TSTL. And also maybe the fact that I am a sucker for angsty heros!

The show should come with a warning label… WARNING: ADDICTIVE!

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

True Blood Season3 Trailer:

Books In This Series:

14/10/2011 Posted by | review, reviews, TV series review | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Review: TRUEBLOOD Season 2

TrueBlood Season 2
DVD box set

Just like Season 1, the entire Season 2 is a serialization of the Sookie Stackhouse #2, Living Dead In Dallas book. Click here to go to my review of Living Dead In Dallas. And okey, Sookie, the main protagonist, is still annoyingly stupid… But this time around it’s not just her, but the entire town is now TSTL (too stupid to live)!

The episodes tends to end in a cliffhanger, so I am so glad that I got the entire DVD of season2 box set. The finale episode is the climax of the book. I would therefore advise viewers to have all the episodes of season 2, i.e., all the DVDs, at hand before starting to watch this TV series to avoid frustrations resulting from cliffhanger endings.

The TV show differs slightly from the book, however that is expected. In fact I think it is what makes the show worth watching even though one might have read the book already. There are still surprises in store for the viewer to watch an alternate version of the series in the show. However the show aligned very closely with the book that as a Sookie Stackhouse series fan, I do not have real complaints about it.

I have to admit that the cinematographic presentation is great! The combination of 3D animation technique with live actors gave a very believable effects on the screen. Specially the supernatural scenes. That and Charlaine Harris’ world building skills is what keeps me (possibly) coming back for more despite the TSTL characters.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 cherries

True Blood Season2 Trailer:

Living Dead In Dallas by Charlaine Harris
Book 2 of the Sookie Stackhouse series

Genre: adult urban fantasy

About Living Dead In Dallas:

Waiting tables, sweeping floors, reading minds and solving mysteries for the undead. It’s all in a day’s work for Sookie…

Cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse is on a streak of real bad luck. First, her co-worker gets murdered and no one seems to care. Then Sookie is attacked – and poisoned – late one night by some weird and apparently mythical beast. She only survives because the local vampires roll up and graciously suck the poison from her veins (like they didn’t enjoy it). But in return the blood-suckers need a favor.

Which is why Sookie ends up in Dallas, using her telepathic skills to search for a missing vampire, on the condition that her undead friends don’t do anything, well, vampiric while she’s there. Easier said than done. All it takes is one delicious blonde and one small mistake for things to turn deadly…

Source: Info in the About Living Dead In Dallas was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/110494.Living_Dead_in_Dallas on 11/07/2011.

Books In This Series:

29/09/2011 Posted by | Cherry's reviews, DVD box set, review, Sookie Stackhouse series, TrueBlood, TV series review, urban fantasy | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Review: TRUEBLOOD Season 1

True Blood Season 1
DVD box set

My Thoughts:
The entire True Blood Season 1 is a TV serialization of the Sookie Stackhouse series #1, Dead Until Dark book. Click here for my review of Dead Until Dark. There are a few modifications in the TV series which are not in the book and vice versa, but we are expecting that. What is important to me is that the TV show stuck to the spirit of the story in the book as closely as possible and that earned lots and lots of brownie points! I was also kinda hoping that they would edit Sookie, the main protagonist‘s tendencies to be too stupid to live, with the TV show, which in some cases they did, but not all of it. And that was kind of disappointing. It’s the character development which brings the rating for the whole show down to the boots. The Stackhouses are as dim as they come. Well, except the grandmother. However the world building and the cinematic artistry is bang on!! Gotta give the cinematic effects team and the director a lot of kudos for that. The world building and the show might be really good, but I just find stupid protagonists annoying. I would give this TV series the same rating I gave the book, a 3.5 out of 5.

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

TV Show Trailer:

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
Book 1 of the Sookie Stackhouse series
Genre: adult urban fantasy

About Dead Until Dark:

Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She’s quiet, keeps to herself, and doesn’t get out much. Not because she’s not pretty. She is. It’s just that, well, Sookie has this sort of ‘disability’. She can read minds. And that doesn’t make her too dateable. And then along comes Bill: he’s tall, dark and handsome – and Sookie can’t ‘hear’ a word he’s thinking. He’s exactly the type of guy she’s been waiting for all her life.

But Bill has a disability of his own: he’s a vampire. Worse than that, he hangs with a seriously creepy crowd, with a reputation for trouble – of the murderous kind.

And when one of Sookie’s colleagues is killed, she begins to fear she’ll be next…

Source: Info in the About Dead Until Dark was taken from the back cover of the paperback edition.

Books In This Series:

17/09/2011 Posted by | Bill Compton, Cherry's reviews, DVD box set, Eric Northman, Jason Stackhouse, Lafayette Reynolds, review, Sookie Stackhouse, Sookie Stackhouse series, Tara Thornton, TrueBlood, TV series review | , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments