Is MTV’s New Fantasy Offering Shannara Shore Or Shannara Cribs?

In the 1990s and early 2000s many critics decried the stunted practice in the movie and television industries of plagiarising the productions of rival studios and networks. Cinematic-clones were set against each other in the theatres while TV broadcasters copied popular programmes to take advantage of existing audiences. Over the last few years the preference for remakes or reboots has become the new normal, again to the dismay of some observers. Now i09 reports that MTV (yes, MTV) is about to reveal its dramatic adaptation of the 1977 high fantasy novel, “Shannara”, an acknowledged carbon-copy of JRR Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”, by the unfailingly derivative American author, Terry Brooks. By all accounts the overt “Games of Thrones“-meets-“The Twilight Saga“-meets-“The Hobbit” mise-en-scène weighs rather too heavily on the show. In other words, it’s irretrievably awful.

So there we have it. The very nadir of creative entertainment has been reached. A literary rip-off of someone else’s work becomes a television rip-off of someone else’s work with the excuse of “homage” or “inspired by” on the lips of everyone involved. Fuck me…

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7 comments

  1. Good lord, I could have gone the rest of my life without seeing that trailer. I’m sure The Chronicles of Farces, or whatever it’s called, will be immensely popular. We are doomed. But, I laughed. Worth a bit.

  2. That trailer is appalling. I saw some 10 minute “in depth” look and the show looks far better than that trailer. But it’s riddled with Teenwolf meets Twilight relationship angst and drama.

    Lev Grossman’s Magicians is out in a few weeks, as is Lucifer (which despite the cop procedural aspect looks good) and The Preacher is on AMC in May. The Red/Blue/Green Mars adaptation by Spike is probably the one that will disappoint the most in SF/Fantasy TV this year – I really hope I’m wrong but after Tut…..

    1. Yeah, is has a very teenage vibe. Ok, that is the demographic, its MTV. But still… My main gripe is the rewarding of blatant plagiarist for his plagiarism. Brooks hasn’t produced an original bit of work in his entire career. Everything is derivative of everything else. He’s the literary equivalent of some weird Asian-European-Tex-Mex fusion food menu. Lost of different ingredients amounting to an unpalatable mess.

      1. “Good artists borrow, great artists steal.” Not in this case that’s for sure. I recall making a stab at the chronicles as a young teenager and quickly realising that never reading Brooks again was the way to go. And I never looked back.

        I watched the first part last night, everything was outstanding except for the juvenile acting, themes & relationship drama. Had to laugh when Gimli was cast as king of the elves, the resonance with your statement above was just too much!

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