Saturday, October 24, 2009

Feminist Feature: Legend of the Seeker

I thought it appropriate to highlight the feminist Sam Raimi’s Legend of the Seeker, as its premiere is nearing. Weirdly, many of the directors have done many Power Rangers series, but the show is quality. Sam Raimi’s given us the Evil Dead/Army of Darkness, Spider-man, and Drag Me to Hell, in which Drag Me to Hell (written by him too) is a feminist film as well. But he’s most known for Hercules, Xena, Young Hercules, and Starz’ upcoming Spartacus, starring Lucy Lawless. And he loves to reuse his actors, which is something a lot of sci-fi and fantasy creators love to do, such as Joss Whedon, and it makes the fans really happy, but it also limits the exposure of other fans coming in because of a certain actor. In Seeker’s case, Raimi got unknowns and Bruce Spence to star. I guarantee you Bridget Regan and Craig Horner will be huge in a few years. The acting is great, except for occasional slips of the Aussie and Kiwi accents from actors, including Horner, as everyone is supposed to have American-English accents.

For those of you who don’t know the premise of the first season: Kahlan Amnell (Regan) and her sister Dennee are on a mission to deliver a book to the Seeker, who has been hidden and secluded in a non-magical kingdom of Hartland, ignorant of prophecies and magic. When Kahlan enters their kingdom, trouble begins for the people, and they begin to accuse her of everything gone wrong, as well as Richard (Horner). Little does she know the first person to help her when she’s followed by soldiers tracking her is the Seeker. So when she confronts one of the three most powerful wizards left in the world Zeddicus Z’ul Zorander (Spence), she finds out the Seeker is none other than Richard and Zedd has hidden him since he was born. According to a prophecy, Richard would come to be the seeker and destroy the villainous, ruthless, iron-handed Darken Rahl (Craig Parker), so Rahl sends troops to destroy all the first born sons of the town of Brennidon, where the Seeker would be born, a Biblical allusion it seems.

So the first season is the adventures on their journey to kill Rahl. The show is a beautiful mix of action and humor, at which is what Raimi’s shows are great. My favorite episode may be the dark “Denna” or the uber-hilarious “Mirror” where all the actors get to expand their acting abilities: Spence gets to act like a whiny woman, Regan gets to be a crude glutton, and Horner gets to be a goofy failure at life.

Okay, so what makes this so darn feminist? At first it doesn’t seem so, when in the first couple episodes, Richard says to a D’Haran soldier something about it being unfair that there are five men against one woman. But in defense, Richard doesn’t know anything about the outside world where women are highly regarded as being powerful. You could say that where he was from, Hartland, women aren’t powerful or as highly regarded. But in the magical world…Kahlan and the Confessors and the Mord’Sith are all women and all the most powerful beings, aside from the first-order wizards and sorceresses. The funny thing is that if you go in depth enough, the women’s powers are to make people do whatever they want through torture (Mord’Sith) or loss of will (Confessors). Kahlan seems to be the most powerful of the Confessors, as her powers grow exponentially as the shows progresses. You’ll have to find out how! And it’s not just her powers, but her fighting abilities that make Kahlan a force to be reckoned with…and ogled over. With Regan’s dance background, her fighting is smooth and sexy. And she can wield mean double daggers! It takes talent to move in the corsety clothes that she wears too! And she does most of her own stunts and fight scenes. Most Hollywood actors wouldn’t be allowed to do half the stuff she does. And she stays very true to the book’s character, as she rigorously studies the books and takes notes, and it shows.
The natural-ginger-and-now-raven-haired-and-fair Bridget Regan tops my list of most beautiful women. She oozes sexy nerdiness as the ultimate dream of all nerds. And it helps that she’s not a skeleton; she has some meat on her bones…and nice legs! I’m in love! Check out her twitter, where she reveals her favorite music, season 2 guest stars, and things about her adorable cat that eats her Sword of Truth books.

Check out Season 1 on DVD and then watch Season 2, starting November 7 on WGN here in the U.S. I have no idea what channel it airs on in other countries, so…..find it yourselves.

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