I love sci-fi and fantasy. I was raised in the era of movies like The Dark Crystal, Legend, Labyrinth, The Neverending Story, the Princess Bride, The Last Unicorn...My parents helped. We always had sci-fi books laying around the house (I still read the entire original Dune series once a year or so) and my mom would tape things like Red Sonya or Neverending Story for us to watch over and over again.
As I got older, I started getting a little pickier about my books. There were some tropes that seemed ever-present in fantasy specifically that bugged me to no end, the handsome hero swinging his phallus replacement around to protect the fragile but oh so beautiful princess from being touched. If I was lucky, the fragile princess would have power of her own, but it was almost inevitably magic of some kind, which allowed her to stay on the fringes of any battle and usually was the excuse for her weak constitution. Even female heroes would end up saved by the man yet again, regardless of her own strength.
Eventually, my mother (who can be seriously awesome) introduced me to Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series. This series seems to fall victim to some of the usual tropes at first, but very quickly it is revealed that not all is as it seems in that regard. The series is full of strong female characters, and by that I don't mean "Strong Female" characters, but strong characters that happen to be female. Its not a perfect series, but it does amazingly well in the gender department. Goodkind displays an amazing depth of insight into female perspectives, experiences and realities.
Can you imagine my joy when I found out they were making a TV series?
Absolute. Pure. Bliss.
Then I watched it.
I've read Backlash, I should not have been surprised. I should have expected that the entertainment industry would sap all individual personality from the female characters and insert tired old tropes about how women "really are." It doesn't matter if the character is essentially in charge of an entire council of nations and is the highest authority in the land. Underneath it all shes just a weak little girl who needs men to save her. She still has her amazing power, but now using it ONCE makes her faint like a delicate fucking wilted flower!
Additionally, the racial characterization is unbelievable. Why, pray tell, is the one character which was written with a specific speech pattern ie "I am" becomes "I be" (meant to indicate her native language's grammatical structure conflicting with the language she currently speaks) cast as a woman of color? Especially when this character was not originally written so? To make it worse, shes a sorceress who lives in a hut full of bones, and uses bones to ward off the underworld. Cue the "mystical POC/ voodoo preistess" stereotype. Tia Dalma anyone?
Theres more, but frankly, it isn't even worth addressing in some ways, cause we have heard it all before.
In all honestly, I wish I could even be anything other than bored and disappointed.
In short, don't bother with "Legend of the Seeker" As usual, the Western entertainment industry took perfectly good source material that actually portrays a complex world and boiled it down to the things that make white guys feel most comfortable.