Recently, I finished the first season of Amazon Prime Video’s new fantasy series The Wheel of Time. I really feel like this show has the potential to be something great, but it’s definitely flawed. With that said, however, I was engaged and I enjoyed myself and was emotionally invested.
The Wheel of Time tells the story of a half-medieval/half-future-based (watch and you’ll see why I see that) world in which the evil “Dark One” is trying to take over. And the only person who can stop him is “The Chosen One”, otherwise known as “The Dragon Reborn”. Unfortunately, no one knows who the “Dragon” is.
The show is based on a series of fantasy novels written by Robert Jordan, beginning with The Eye of the World released in January 1990.
We got a good batch of decent performances in the first season, particularly from Madeleine Madden (“Egwene”), Barney Harris (“Mat” – who’s also not returning for season 2), Zoe Robins (“Nynaeve”), and Daniel Henney (“Lan”)… but the standout, in my opinion, was the veteran actress Rosamund Pike.
She exhibited a good mix of robotic secrecy, vulnerability, and strength throughout the entire series. More flexibility than any other character in the show. Most of whom tended to be one-dimensional at times. Not their fault though… the plot was one-dimensional at times too, which surprised me seeing how in-depth and rich the books are with detail and history.
There’s So Much Potential
While this season wasn’t without it’s flaws, there is so much potential there. Is it going to fill your Game of Thrones void? Absolutely not. Not even close. But the show is good enough to get you emotionally invested into the characters and the stories that they have to tell. If anything, this season felt more like exposition than an actual complete telling of a story with a beginning, middle, and end.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK
I haven’t read the books, but I could see where it was going from a mile away. Not many twists and turns here, so if you’re looking for surprising story elements, you won’t find many here. If you predict some of the major plot points from this show as you’re watching, don’t be surprised… you’re not the only one.
Remember when I said that this season felt more like exposition than anything else? Set-up is always good to build excitement, but sweet Lord, this show might have become the record-holder for abandoned plotlines and little explanations.
For example, The Whitecloaks. I won’t say anything more for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, but they 100% leave us hanging there, don’t they? That’s just one of many. We simply don’t get a lot of answers here.
It Doesn’t Stick The Landing
For all the buildup the show has throughout the episodes, the final episode is a huge letdown. Tons and tons of buildup, only for the show to be tackled at the 1-yardline with zero fanfare. I’d imagine they’ll fix this for season 2, but for now, very, very disappointed given the build up was so interesting.
The show is GOOD. It probably won’t knock your socks off, nor will it be something standing out in your brain as soon as the final credits roll, but it’s serviceable. Luckily we already know we’re getting a second season and they have plenty of time to close some circles here. (I just got an Apple Watch, can you tell?)
If you’re a fan of fantasy television shows, you might enjoy this. Just don’t go in expecting to have your mind blown. You will, however, find it a serviceable series until something better comes out.
VIBE SCORE: 6 / 10
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