Reise: Kingdom Falling – A Sad, Sad Disappointment

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This new offering from the Syfy channel is absolutely appalling. I love tropes, and I can get behind a well-used cliche, but this show isn’t even trying. The narrative style reeks of an incredibly amateur novel.

 

Expect to see this generic map a lot.

We get a few average fight scenes where our Princess Action Girl practices Waif Fu, spaced by long-winded narrations of the historical setting of the world. I’d be okay with this if the world had something interesting to offer. It doesn’t. The camera cuts away to a fairly standard fantasy world map, pans across places with names like “Midgard” and dozens of others ripped almost directly out of Lord of the Rings, while the viewer hears about how the princess got to where she is now, and all about the incredibly fanatical religious group, creatively called “The Sect.”

The sad part about The Sect is that it’s impossible to tell what the writers are trying to convey with this idea. On the surface, it feels like some overt criticism of Christianity or Islam; the only thing I know about the sect is that it’s trying to conquer the world. They’re generically evil bad guys, except they’ve got a candy coating that’s apt to alienate and offend the religious viewership, without the benefit of making any sort of greater point about religion, or even starting a decent conversation about it. That’s just bad fantasy.

I can’t watch another episode, even though they’re only a few minutes long each. This one ends with a very obvious Darth Vader knockoff ominously ordering his lackeys to follow the princess. I’d love this if I thought it was a revision of the character or an homage. It’s not. It feels like someone said, “We need money. Put Darth Vader in this show, but make sure we can’t get sued for it!”

That said, the camera work is decent and the aesthetics are nice. This show makes me realize that I really, really want to find an outstanding piece of fantasy drama. Sadly, this can’t be it.

Sadly, this is far less awesome than it seems.

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