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The Rings of Mediocre Power

Have you ever found yourself wishing for cutting-edge adventure? Have you wanted to survive a train long line to see your favorite movie or specialized event? Stranded in a sea of pop tents, pool chairs, and general mayhem that is a book launch, movie premier, or overpriced sneaker drop. Look no further, well I would say look farther, cause this ain't it.

I'm talking about the Rings of Power here, so if you are a fan or not, spoilers and well wishes. Since the first trailers appeared on Prime, I was hooked. Sadly, this series, like so many wanna be hyped up fantasies, falls short of its intentions. If you are like me you remember waiting not so patiently for each of the three-plus parts of the Lord of the Rings movies by Peter Jackson to appear. I  remember waiting in line with my dad and brother and then holding in my pee during the three hr long films because the theater was so crowded with people you'd inevitably miss 1-3 key points while waiting to use the facilities. 

The Rings of Power is based upon material found in the Lord of the Rings and not to my understanding from other Tolkien books. Seems these were the only rights they were given. Which explains some aspects of the show, but not all. There is so much and not enough. To help with this dissection I've ordered the show into components which will help both balance the show as a whole and allow me or you to see it in the way it could be intended. Our components are as follows, 1. the story 2. the characters, 3. the view. 

First up the view, this was a hit-and-miss 50/50. You can tell from the opening scenes in every episode the creators of the rings of power were relying heavily on the Peter Jackson approach. Long sprawling scenes of the fantasy world of middle earth and deep introspective nature throughout. My approach to many epsidoes was "Is this a good computer screen saver?" I'm guessing more than half of the budget of the rings of power was spent on aerial shots.  It is of course very beautiful, however much of the show takes place without characters or dialogue, we sit waiting for something to happen and all we get is a sunrise with beautiful choral music. Magically volcanos appear when they are needed and a forest appears when we need shade. It is certainly nice to have those things, but they don't move the story along, and neither do they enhance the uncertainty that anything is ever going to happen. 

The scenery does set our storylines apart, which helps in creating new worlds for the characters. I would say most of the characters are strong, but some weak and not for the right reasons.  Most of the elves are strong and only a few waver under a damaged flag. Galadriel, who is one of the main characters wavers under the damaged flag and so does her counterpart Halbrand. Her shipwrecked friend and king of the south, both are tormented by the past, although Galadriel is more so than Halbrand. The hardest part about watching the rings of power is trying not to compare it to the lord of the rings. Here is where the show made its first mistake. If the creators were taking information from the lord of the rings and using it to make a show of their own creation. Wouldn't be easier to use characters that no one has seen before in films? That was my thought because we already have some notion of what Galadriel is like from the Jackson films. Anyways Galadriel comes off as dry, strong-willed more than dutiful. Even if she is supposed to be younger in the rings of power than the lord of the rings, I'm doubtful on how many years pass before she becomes a loving queen in LOTR. 

 As for the other characters, the elf in the Southlands and the humans, mix well, even if they are at odds. I despise the love story and feel it takes away from the overall flare of the show. The acting of Bronwyn is very soapy. I think this love story would of been better taken out of the show and replaced with longing rather than wanting. We already got a happy ending in LOTR we don't need it twice. By far my two favorite character duos are Elrond and Durin and the Harfoots and the stranger. The dynamics of the elves and dwarves are wrought with friction, but in a good way that often is mistaken for comedic relief. Which in many aspects can be a good thing when dealing with death and end of middle earth. The problem with too much comedy is the show inherently becomes childlike, which is neither their intent nor their purpose I presume. There is a lot of blood although not as much as in other shows. I'm reminded of the Jackson botched Hobbit movies which played too much on a PG rating and made up too much to be closely related to the book in any form.  The Harfoots are adorable in many aspects the most childlike of all the characters, their sincere demeanor and inquisitiveness is always abound and the stranger brings in the unknowing into their world much like a new toy. The characters here are wrought with all manner of emotions, every scene riddled with what, if, when, why and who or whom. They lead the way in character development more so than many of the sword-wielding and obtuse characters who take up the brunt of the screen time. 

The story is neither here nor there much like the view. Since I assume it's partially made up and partially information. It does not encompass much of anything. Each episode is an hour plus long and in that time we see and hear about 30min of actual dialogue and sometimes much less. The view takes up a lot of time and so do transitions. Some episodes were just long stances of characters staring off into the distance. In a few episodes the story line moves exceedingly slow and we only get a glimpse of a few worlds or characters even if we wanted to see more, we are left with little notion of what happens next. Compared to Game of thrones, I'm reminded of how much could happen in one episode, kingdoms falling, torture, death, romance, and dragons. Sometimes it was too much, but it was never not enough. 

I would say the dialogue of the rings of power is fair and strong when it needs to be, war speeches are all the same at this point. The actors and characters often have more to say with their facial quips more so than the dialogue. Tones are played well and overall I'm not searching for more than what the characters are allowed to show. Even if this review seems harsh, I'm still mildly hooked, I do press the skip intro button, because who needs to see crumbs rolling around on the daily. If anything I'm hooked on the characters that are still changing and growing and the story they seem to unravel as time moves on. I'm hoping if this show continues, the writers and creators look in one direction, either take from the books or go and forge a new path. There's enough fantasy to go around without having to take from one area of knowledge. 

So far rating, could be changed due to show not over yet Fantasy meter 💫💫💫


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