Critic Consensus: The Shannara Chronicles wears its influences heavily on its sleeve and needs to find surer footing before it can tap its true potential, but it still might suffice for viewers in search of a teen-friendly Game of Thrones.
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The show sputters along, never quite finding its footing between the stakes of a collapsing fantasy universe and a soapy teen drama.
The fact that the mostly inert The Shannara Chronicles is utterly familiar on both levels is a reminder that a truly vibrant fantasy story requires some sort of invention.
It doesn't help that the characters seem to be allowed to switch from talking dour fantasy-novel heroes to bored millennials whenever the mood strikes them - perhaps something that might have to do with this being MTV.
Whatever visual beauty this pretender to Game of Thrones' high fantasy throne does possess is undone by wooden performances, formulaic execution and dialogue so howlingly bad it resembles subpar fan fiction.
The Shannara Chronicles can't help but show off how cool its various magical storylines are, and in doing so it shows off its shortcomings. Its characters are fairly weak, with the exception of Manu Bennet's Allanon, though its setting is gorgeous.
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