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Am I the only one who thinks the show looks bad?


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I'm not someone who needs everything to happen in an adaptation like it does in the book. This is why I prefer the Kiera Knightly Pride and Prejudice to the Colin Firth miniseries (Heresy, I know). However, I do ask my adaptations to understand the vision of the original and transmit that into the new medium. A few things about the WoT TV Series have me worried. 

 

1. The fact that Rand is barely even in the trailer. He's the main character! He's the Dragon Reborn and he's got like 2 seconds of screen time in the trailer. I know they're really trying to bank on the "feminist fantasy" angle, but still. 

2. The fact that Rafe Judkin's wiki entry on his Survivor career is three times longer than the one for his writing career. 

3. The trailer shows a lot of Aes Sedai when they're really not in the first book at all. It's like the showrunners thought that the Eye of the World would be boring to adapt because it doesn't have all the magic like books later in the series. As if The Eye of the World isn't one of the greatest fantasy books ever even without that stuff. To me, it shows a lack of faith in the source material which I find disconcerting. 

4. This is gonna sound stupid, and it may not even turn out to be true, but at one point the trailer seems to imply that Rand and Egwene are an item and that they have sex. If this is true, I'm out. Such a huge part of Rand's character is his transformation from naive, innocent farm boy to a rugged, damaged, world weary man, and that early naivety is largely represented by his awkwardness around women. Also, Rand's tendency to put women on a pedestal is something that he's punished for later on in the series when he starts keeping the list of dead women. Rand's immature understanding of women is a huge part of his character, and for him to even be so comfortable around a barely clothed Egwene reeks of what MTV did to The Elfstones of Shannara. Again, not trusting the source material and throwing in stuff to make it more marketable. 

5. The fact that Rafe was so adamant that Rand be polyamorous rather than polygamous. This just shows that Rafe will adapt WoT faithfully... up to the point that he disagrees with it, at which point he will change it into something he's more comfortable with. His ideology first, story and fans second. Say what you want about the GoT showrunners, but they never did anything like this. 

 

Anyway, those are just my thoughts. I've been following this show's development for years, and everything I've ever heard has lead me to believe that it's being made by people who don't care about the books. I still want it to be good, and I'm hoping that these problems are all the result of decisions regarding how to present the show in marketing materials, but I doubt. 

 

Anyway, since the reception of the trailer seems to be overwhelmingly positive, I'm interested to hear why people like it, and what they see in it that I don't. 

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This has been gone over in some other threads so it might be interesting to look through them too since a ton of preexisting insight might not end up in a new thread. But also we do always love to comment so some will and maybe even new content. 

 

I try not to comment on any individual points because until I see it in full i will reserve judgement. Dwelling on my fears or expectations will taint my opinion of the show so Im staying neutral as possible and treating it as Jordan had us treat the video game - as either a portal stone world or another turning of the wheel. Rand is Rand but may not be the Rand I know from the book.  But is still Rand. I know Sanderson endorses that method of viewing the series as well. 

 

Also the teaser trailer is supposed to barely feature anyone. So Rand getting linited play is not at all a surprise. Actually the bigger surprise is how much we did actually see in a teaser. Here is an example of a teaser from another thing Im excited about and you will see the contrast. 

 

 

So the first “teaser trailer” for Strange New Worlds is basically a passing mention in a gigantic ad for all their shows. 

 

And yes its the official teaser - we need to wait till trailer 1 to get any true footage. 

 

or there is this, in the video game world a teaser trailer is called a reveal trailer. You thought you saw little in the teaser above? Star Wars said Hold My Blue Milk. 

 

 

So Im happy we got as deep a look as we did. And I don’t support trailers that give away major plot points so I hope we get some views or character interaction in trailer 2 but still keep it vague. 

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Keep in mind that Rafe has specifically said that he isn't adapting the Eye of the world to season one.  He is adapting the first season of the Wheel of Time series.  Meaning he will move plot points and characters around to adjust for the pacing of the TV show.  And with completed source material I see no reason not to do this as you can focus on parts of the story that matter later one and introduce characters earlier or later as needed.

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I'm hardly an expert on trailers but I do know you should never put too much faith in them when it comes to accurately representing the story they're gonna tell. I imagine the point of this trailer is to sell the story and draw people in and hopefully it does a good job at that.

 

Rand is at the heart of the story. Its impossible to tell Robert Jordan's story without him being front and center. I have to believe that Rafe understands that. And yes as the Aes Sedai are not a bit presence in the first book really but the 1st season isn't just the 1st book, and tv isn't literature so some amount of adaptation is natural. As long as the story isn't too warped from what it was it isn't gonna bother me much.

 

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2 hours ago, swollymammoth said:

1. The fact that Rand is barely even in the trailer. He's the main character! He's the Dragon Reborn and he's got like 2 seconds of screen time in the trailer. I know they're really trying to bank on the "feminist fantasy" angle, but still. 

 

I’m worried about this, too, because Rafe appears to be highly woke, and we know the industry and critics are, too. So yes, the show could easily go off the rails. BUT… there is also a more innocent explanation for this: it’s a trailer for starters, and much of the first season could be clever misdirection. That is my wishful thinking. We will see. 

 

2 hours ago, swollymammoth said:

2. The fact that Rafe Judkin's wiki entry on his Survivor career is three times longer than the one for his writing career. 
 

 

Don’t care. 
 

2 hours ago, swollymammoth said:

3. The trailer shows a lot of Aes Sedai when they're really not in the first book at all. It's like the showrunners thought that the Eye of the World would be boring to adapt because it doesn't have all the magic like books later in the series. As if The Eye of the World isn't one of the greatest fantasy books ever even without that stuff. To me, it shows a lack of faith in the source material which I find disconcerting.

 

Ok, so again, see Point 1. I’m a little concerned. BUT, much of what you’re seeing of the Aes Sedai could be a Logain storyline which would actually be a welcome addition to season 1. 

 

2 hours ago, swollymammoth said:

4. This is gonna sound stupid, and it may not even turn out to be true, but at one point the trailer seems to imply that Rand and Egwene are an item and that they have sex. If this is true, I'm out. Such a huge part of Rand's character is his transformation from naive, innocent farm boy to a rugged, damaged, world weary man, and that early naivety is largely represented by his awkwardness around women. Also, Rand's tendency to put women on a pedestal is something that he's punished for later on in the series when he starts keeping the list of dead women. Rand's immature understanding of women is a huge part of his character, and for him to even be so comfortable around a barely clothed Egwene reeks of what MTV did to The Elfstones of Shannara. Again, not trusting the source material and throwing in stuff to make it more marketable. 

 

Yeah, I get it. But at the same time this is pretty low on my list of stuff to be pissed about. Some of the desires espoused on this message board for “retconning” certain character sexualities and gender identities is lot more bizarre than Rand and Eg hooking up. 

 

2 hours ago, swollymammoth said:

5. The fact that Rafe was so adamant that Rand be polyamorous rather than polygamous. This just shows that Rafe will adapt WoT faithfully... up to the point that he disagrees with it, at which point he will change it into something he's more comfortable with. His ideology first, story and fans second. Say what you want about the GoT showrunners, but they never did anything like this.

 

No idea what this is in reference to.

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The same questions (well, most of them) have been answered again and again and again. Wait and watch and then make your judgement. Or at least wait for the story trailer 😄

5 hours ago, swollymammoth said:

I know they're really trying to bank on the "feminist fantasy" angle, but still. 

Source for this? They are trying to keep Rand's true identity hidden as long as they can. Never have I ever heard anything about shoving feminism into it. Logain's early story is an excellent way to show the audience the dangers of saidin and WT politics and Aes Sedai's capabilities. That makes the stakes higher when Rand being DR is revealed.

 

5 hours ago, swollymammoth said:

His ideology first, story and fans second

Again, source for this? Every Q&A he has made has only solidified that every change they make must have a good reason. They won't make a book-by-book adaptation but adaptation of the whole series. That will allow them to smooth out the rough parts of the books and make the story flow nicely without too much boring stuff. IMO that is the right way of doing this.

 

BUT in the end, we won't how good the show is until we have watched it. We can just hope for the best. 🤞

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1 hour ago, TheMountain said:

Just stepping in here to say that I really appreciate that we can all discuss things like this respectfully and freely (and let's keep it that way!). Most criticism on Reddit gets downvoted to oblivion and brings out the pitchforks.

Agreed.  We've got a good community here.  I much prefer talking about this here than the Facebook group I am a part of for WoT.

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1 hour ago, TheMountain said:

Just stepping in here to say that I really appreciate that we can all discuss things like this respectfully and freely (and let's keep it that way!). Most criticism on Reddit gets downvoted to oblivion and brings out the pitchforks.

Pound sand sheepherder. 

 

like that? did I do good? I think I did good. 

 

😛

Edited by CaddySedai
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13 hours ago, Beidomon said:

. Some of the desires espoused on this message board for “retconning” certain character sexualities and gender identities is lot more bizarre than Rand and Eg hooking up. 

If you’re referring to my earlier post, please do not confuse speculation and hypothesizing for “espousing desire”. 
 

The subject matter was Rand’s triumvirate and how that would be adapted. I speculated about how they might handle it. I did not endorse any particular change. 

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19 hours ago, swollymammoth said:

 A few things about the WoT TV Series have me worried.  

So as the resident optimist, let me try to address some of this...

 

Quote

1. The fact that Rand is barely even in the trailer. He's the main character! He's the Dragon Reborn and he's got like 2 seconds of screen time in the trailer. I know they're really trying to bank on the "feminist fantasy" angle, but still. 

If the concern is that we aren't going to see Rand's journey, you certainly can't draw any conclusions from a 2:00 teaser. I don't know why you would be worried that the story would be altered so dramatically as to erase Rand. The promotional materials talk about Moiraine searching for a messiah who is fated to save or destroy the world. 

 

Also, one of the primary things about the Wheel of Time is that there are several "main characters" whose stories we follow. While Rand's journey is ultimately critical, the whole point of the ending is that it isn't just about Rand!! 

 

As to "feminist fantasy", please note that the world RJ wrote about was full of powerful women who make world altering decisions. If that's "feminist fantasy", then blame RJ not the producers.

 

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2. The fact that Rafe Judkin's wiki entry on his Survivor career is three times longer than the one for his writing career. 

Not sure why this is supposed to bother me? 

 

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3. The trailer shows a lot of Aes Sedai when they're really not in the first book at all. It's like the showrunners thought that the Eye of the World would be boring to adapt because it doesn't have all the magic like books later in the series. As if The Eye of the World isn't one of the greatest fantasy books ever even without that stuff. To me, it shows a lack of faith in the source material which I find disconcerting. 

It's not mean to be an adaptation of the Eye of the World. It's meant to be an adaptation of the Wheel of Time. That means introducing viewers to worldbuilding concepts that are explained, but not visualized in the first book. The nature of the One Power, who can use it, how it's used, what can be done with it, the differences between saidin and saidar, the taint, etc. These things need to be shown to the audience, which is why it makes all kinds of sense to bring Logain's story forward as a vehicle. 

 

Quote

4. This is gonna sound stupid, and it may not even turn out to be true, but at one point the trailer seems to imply that Rand and Egwene are an item and that they have sex. If this is true, I'm out. Such a huge part of Rand's character is his transformation from naive, innocent farm boy to a rugged, damaged, world weary man, and that early naivety is largely represented by his awkwardness around women. Also, Rand's tendency to put women on a pedestal is something that he's punished for later on in the series when he starts keeping the list of dead women. Rand's immature understanding of women is a huge part of his character, and for him to even be so comfortable around a barely clothed Egwene reeks of what MTV did to The Elfstones of Shannara. Again, not trusting the source material and throwing in stuff to make it more marketable.

I get this criticism. Rand's sheltered attitudes and lack of experience with women are a key aspect of his character. But this is something I want to wait and see about. It doesn't have to break Rand's character for he and Egwene to have fooled around, especially if they are expected to marry. Having a couple of awkward sexual experiences doesn't make Rand "rugged, damaged, and world weary" or make his understanding of women more sophisticated.

 

And we don't know that the shot you reference comes after sexy time. The could be fooling around, only to have Egwene back away. Either way, spending time with Rand's heartache over losing Egwene is a good way to give some insight into Rand's tenderness, his kindness, and his youthful optimism. 

 

It will definitely be worth keeping an eye on whether they go too far down to the YA road, but a single shot in the trailer doesn't persuade me that I can trust the writers to tell the story in a relatable way.

 

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5. The fact that Rafe was so adamant that Rand be polyamorous rather than polygamous. This just shows that Rafe will adapt WoT faithfully... up to the point that he disagrees with it, at which point he will change it into something he's more comfortable with. His ideology first, story and fans second. Say what you want about the GoT showrunners, but they never did anything like this. 

Again, I understand where you're coming from with this. I also understand that a man having a harem of women isn't going to play well in current year. I have no idea how they are going to deal with it - but those decisions are still a season away at least. I will have to wait and see whether the choices they make in this regard feel good to me or not. 

 

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Anyway, those are just my thoughts. I've been following this show's development for years, and everything I've ever heard has lead me to believe that it's being made by people who don't care about the books. I still want it to be good, and I'm hoping that these problems are all the result of decisions regarding how to present the show in marketing materials, but I doubt. 

I understand that you worry about a particular brand of politics being inserted into the story. I don't, however, understand the notion that it's being made by people who don't care about the books. Rafe has repeatedly talked about how much he loves the source material; RJ's team is involved in the production; Brandon Sanderson is involved in the production; they even tabbed a superfan in Sarah Nakamura to act as a consultant.

 

What about that suggests not caring about the books? I'm genuinely interested. I get, for example, @Thrasymachuscomplaints that the showrunners do not seem to care about recreating the book's descriptions of items and places. But I genuinely don't understand how that translates to not caring about the books. One can like a story and tell it against a different background without "breaking it". (For example: The Seven Samurai vs. The Magnificent Seven)

 

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Anyway, since the reception of the trailer seems to be overwhelmingly positive, I'm interested to hear why people like it, and what they see in it that I don't.

I love it. I love the colors. I love how Tar Valon looks. I love how the Fade looks. The actors made me feel like they understand the characters (obviously the jury is still out on this). I love the care with which the voiceovers were overlaid with images and the resulting foreshadowing. 

 

In fact, I wrote a really long post about why the trailer should put your fears to rest. And I'm sure the next one will do a better job of giving us an idea about the first couple of episodes and where the story is headed. 

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17 hours ago, swollymammoth said:

I'm not someone who needs everything to happen in an adaptation like it does in the book. This is why I prefer the Kiera Knightly Pride and Prejudice to the Colin Firth miniseries (Heresy, I know). However, I do ask my adaptations to understand the vision of the original and transmit that into the new medium. A few things about the WoT TV Series have me worried. 

 

 

I'm a big fan of the movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice over the TV mini-series too.  Within the Austen community that can be a controversial opinion but when you break it down... in many ways (from sets, costumes, etc) the movie version is in many ways a more faithful adaptation than the mini-series.  The TV series is faithful to a certain tweedy anachronistic bourgeois bbc aesthetic more so than the movies.  But, that is certainly something that can be argued a lot.

 

A few points on some of your other points.

 

-- Rand in the trailer & the featuring of the Aes Sedai (1 & 3)

 

As others have pointed out, the trailer that we got is a teaser meant to wet the appetite in the audience for more.   The full trailer has yet to be seen.  

 

In terms of Rand & the Aes Sedai (Points 1 and 3).   The Aes Sedai are all over the first few books.  Pretty much every character thinks and talks about the Aes Sedai.   Several of the major characters in the books become Aes Sedai.   You have to introduce them somehow.

 

One the common threads of how Jordan introduced them is by showing people's fear and mistrust of them because the reader's focus is tied in the early books to the three boys.  That fear and mistrust helps build up the significance of being the dragon reborn in the reader's heads. 

 

The challenge for this approach is that the reader is told about the fear and mistrust and not really shown it.  Characters tell each other stuff about the Aes Sedai.  Characters think about stuff about the Aes Sedai.  Characters (and by extension) us don't see it for ourselves.

 

 

One of the ways that you can overcome that problem is casting the Aes Sedai as the dominant power structure in the land.  Presenting the Aes Sedai as they themselves would see themselves and then slowly chipping away at that façade to reveal the problems that the Aes Sedai have created for themselves.  The message, if you will, remains the same even if it is shown to us a little differently.

 

For example of the expansion of the Logain storyline is a sign that the writers may have a good grasp of the setting.  If they do that addition well then the following things may be true... We the audience are going to see clearly what the Aes Sedai reaction to a dragon is even as Rand also begins to display aspects of being a dragon.  We will see the reaction to Logain channeling even as we see Rand begin to channel.  We will see the general reaction of Randland society and government to a dragon.  From those things we will potentially have a very clear sense of what the stakes are for Rand because we will have just seen the how well all that worked out for Logain.

 

So, given that it was just a teaser, I'm probably far more positive as we await the actual trailer.

 

On your points 4 & 5 (Sorry, am having some problems figuring out the whole quoting thing... I'm old) ...

 

Just curious, how many fan reaction videos/youtube shows did you watch after the teaser ?  

 

I watched a lot of them and my general impression was that a lot seemed to be getting ahead of themselves about that particular image.   I'm of the opinion that it is more likely related to a ritualistic test ala one for becoming a woman, a wisdom, or an aes sedai and not something real-time to the story.  Some, of the reactions almost seemed to be rooting for piling more trouble upon Rand's head which I find strange 'cause brother Rand got enough on his plate.

 

I also heard a lot of the whole Game of Thrones, Game of Thrones, and more Game of Thrones.  Carving a niche as the network that broadcasts "edgy" and "sexy" content has been a core HBO strategy going all the way back to its start on cable when their big value proposition was that they could show R rated movies on television.  The sexy stuff in the GOT show is pretty much in line with that history.  But, I don't really think that you can equate HBO's general strategy and Amazon's strategy.   I think Amazon is probably aiming more at Disney Plus's Star Wars and MCU stuff (which is generally unsexy) with both the WOT and LOTR shows.  So, I don't know if the HBO/GOT comparison really tracks well.

 

 

As a matter of plot / characterization, I think that making Rand and Egwene have a physical relationship creates some problems (at least for me, maybe not others).  As another poster pointed out, their relationship always had a "default" feel to it.  I agree with that.   In my memory you don't see a lot of deep emotional attachment between them beyond a quasi-slightly-more-than-friendsy level in line with other people's expectations for them.  Given how focused Rand is later on doing what people don't expect, I think keeping things at that level in the show is more in line with his general characterization across the books and you would be losing something if you changed it.

 

I think changing Rand's three wives has less of an impact than that since that always felt more symbolic of the modernistic interpretation of the three-aspects of the goddess found in some pagan myth cycles than of any real character/plot significance to me.

 

 

 

Enough from me...  🙂

     

 

 

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@TheDreadReader Lol, now you made me think of WoT as written by Martin. 

 

And that makes me sad. I may be the Chosen Mesaana, and I choose not to imagine a world where we have to have scenes featuring Ishmael’s “”Oath Rod” in them. lol

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19 hours ago, CaddySedai said:

This has been gone over in some other threads so it might be interesting to look through them too since a ton of preexisting insight might not end up in a new thread. But also we do always love to comment so some will and maybe even new content. 

 

I try not to comment on any individual points because until I see it in full i will reserve judgement. Dwelling on my fears or expectations will taint my opinion of the show so Im staying neutral as possible and treating it as Jordan had us treat the video game - as either a portal stone world or another turning of the wheel. Rand is Rand but may not be the Rand I know from the book.  But is still Rand. I know Sanderson endorses that method of viewing the series as well. 

 

Also the teaser trailer is supposed to barely feature anyone. So Rand getting linited play is not at all a surprise. Actually the bigger surprise is how much we did actually see in a teaser. Here is an example of a teaser from another thing Im excited about and you will see the contrast. 

 

 

 

You speak on something that has been on my heart and mind for years and especially since I picked up this series 13 years ago: we as fans of what we love, tend to view our love of the thing as the only way we should look at it!  Hopefully this makes sense to you since even I cannot grasp the words to express myself.

 

I am finally doing a reread of the series since only reading it once before but it still has captivated me to this day. And when we just let the story absorb us, it is like we are in The Void!

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57 minutes ago, CaddySedai said:

@TheDreadReader Lol, now you made me think of WoT as written by Martin. 

 

And that makes me sad. I may be the Chosen Mesaana, and I choose not to imagine a world where we have to have scenes featuring Ishmael’s “”Oath Rod” in them. lol

 

Shudder... The "Hand" of the Dark...  

 

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1 minute ago, TheDreadReader said:

 

Shudder... The "Hand" of the Dark...  

 

I mean, Shaidar Haran is basically the Hand of the Dark One, no? Mesaana is more like the Mountain.

Edited by Elder_Haman
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Nope, you're not the only one.  I fully expect this show to be a dumpster fire.  For the "creative" choices they've made alone, let alone the ways they treated the existing fan base and established prior art, since the main cast release at least, they deserve worse than to join the ranks of adaptations that fans nearly universally agree to pretend don't exist.  It's rather a shame, too, because this cast, the main cast at least, could have been good in these roles.  But there's no reason to believe the writing will be good enough to overcome the massive changes to the plot and Jordan's iconic aesthetic.  And substantial reason to believe it won't.

Edited by Thrasymachus
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The show needs to show. It isn't a medium for lots of exposition. We also know that the books start with just a handful of POVs and then expand to many dozens of POVs. The simple truth is people other than Rand are not minor characters, and passing them off as such in the show for a few seasons just isn't going to work well with casting and everything. The books are about more than Rand, so we're going to probably get more focus on the ensemble early. We're also probably seeing some misdirection about who the Dragon Reborn is.

 

I'm not saying your concerns are entirely without merit, but I do think they are justified in showing Logain and the Aes Sedai and putting more focus on the other Emonds Fielders and Moiraine and Lan early.

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55 minutes ago, Thrasymachus said:

Nope, you're not the only one.  I fully expect this show to be a dumpster fire.  For the "creative" choices they've made alone, let alone the ways they treated the existing fan base and established prior art, since the main cast release at least, they deserve worse than to join the ranks of adaptations that fans nearly universally agree to pretend don't exist.  It's rather a shame, too, because this cast, the main cast at least, could have been good in these roles.  But there's no reason to believe the writing will be good enough to overcome the massive changes to the plot and Jordan's iconic aesthetic.  And substantial reason to believe it won't.

You are a ray of sunshine as always. 

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4 hours ago, Thrasymachus said:

Nope, you're not the only one.  I fully expect this show to be a dumpster fire.  For the "creative" choices they've made alone, let alone the ways they treated the existing fan base and established prior art, since the main cast release at least, they deserve worse than to join the ranks of adaptations that fans nearly universally agree to pretend don't exist.  It's rather a shame, too, because this cast, the main cast at least, could have been good in these roles.  But there's no reason to believe the writing will be good enough to overcome the massive changes to the plot and Jordan's iconic aesthetic.  And substantial reason to believe it won't.

I have no reason to believe this show won't be great and well received. The only way to find out is wait and see.

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