Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Legend of the Seeker's finale leads me to seek out past pop culture sword & sorcery riffs

The first season of Legend of the Seeker is due to wrap up this weekend(yes,it has been renewed for a second go round)and should be airing on a TV screen near you,unless your local station preempts it for sports like mine has lately. Then again,there is always Hulu which has all of the episodes available.

Since I prefer to try and catch my favorite shows on the tube first,I'll be patient and wait for Saturday night. In the meanwhile,let's take a look at some of the previous fantasy related pop culture and occasional references that have influenced me to watch this show and perhaps may have induced you to do so as well.

First up is a little known series called Wizards and Warriors,which only had an eight episode run back in 1983. It's leading man was a still sober Jeff Conaway as Prince Erik,who had to do battle with evil Prince Dirk Blackpool(a rather sexy Duncan Regehr) and his wicked wizard Vector.

Erik also had to put with Princess Ariel(Julia Duffy,who went onto Newhart after this show got sacked),his spoiled bride-to-be. Wizards and Warriors had a very tongue in cheek approach to the sword and sorcery genre that was clearly ahead of it's time but did set up a path for others(Hercules,Xena) to follow in the future:

Another '80's attempt at fantasy fare was The Charmings,a sitcom that had Snow White's family magically stuck in modern day L.A.,complete with Wicked Queen stepmother and Magic Mirror. The story was a goof on fairy tales but did have plenty of "medieval fish out of water" jokes that gave it at least two seasons(even with changing Snow Whites in midstream):

TV's not the only source of sword and sorcery mirth;one of the best sequences in the underrated movie Cable Guy was Steven and Chip's visit to the infamous theme restaurant Medieval Times where they wound up doing battle for the amusement of the crowd. Not only does it have cool cameos by Andy Dick and Janeane Garofalo,but an awesome Star Trek riff that still cracks me up to this day:

Swerving back to TV land,even the Gilmore Girls had a run-in or two with the Renaissance crowd,particularly when Luke's wacky sister Liz got married and held a Ye Olde Faire ceremony in Stars Hollow.

It gave Luke a chance to go out with Lorelai(who showed off her impressive linguistic Renaissance skills)and even share a romantic moment with her on the dance floor:

Even tho Legend of the Seeker isn't as whimsical as some of these clips are,it does have a bit of humor at times to offset the dramatic tones of the ongoing storyline,which is always a welcome sight for the viewer. I would like to watch the finale on TV but no matter where it's shown,this first season of LOTS appears to be concluding on quite a heart stopping high note:


Ladytink_534 said...

I don't remember seeing any of these before! Except Gilmore Girls of course =)

New movies said...

I love Legend of the Seeker. I love both books and TV show.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I disagree that "Wizards and Warriors" pointed the way to Xena and Hercules, etc. It was WAY, WAY ahead of those shows as well. For one thing, W&W never tried to be schmaltzy as those other shows did. You were never supposed to take the characters of the stories seriously. It was high-camp and hilarity from start to finish. Duncan Regehr's syrupy "Hi" when he entered the scene and "Bye" when he left, encapsulates it all. I have very little complaint about series cancellations. Star Trek TOS (when I was ten years old) was one; Wizards and Warriors is probably the only other.