First two episodes premiered last night on MTV. Two more episodes available now on MTV's app. I haven't watched those yet. Not sure if I want to wait. The series is based on book 2 of the first trilogy.
The actor who played Slade/Deathstroke and Crixus now plays the last Druid, Allanon. I guess the look kind of fits what a lot of the artwork of the character looks like. I had always imagined him a slightly smaller physique. Manu Bennett is a pretty beefy guy.
The show itself is pretty generic fantasy, but so was the books. I did like the opening theme having visuals showing a blood line traveling from a human skeleton and branching out to Gnomes, Dwarves and Trolls.
The usual stuff has been done. Characters eliminated or combined, events sped up, bypassed, or combined, etc. That's all to be expected with TV adaptations of books. It was different than what I remember, but a brief refresher of the book and I realized it wasn't completely different. I think Terry Brooks said in an interview that the show captured the "heart" of the story. Probably a nice way of saying they changed a lot of stuff but kept the basic story elements there.
The one thing that really stood out to me, and I wasn't very happy about, was what they made Paranor look like. Allanon and Wil quickly (very quickly, like... screen wipe and they are there) travel to Paranor in search of clues to the location of an important place. When they first arrive it's just basically a big rock. At first I thought they were going to have the Druids' Keep being surrounded by a magical spell to cloak its existence, much like they did in the later books with Walker Boh (if memory serves). But then Allanon and Wil enter the Keep, and the keep remains the dull rock looking structure, no sudden dispelling of a cloaking spell or anything.
It seems they've done a lot in the name of making things less costly (Fast travel, character elimination/combination, etc). A couple name drops around Wil's father, Shae which you wouldn't know about unless you had read the books, and the show moves too fast to expand upon. And of course everyone is pretty teens, a side effect of being on MTV I imagine.
I'm still a bit hopeful. I am waiting to see if the show will have some good battles between some Demons and the good guys. Some nice visuals involving some unleashing of the Elfstones would go a ways to make up for some of the changes. Though, what they did to Paranor still kind of sucks in my book. I'm not one to nitpick over TV Book adaptations, but that change just really seemed to diminish the Druids in general. Now we are just left with Manu Bennett walking around covered in Glyphs of some sort, and an old cave with very little awe factor where he found a single book.