I'm glad it's not really cheesy or filled with totally fluffy action scenes where people are chopping off heads left and right and not batting an eyelash. I never watched Xena or Hercules, and though I hear they were fun--and long-running!--shows, I don't think the total camp factor would be to my taste. I like that Legend of the Seeker has a more serious tone.
Not really. Yes, Hercules
could go to really zany places when they went for comedy, but when they went for drama it was some of the most intense, compelling, gut-wrenching stuff you've ever seen. Either way they went, they pulled out all the stops and weren't afraid to take chances. There was a daring and exuberance to it that was admirable even when the chances they took didn't quite turn out right. Legend of the Seeker
is much more middle-of-the-road. It doesn't have their uninhibited goofiness, but it doesn't have their dramatic boldness and passion either. And the cast isn't nearly as talented.
Although the occasional HERC/XENA veteran is bound to show up from time to time, New Zealand having a smallish talent pool. Jay Laga'aia, who plays Richard's friend Chase, was a recurring foe/love interest of Xena's (and was in fact the villain in her series' premiere episode). And just a few weeks ago, in the episode in the tomb with the ghosts of the ancient Seeker and Confessor, we got guest appearances by both Michael Hurst (Iolaus on HERC and one of New Zealand's most acclaimed Shakespearean actors) and Nathaniel Lees (who played at least half a dozen roles in the Herc/Xenaverse and has been in everything from The Matrix
to Power Rangers
). In fact, we've gotten several cast members from Power Rangers Jungle Fury
showing up here, including Lees, Richard's older brother, and the betrothed couple in the episode where the groom-to-be switched identities with Richard. Keeping an eye out for familiar Kiwi actors is one of my main reasons for watching the show.