Stream or skip? +2023

The original 1988 film pasture wasn’t a big hit, believe it or not. It turned a profit, but its worldwide earnings were just over $130 million. The story’s appreciation for the story has grown over the past 34 years, largely due to Warwick Davis’ affable performance as Willow Ufgood. So fans were excited when Davis announced he would be reprising his role for a Disney+ series, and rather than trying to rewrite the story, this is more of a next-gen sequel.

PASTURE: Stream or skip?

opening shot: The book that contains the story of pasture. A voice says, “In a time of fear a child was born. Elora Danan destined to save our world.”

The essentials: What follows is a synopsis of what happened in the 1988 film pasture, with the sorceress WIllow Ufgood (Warwick Davis) who saves Elora from evil and delivers her to the current Queen Sorsha (Joanne Whalley) in Tir Asleen. But Sorsha had to hide Elora’s identity from everyone, including Elora, as Willow imagined that a new evil would come to destroy her in a slightly distant future.

In this future, Sorsha’s daughter Kit Thanthalos (Ruby Cruz) is a skilled fighter and has always dreamed of breaking the barrier and going on amazing adventures with her best friend Jade Claymore (Erin Kellyman). Kit’s brother Arik (Dempsey Bryk) is more interested in Dove (Ellie Bamber), a baker on the castle staff, who makes him feel different from all his past lovers.

As much as Kit would rather have adventures, Sorsha has other plans; she is to marry Graydon Hastur (Tony Revolori), the prince of the neighboring kingdom of Galladoorn. Of course, Kit resents the fact that she’s in the middle of a diplomatic pairing and can’t control her own destiny; For his part, Graydon isn’t thrilled with the arranged marriage either.

She decides to escape that night and walk past the barrier herself, showing Jade how she really feels about her. But then a mysterious group called The Gales attack, injuring and killing many of the Queen’s guards as well as Queen Sorsha herself. They also kidnap Arik before retreating.

To find Arik, the queen is looking for volunteers to embark on a quest that will take them beyond the barrier. Kit volunteers, of course, as does Jade. Graydon’s father volunteers the reluctant prince. Arik’s protector Jorgen Kase (Simon Armstrong) volunteers, and the Queen drags notorious criminal Thraxus Boorman (Amar Chadha-Patel) out of prison and offers to commute his sentence. Not only is he a very capable warrior, but he has also been beyond the barrier.

Their first task is to find the one Newlyn wizard who can help them: Willow. On their way, they meet Dove; Arik proposed to her before he was kidnapped and she is determined to find him. She proves to be more capable than she first appears, especially when crossing a ravine on her own. When the group finally reaches Willow, the wizard reveals that Dove’s identity is not what she thinks.

Photo: Lucasfilm Ltd.

What shows will it remind you of? Given that pasture is a sequel to Ron Howard’s 1988 film of the same name, starring Davis, Whalley and Val Kilmer.

Our opinion: Jonathan Kasdan created the continuation of this series pasture, with Howard and George Lucas, who created the original characters, among executive producers; Stephen Woolfenden is directing the first episode.

Unlike the fantasy franchise entries that have debuted in recent months (we’re looking at house of the dragon and The Rings of Power!), pasture doesn’t get caught up in tons of world building and stilted, accented dialogue that can sometimes be difficult for all but die-hard fans to digest. Just like the original film, the story of pasture is straightforward and accessible, with modern dialogue, fun characters and a very clear goal.

Essentially, Willow leads a ragged group on a quest, a plot that’s not only classic but usually works well. It all depends on the characters, of course, and Kasdan does a good job of establishing who’s who before setting out on a quest. In some very efficient ways, we also see what the relationships are like, like Kit kissing Jade or Sorsha going to the dungeons to have what looks like one of her regular conversations with Thraxus. We also know how reluctant Graydon is to be a prince, let alone embark on this quest with his forced fiancé.

The show works better when the characters are not in combat. As in the original film, the larger scenes, such as effect-packed battles, are sometimes difficult to follow. But when everyone is interacting and not trying to kill Gales or other enemies, the show takes off.

What we liked about the first installment was the fact that none of the characters take themselves seriously, but not in a farcical manner, as you may have seen Galavant or Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Even characters that seem as serious as Kase make asides that are very human, like when he says that Arik is as close to a son as he’s ever been, but adds “as far as I know” at the end of that statement. It’s little things like this that draw the audience in and make them root for the characters instead of keeping them at a distance. As the search continues, spearheaded by the ever-kind Davis as Willow, we hope the sense of humor and warmth lingers.

gender and skin: None in the first episode; All we see is a kiss from Arik and Dive.

farewell shot: Willow tells Dove of her true identity and a confused Dove just says, “What?”

sleeping star: We’ve seen Tony Revolori in roles like Graydon before; a guy who’s underestimated, one who’s profiled as a beta male but is more alpha than people realize. We’re curious to see how many layers it has.

Most pilot line: Kase says, “Out here, in the world beyond, if you’re not vigilant at every moment, I swear you won’t survive…” before hitting an arrow in the chest. That was one of the more absurd moments in the episode, although it took out a character that we thought would last more than 2/3 hours.

Our appeal: Stream it. pasture succeeds in much the same way as the film it’s based on, creating characters that have layers but don’t take themselves entirely seriously. It helps that the story and dialogue are accessible to both fantasy nerds and regular viewers.

Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about food, entertainment, parenting and technology, but he doesn’t fool himself: He’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Slate, Salon,, VanityFair.comFast Company and elsewhere.

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