Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Television: Robin Hood

Robin Hood

produced by John Yorke

When I was a fat pre-pubescent growing up in rural Ohio, I wanted to be Robin Hood. I read a book called Locksley: The Story of Robin Hood and decided that living in the woods with a bunch of guys, working against an evil government and fighting for the people would be a cool lifestyle. My dad bought me a bow and I spent a few weeks practicing in the half-assed manner that would garner me so much success in my later years. I lost interest in archery after a short while, but I still have a fondness for Robin.

So I was excited when I saw that BBC America was going to be running a new series about him and I've been DVRing every episode and...meh.

It's nothing I can put my finger on. Their Robin is this pretty boy who's meant to be charming but doesn't actually have enough charisma to carry Errol Flynn's used condoms. They've given Robin this servant who fills the role of comic relief sidekick. Or, rather, he would fill the role of comic relief sidekick if he was at least as funny as, say, yarn. But he's not. In a joke-off, a skein of yarn would win, hands-down.

The writing appears to have been done via Mad Libs. Robin brings ______ (noun) to the villagers. The Sheriff threatens _____ (person). Robin saves them. Week in, week out. Then there's the problems found with every single British action/adventure series I've ever seen, which is that the action is lame and it's not all that adventurous. You'd see better stunts in a Theater Camp stage combat class.

And, like many other things that I've seen on TV this last year, (Studio 60, I'm looking at you) I really wanted to like this. But I just can't. I hate when I want to enjoy something that ends up sucking fifty metric tons of ass.

So then, today, I'm lying pantsless on the couch with the remote in my hand when I saw that HBO was running Kevin Costner's Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. And I thought, "Huh. I wonder how it stacks up against the BBC show."

Turns out it makes the BBC version look like utter genius. If you can get around Costner's mullet and the fact that an English lord sounds like he was born and raised in Oklahoma, then you still have to deal with Christian Slater's mullet and his shitty attempt at an accent. To this, you then add Alan Rickman as the Sheriff, made up to look like one of the Wilson sisters from Heart circa 1987. I mean, the shot where we follow the arrow from the bow to the tree was great and all that, but you've gotta have more than that to build an entire fucking movie.

So great is my disappointment in both of these craptacular takes on the story, I'm gonna do my own version with sock puppets and twigs. And it'll be more historically accurate.

Reviewed by Joe Wack, 500 words



Blogger Clement of the Glen said...

O.K. Joe If you want to see a good version of Robin Hood have a look at Disney's forgotten version of The Story of Robin Hood made in 1952 on my blog.

Since that awfull cartoon version was released in the 1970's, this live action film had almost been forgotten' Take a peek!

1:09 AM  
Blogger Freida Bee said...

Robin Hood- Men in Tights is my preferred version.

Great review.

4:29 AM  

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