Robin Hood: Season 1, 2, 3

Robin Hood: Season 1, 2, 3

Things that I like about Richard Armitage:

1. That his brow crinkles up like an accordian when he raises his eyebrows.
2. When he gets uncomfortable he blinks a lot really fast.
3. When he yells his voice goes kind of high in the middle, and his eyebrows arch strangely.

For most of Robin Hood, these things don’t happen. In fact, he’s kind of in the background for most of first season, just smirking and sneering as backup for Sheriff.

SEASON 1
What a hilarious show! So many fwipping sounds! So many ridiculous non-lethal use of arrows! The end of every show has the equivilent of a high five line up at the end of t-ball game: "good game, good game, good game, good game…"

I watched the first season a year ago, and even before I knew about Richard, one of my favorite parts was watching him make funny expressions in the background. Usually it has to do with his admiration for Sheriff:

Sheriff: "Gisbourne! Women are like lepers! Always keep them at a distance…"
Guy: (Smirk) Oh, sheriff, you’re so funny…
Sheriff: "Never marry, Gisbourne."
Guy: (Crestfallen) Aw, but I liiike women. I was going to do that…

Whenever I watch Robin Hood shows, I always have conversations with myself about how many inefficient bow and arrows really are. I mean, they are long range weapons… it doesn’t PARTICULARLY make much sense to wave them in the face of a guy five feet away. And it’s not like you can hold a whole room for ransom: one arrow, it takes what? A minute to reload? Not too helpful. One time Robin makes people dance by shooting arrows at their feet. It’s a slow dance.

The Most Ridiculous Non Lethal Use of an Arrow Award goes to a sort of finale where the Sheriff goes "get them!" and Robin Hood throws a length of rope to Little John, Little John throws a tarp around three guards standing next to him, then wraps the rope around them, throws the end to Robin, Robin pulls out his bow and puts it together, ties the rope to the arrow, shoots the arrow. The arrow somehome bounces off four different corners of the room, narrowly misses the Sheriff’s head to hit his Birkenstock right between his toes. Then Little John pushes the gaurds off the balcony so that the rope pulls the Sheriff up into the air by the sole of shoe. Wow. That takes time, coordination and ridiculous skill to do something incredibly silly.

The Sheriff is perhaps one of the best parts of the show. He wears silk pajamas everyday, and then one episode he gets this idea of a Festival of Pain, and he just can’t stop talking about it. Then Marian is a little shocked, and Sheriff turns to Gisbourne, "I don’t think Marian appreciates the art of torture."

Most of what I said about the first episode in an earlier post still stands true by the end of season one. I always liked the Robin Hood schtick: "oh no! Someone from our gang was caught so we have to sneak in and take them down from the inside out." But I never really knew just how many times we could do it. Every episode. Literally. We switch it up perhaps by breaking in the castle for money, or breaking in to save on person, then failing and losing another, but there isn’t ever a time that we don’t break into the castle. Robin, you know that stealing and giving you’re said to do? When do you do that?

SEASON 2
Why do I love Season 2? For this reason:

MASSIVE GROUP DRESS UP TIME!

I’m not sure why it’s important to dress up as Australian Cattle Ranchers in order to break into the castle this time, but whatever.

Season 2 brings on changes: a traitor within the Merry Men, to mention one. Oooh! Also, Djaq, the cross dressing Middle Eastern woman, has completely forgotten about cross dressing, and now only spouts maxims like "just like a man," etc.  Other than that, surprisingly little change to cast. I keep expecting the cast to grow whenever we meet a new person, waiting for Robin to shout cheerfully, "and you, sir! Will you join our merry band?" But every time, the guests say "hurrumph hurrumph Holy Lands. Have to wash my hair" etc, and then leave the forest.

Mostly we are developing our three main characters: Robin, Marian, and Guy. After finishing the second season, I’ve come to definite conclusions about their characters.

ROBIN: surprisingly better than expected.
At least he’s a leader. I was pleasantly surprised at how well he handled Marian when she joined the Merry Men, though she was off the hook and jump starting every mission. He was calm, but firm. Good show, Robin. I also like that Robin is a thinker: he’s the ideas guy and he’s always getting them out of a scrape. Say what? A group leader who is assertive and not self-consumed in own’s manliness, that actually comes up with ideas a lot? Move over, Angel.

MARIAN: a pathological liar.
A scenario: Robin and Marian have run out of ketchup for their french fries (or, you might say "chips"). The ketchup bottle is a whole five feet away.
Robin: Don’t worry, I’ll pick my bow up from three feet away, tie a string around it, and then shoot the arrow to grab the ketchup in an impossible way, so that we can have some more ketchup for our chippies.
Marian: Don’t bother, love. I’ll just pop over to the castle (three miles away) seduce Guy, and then HE will bring me the ketchup for our chippies.

Marian sends so many opposing signals (and outright come-ons) in Guy’s direction that it’s just plain cruel. Who would REALLY keep stringing along a man that you only four weeks before left at the altar? For a while it looked like she was actually helping, but eventually you get the idea that she just loves to lie. And when caught she just lies more, in that desperate back-up-against-a-corner way. She doesn’t really need to do it, she doesn’t need to help them at all, she doesn’t even need to live in the castle. But I think that Marian runs back to Guy because she holds her chastity like a trophy, and Guy is ultimately easier to control. She’s virgin-crazy, which is a lot like a barren womb. She plays a lot of her deceptions close to the chest, and sometimes shes just downright reckless.

GUY OF GISBOURNE: kind of  dope.
Well, he’s not as smart as Robin, and he just can’t get away from Marian, try as he might. Why??? Why does he keep coming back, and why does she keep throwing herself at him?? The only reason I can think of is WE LOVES IT. OH, THE RATINGS. The audiences that show up for Guy’s numerous and ill-worded professions of love, though she doesn’t actually love him. Though it’s like he’s professing his love to a cow. It comes to a point where you can’t have respect for him either way: either he’s being a dope listening to Marian, or following the sheriff blindly. I found myself wishing he would either marry the woman or clock her.

Poor Guy just can’t get things right. Picking on Guy is kind of liking picking on Chloe: they just make it lower and lower. And he was so sure that everything would go well for himself. He’s got a nice house, he’s got a respectable coat of arms whose colors are from the nobel line of bumblebees and Hufflepuffs– black and yellow. He is the ONLY nobel in the village, you’d think he could score with the ONLY nobel woman around. But little does he know she’s harboring love for the only other nobel who is currently hiding in the forest.

Sometimes he comes up with ideas, and they just come out wrong.

This man made a metal that couldn’t be pierced with an arrow. And what does Guy do?
Make this:

"Look at me, Sheriff! I am the Iron Man prototype circa 1000 AD!"

"Sigh."

The fight scene between Robin and Guy-the-Tin-Man is possibly the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. Because he does this:

And this:

My god, Robin, run! A B-movie Robot is after you!

Just kidding! It’s just Guy!

It doesn’t end well. In fact, it ends like this, with his mascara all running and his hair deliberately in front of his face.

"Marian, you don’t understand me, or my overuse of eyeliner."

Sheriff and Guy have their ups and downs, but they also keep up the tradition of tender-almost-kissing moments. Just another almost make out session with the sheriff…

What is Guy thinking? This.

Also new in Season 2: Guy is a HOTTIE. We take off his shirt twice in the space of three episodes… I’m pretty sure they came up to Richard after the first season and said, "so we were doing some surveying. And turns out you’re a sexpot. Tone up; there will be nakedness." They never did that with Robin once in season 1 or 2.

Unfortunately, one of those times we take off his shirt, he takes off a stretchy, long sleeved, sequined black shirt to put on a stretchy, wide necked, crepey black shirt. Hm. Something tells me that he’s changing from a night at the local discoteque.

The other time is this one.

Marian literally makes a "whooo" sound when she walks in on Guy half naked. Huminah, huminah, indeed. And, nipple close up! Weird!

SHERIFF: Sheriffy as usual.
Which is always good. I just don’t get why he doesn’t know the other Merry Men by sight. One comes up to him and he goes "do I know you?" You see them every day. You have fought along side them, against them, you have long conversations with individuals about the merits and weaknesses of Robin Hood. Why is it you can’t remember six faces?

SEASON 3
Is actually going on as we speak! They are even talking about making a fourth season! I can’t believe my luck. I never watch shows that are actually still active.

Season 3 brings a face lift: some long needed character spring cleaning, some fresh faces, and everyone gets new costumes. We told Robin Hood to beef up during the break: now that he is, I regret all I said about him being too scrawny.  We cut his hair shorter to make him look older and more serious, but it just accentuates his receding hairline, and the crease above his eyebrows is revealed. I hate that crease. It goes straight up right between the eyes, matching another crease going down his chin along the same line. His rounded features from beefing up and his crease down the middle makes him look like a loaf of bread.

What have we done with Guy?
Too much eyeliner, leather on leather, mullety hair Guy. It couldn’t get worse, could it?

Oh, no.

Guy is the lovechild of Snape and Fabio with a big flouncy shirt and the tightest pants you will ever live to see.

Luckily, he also has some Going Out clothes, which put his old corded leather jacket to shame.

The unveiling! Oh, so many laces and buckles!

He’s going through a rough patch in this episode, so his hair is a little TOO greasy. Some interesting things are happening for him already in season 3, but I remain unsatisfied because he has not yet found true love, and NO ONE seems to want to give him a hug. Even in season 2, even when I knew Marian was a bitch and that she loved Robin and she’s supposed to be with him, and we are supposed to root for Robin because he is a good guy, every once in a while I would see something and think, "that will be good for when Guy and Marian are married." Is it wrong to root for the bad guy? Is Guy a bad guy? Really? Really? Give me three examples.

Can’t wait to see the next episode!

Robin Hood

I’m  watching the BBC version of Robin Hood right now, which is apparently the British response to Xena. If you think of the context of a regular tv show, it’s not very good, but Xena… whoo! We’ve completely cut down on the amount of sound effects for head turns, the people are prettier, and the plot is improving in leaps and bounds. Already we are moving past Monster of theWeek; we’re even setting up a plot in semi-coherent manner.  How exciting!

As of yet, I haven’t seen anything too exciting, but of course it is only the first episode. Unfortunately one of the best parts of Xena is it’s deliciously simple plot line. Also, the mickey mouse club type superteam that loves each other. That hasn’te yet evolved in Robin Hood, but it’s only a half hour show. What has developed: a Justin Timberlake like Robin Hood! Seriously, if you asked Justin Timberlake to make himself a Robin Hood costume, this is what it would look like. Low rise codoroys, grommet belt, thin scarf wrapped around his neck a couple times; the only thiing missing is that weird short brimmed hat JT always wears. I’m sure that he’d put a feather in it to convince himself that it is Robin Hoody.

Other things:

Rachel Weisz with chubby cheeks has decided to play Marian, a firey hair-knife throwing maid!

A Wash (from Firefly) like character plays Robin Hood’s trusty sidekick and former servant who ismostly concerned with food!

A sickly looking man with pale skin, dark hair and a droopy nose tried out for True Blood but ended up as second worst bad guy Guy!

Lots of fwipping sounds from arrows!

A skanky wench, whose bleach blonde hair and dark eyeliner made her skankiness accessible to the modern audience!

Also, you might think that Robin Hood might have a hard time competing with all the superhumans ruling the TV primetimes (he’s not even the illegimate son of a god!), but there’s something you don’t know: he’s a meta with the power of glow. He glows whenever he remembers things from the last commercial break, then glows when those memories incite him to do squishy, save the people stuff. I’m not quite sure how that would be useful to his ongoing fight for the good people of Nottingham, but at least it would help him find the light switch in a dark room.

I have to say that I always have a thing for Will Scarlet. Oh man, I live for that part in Prince of Thieves where Christian Slater tearfully cries, "he was my father too!" to a slightly bewildered Kevin Costner, and even though Men in Tights is a comedy, I’ve always expected a richer character development under that pants losing exterior. This Scarlet looks about 17, but promising, being suitable embittered about poorness.

Not too impressed by this show as of yet. Though it’s a cut above Xena caliber acting, it’s still pretty bad, and after coming down from HBO shows, I don’t know if I can handle the change. But it’s just sitting there on my computer– the entire first season. I can’t just let that pass. Maybe I’ll give it another try it a bit; mostly, I just care about Dexter right now.

Mansfield Park 1983

I watched the 1983 miniseries of Mansfield Park at work. Which is pretty extensive because it is 6 parts, all an hour. It’s pretty good in the way that it is almost exactly the book. Noteworthy moments: Edmund looks kind of strange. Fanny is pretty ugly. And Mr. Crawford! Woo! Uber-gay. This was 1983 England, so I suppose they allow gay men to play straight parts still. Doubly true if it’s a period piece. But man, that guy was extra gay. His only other part, says IMDB, was in an Oscar Wilde biography. I don’t really like the implications of this man playing Crawford; Crawford isn’t necessarily a fop. But he was alright.

Mostly, though, it just reminded me of all the good times in the book that are too subtle and ignisignificant to put in the movie. Like the hilarious part where Thomas, the first son of the guy who owns Mansfield, decides to hold a private play (way bad idea) while his father is away. There’s this totally relatable moment when the father comes home. They all freak out, like they broke their mother’s vase, and then Thom does this instant change. He’s suddenly sly, non-chalant; he convinces his father that everything’s alright. They all breathe a sigh of relief until the father goes to his study and finds the entire stage displayed, and some jackass friend of Thom’s in the middle of his monologue. In true British style, the father politely asks the stranger, "what are you doing here?" It’s hilarious.

Also, Edmund is going to live in a small parish when he becomes a clergyman, and the woman he likes, Ms. Crawford, just HATES that he will be poor and comely and clergyman like. So Mr. Crawford rides over to the parrish Edmund will have, and when he comes back, he talks about all the changes Edmund will need to make in order to make the house respectable. "It’s not that bad," he says, "you just need to move the entryway, plow down that hill, move the garden to the other side," etc etc, in perfect hearing of his sister. Mr. Crawford MUST know that his sister hates the idea of being poor, of being a clergyman’s wife, and would just HATE to hear how bad the house is. He’s totally teasing her in a very cruel brotherly way.

Not to mention the fact that one of the reasons it was suggested that Fanny goes back to her mother was to see her brother dressed in his new Left Tenant uniform. Someone (I think Edmund) mentions that she should see it while it’s new and shiny, and not when it gets dirty and old and is worn much longer than it should, when he watches everyone else rise around him. How sad! the only reason he was promoted was because of Crawford’s intervention, and he most likely never will be promoted again. And they mention this so casually!