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!

American Gothic

I found this tv show through Netflix, and then downloaded it. It suggested it because of Twin Peaks. American Gothic is a 1995 tv drama, ghosty, mystery, horrory, kind of flick. It’s about a boy in a small town in the south, and a wicked sheriff who wants the boy for his own evil plans. A ghosty sister tries to steer the boy to the path of right through creepy door opening, and blood on the walls; self-righteous northerners try to foil the sheriff’s plans. It’s very small-town-occult; a “I will raise this boy to become the spawn of the devil” in a very tasteful way. There were no prophesies, thank god. We don’t even mention the devil. He just wants the boy for some reason. This show is also famous because Sam Raimi was an executive producer of the show. Sam Raimi, the director of X-Men, I think. Whatever. The shows pretty good because it combines mysticism and horror-flick elements in a way that is interesting and believeable.

 

So here’s the character list:

Caleb Temple: ten year old boy, Son of Spawn extraordinaire. Ever since his mom threw herself out of a window after his birth, something’s been wrong with his family. The season starts with his father killing his sister out of mysto-pathic rage, then the father killing himself, and Caleb burning down his own home to get away from the sheriff.  Sheriff tries to take him under his wing, but Caleb’s too smart for that. Crafty, independent, and stupid in only the book-learnin-vaguely-Southern kind of way, Caleb spends the rest of the season under the guidance of no one, dinking about in a boarding home with no guardians, and only a ghosty  sister to talk to. Weird that social services have not yet shown up yet.

Sherriff Lucas Buck: Hilarious! At first I thought that he was the devil. He can do stuff without touching it, stuff like closing doors and making illusions and suddenly showing up beside you when you didn’t think he was there. He delights in giving people “choices” in a very devil way, the kind of “damned if you do, double damned if you don’t” kind of thing. It seems his agenda is to have the whole town in his pocket, and, when bored, ruining the lives of random people  in order to give lessons to the good ones that matter. I started to wonder, however, when his ultimate ambition seemed to be pretty small. I mean, a town in SC? Seems a little short of ruling the world, there, Satan. Then I noticed that he was actually kind of good sometimes. He cares about his son (Caleb, who he created by raping Caleb’s mother), he teaches bad people lessons, and sometimes helps good people. And then I thought: sudden showing up? Jedi mind tricks? Lucas is not Satan, he’s a ninja who happens to use his powers for evil. I’m sure it happens all the time.

Doctor Matt and Cousin Emery: A guy and a girl out-of –towners, the ones that are so self-righteous and try to help Caleb a lot. I thought maybe they would come together as a make-shift family, but it didn’t happen. Doctor Matt is arrogant and scientific; Cousin Emery is a news reporter stuck in a small town. But both of them are so stuck in their own shit that they don’t really see Caleb running wild without any supervision. Eventually, Matt goes crazy, and Emery, the fate of most women, gets a devil baby in her womb.

Miss Coons: elementary school teacher, and town harlot, Miss Coons plays with Sherriff Buck like a cat with a dead bird. Miss Coons is mostly evil, and all Sherriff’s; she does what he wants, and she hurts people for the fun of it. Hilarious! Their a funny pair together, all masochistic and scheming.

 

The good people run around screaming, and Sherriff Buck wins and wins again. Why? Ninja powers. Everytime someone says something like “how did you do that?” or “that’s not possible” or “what could you do to me anyhow?” he raises an eyebrow and thinks, “Ninja powers. Ninja powers of evil, man.” Sherriff is played by the  guy from the last Chuck, the guy who played Sarah’s dad in Chuck Vs. the Delorean. So picture that guy younger, with a long mulletlike mane, fake southern accent, hairy chest… and sexy? Eww! It makes me so uncomfortable, but I reluctantly see it as well. By the end of the first season, Lucas has got swagger. He’s been beating everyone for weeks, and, what’s more, has a big girly crush on nice-girl Cousin Emery. Nothing makes a bad man look good than genuine feelings for a girl with a stick up her ass. So he’s all, “you totally want me” and she’s all “yeah, that’s right. Only sex.” And he’s like “that’s cool baby.” And it’s totally hot. In a strange way.  Which begs the question: would you have sex with the devil, if you could successfully negotiate only sex, a non-relationship? If he was human, and no form of half-goat thingy, probably. Anyway, I super like this guy that was on Chuck now. He is so hilariously funny.

 

Also, sexual innuendo! It’s been so long since I’ve seen it, and this show has it in spades. There was this one episode that involved a man just of out prison, his friends daughter who is hardly sixteen, swimming, and licking popsicles. Yeesh.

Legend of the Seeker

I really need to stop watching this show.

Quick recap: scene–fantasy novel turned into Xena type Australian-American crap show. The Seeker–necessarily stupid The One, with magic sword to "save the world" in a suitably ambiguous way. Sidekicks– large ugly wizard Zed and hot chick, Confessor, who is also magic in only the girliest way. Action– mull around magical world on way to stopping big baddie, Darken Rahl. It’s really good. That’s sarcasm.

In this episode they decided to give us a lesson on Magic. We start with a real lesson: Wizard is teaching Seeker to "see the unseen" through slicing his sword through invisible melons that float in the air. Sound familiar, anyone? What the hell? I thought so before, but now it’s confirmed: Legend is less fantasy than just plain Star Wars. Zed even did the "these are not the droids you are looking for" in a previous episode. I’m outrageously disappointed with the obtuseness of this show. But then I thought, should I be? Is that what fantasies are, just wanna be Star Wars rip-offs minus the laser guns? Man, I like laser guns. And Star Wars wasn’t really that cool.

Then we stumble upon this new town that has a problem with spending their little bit of money on potions and hexes. Uh, oh. It looks like another round of They Do/I Would Do.

They Do:
Wizard bad guy drains other wizards and spends his time making potions and cheap tricks for peasants so that he can (legitamitely) raise money for an army against Darken Rahl. Real potions. That actually do stuff. Like he’s spending time on it.

I Would Do:
My question is why bother at all? These are freaking peasants, man. Not only are they dumb as rocks, but they are looking at an economic downfall; they’re just waiting for some kind of snake oil. So give them something, some kind of placebo and get the hell out of there. They look for weird shit like love potions and hexes: how can those even be proven to work? So give them some orange juice mixed with Pepto Bismal and tell them it will work only if you try. Even if you have magical powers, who says that you have to use them.

Enter some weird ass lesson about the complications of magic. It’s a burden and a priveledge, yadda yadda… the truth is Magical people like Confessor and Zed just make normal people feel bad for not being born with it. "You normal people take the easy way out." Sure. That’s why instead of using a sword, you shoot fire out of your fingers. (By the way, a bolt of lightning short of a jedi power).

Heretofore, we’ve only seen the lamest side of Confessor’s magic: the making people confess the truth to solve a dispute in manner of traveling amatuer judge, and that weird thing where she stares into someone’s eyes and suddenly they are fighting for her very poorly, so poorly they eventually get killed while she is left defenseless and exhausted from her magicking on the ground. LAME. New development: how come she didn’t mention she had the power of Do Whatever The Fuck I Say?

They Do:
Turns out Confessor can control anyone, anytime, but never uses it. Why? A lame answer about the Right to Choose, using people unfairly, using your powers for good, not evil. She turns around and uses it to get a bad guy to take them to a secret lair, but I guess that fits within her OK manipulations of Human Free Will.

I Would Do:
While the "not using it for evil" thing is all very high and mighty, since when is making someone do something they don’t want to do not evil? And when do normal people refrain from doing the same thing? I’m just saying the line is blurred, but you’ve got a power, why not use it? If it were me, I would never use it for evil motives, but there would be many tiny manipulations that I wouldn’t shirk at. They would be like, "Wendy, you are so good about not using your powers for… why are my hands cold?" as I sip my soda. Yeah, that’s right. Get me a soda.

….I used to think that if I had telekinesis, I would get really fat and never move again, but it looks like if I had any power I would become a lazy blob no matter what.

We are unfortunately trying to create chemistry between the Seeker and Confessor chick, but, like the second and third Star Wars movie, all I see is a boy very excited about boobs. His "looks" to her that everyone seems to be picking up on in a very romantic way, only seem to come when she is bending over in the low cleveaged thing. Every time he looks at her or some one mentions a special attachment, his expression is like "Boobs." That’s pretty much it.
 

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.

Dexter Season 2: Why I love serial killers

Watching a lot of Dexter has changed me. Well, you could say altered. I’ve been doing things I don’t normally do, like:

#1 Making jokes about serial killers.

Why is a serial killer a good neighbor?
Because they always have an array of heavy duty power tools on hand.

#2 When Dexter finally ties some one up and starts to kill them (it’s less frequent now), I laugh and giggle and go, "Oh, Dexter. That old stick again," in manner of hearing Freddy play my favorite song that he used to play for me way back when.

#3 When meeting a new person, I ask, "what is your name, and what serious mental disorder do you have?" Every time there’s a new girlfriend, new love interest, new minor character looking to stick around, I have to say, "oh, no" and hope for the right ones to back away slowly. Seriously, the amount of people with sociopathic urges on this show: It’s supposed to be, what, 20 in the country (says Dexter). The way they parade around Miami reminds me of the time in Queer As Folk where every man Bryan looked at, no matter the age or apparent sexuality, suddenly turned gay before his eyes. He had the Midas touch of Gayness, and no wonder, with his sassy mouth and bedroom eyes. But Dexter has a different touch it seems.

#4 I’m so obsessed about this show that I’ve started to call my addiction to it "The Dark Passenger" (enter creepy woo sounds now).

Poor Dexter. And this time I’m really feeling for him because we’re doing a new thing this season: Dexter has grown feelings. Even hilariouser: he’s grown feelings and he has no idea what the hell to do with them.

A friend said "Dexter doesn’t get fixed, House is always angry, and Batman never gets therapy." The last two are true, though it makes me giggle to think of the third, and the second *enter mini-rant here* (that’s why I don’t like House. Because there is no irony. He is just mean and mean and never changes, and the only time it’s different is when he’s more mean than usual. Then theres those rare moments of kindness, or underneath kindness, but that’s too easy when there is never hope for change, so I don’t see any tension in it, and frankly the meanness doesn’t impress me because I’ve NEVER seen sarcasm BEFORE EVER). But guess what we’re doing with Dexter? We’re fixing him.

Kinda.

Dexter is duped into a lie about being a heroin addict, and now uses his narcotics anonymous classes to heal his other addiction. Hilarious!

Other things to enjoy about season 2:

#A. Oh, the emotional healing! Poor broken Dexter. We travel in his past, and he gets angry, sad, he reaches out, he tries to overcome his hurt. In a more extreme world I would be Lila. I don’t really blame her. At a critical moment in Dexter’s life, he turned to her for comfort: you just can’t come down from a high like that easy.

#B. Dexter enjoys sex now! Yay, sex! I was wondering how this show got on Showtime with an main character uninterested in sex, but we’re fixing that, too!

#C. More hilarious inner monologues! I’ve noticed that my own inner monologue has started to take on a low, sarcastic monotone, but Dexter’s is always funnier. Here’s a tidbit:

"Apparently, the new me is entangled in love triangles.
I’m that guy.

…And the inner voices are back again."

#D, And the always hilarious, smack down serial killer style. Unlike the original smackdown, a showboating elbow to the stomach by a man named the Rock, the serial killer version sneaks up on you. It’s quiet, methodical, completely in the shadows, and it smarts more than the first because no one knows, and no one will ever know but you and him. Fantastic. Dexter lashing out at enemies is a true sight to see.
 

I’ve said before that he’s basically a vigilante, but this time we are actually making him out to be a vigilante. There’s even a superhero inspired by him in the show. Bonus features: occasional references to Batman. I mean, they were both born out of tragedy, right? It was bound to happen.

By the end of the first season it was hard to believe that he didn’t have feelings, but now it’s all a matter of just what to do with them. He keeps on making mistakes, and i want to say, "give him a break! He just got these things, alright?"

Oh the psychology, mystery, emotional damage: just the sort of things I love best about Batman. Only, a little different. He is the serial killer of the story. Sometime he does stuff, and I say, "you realize that you are the three parter story of cop shows on sweeps week? You are the scary voice that menaces the good guy, the embodiment of unstoppable evil? you know that, right?" And sometimes he does know that, and plays into the stereotype.

Hilarious.

PS, I thought of some more examples of what series do to characters. For some reason, no matter the advancement of real or imaginary technology, Two-Face always regains his scar-tissue and Barbara is stuck in that goddamn wheelchair. Meanwhile, Metropolis has flying cars and the Justice League takes weekly trips to planets outside our galaxy. We can’t work out the kinks of plastic surgery?