Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Robin Hood Seasons 1-2 |
Studio: Warner Home Video Release Date: 08/05/2008
Judith Johnson | Albany, NY | 06/27/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"English folk legend Robin Hood is a perennial staple of the screen. This 2006 and -2007 BBC version has duel story lines: for the youngsters Hood and his altruistic band steal from the rich to give to the poor in sword fighting adventures and good always triumphs. For the more mature viewers, there is the seXY factor which I am not sure the producers were expecting when they cast North & South heartthrob Richard Armitage as a black-clad bad boy snared in a love triangle. Armitage may well be burning up while fighting in that outfit but he radiates pure sexual heat. It's a credit to RA's empathy for his character's motivation that as the series progresses it becomes possible for the viewer to find Guy romantic rather than menacing (watch out girls!).
S1 introduces Robin, Earl Of Locksley (Jason Armstrong), disillusioned after his return from the Crusades; the lovely, goodhearted but naive Marian (Lucy Griffiths); the wickedly funny Sheriff (Keith Allen); his ruthless henchman, Sir Guy of Gisborne (Richard Armitage); and the changing band of Merry Men (and one woman). The premise establishes England is threatened internally by grasping evil doers such as the Sheriff and Sir Guy while good King Richard is away in the Holy Land fighting the infidels. The action centers around Nottingham Castle, Sherwood Forest and Locksley Manor, Robin's former estate. A bitter conflict emerges as the grasping Guy confiscated Robin's lands while he was off fighting and now refuses to return them so Robin is forced to become a hooded outlaw.
To add insult to injury, Guy starts moving in on Marian who has issues with her former fiancee, the feckless and possibly PTSS, Robin. Marian tends to play fast and loose with the ruthless Guy's affections, apparently not realizing how intense a hoodwinked older man can actually be. The series post-modernist take on the medieval life-modern vocabularies and usages, J.Crew/biker outfits, great hair and perfect teeth-all combine to make the series very ironic. Squeamish viewers will appreciate that nobody ever bleeds (except Guy on occasion), otherwise it would be Braveheart-style carnage every week.
In S2, for the kiddies the story lines are DaVinci Code or Indiana Jones style crime capers-and Robin's forest hideout is now a Rube Goldberg contraption. On the adult level, Gisborne blows sadistically hot and cold at Marian over her constant deceptions and rejections, and to further complicate matters, Robin and Marian become secretly engaged. Guy reciprocates by stealing all the scenes he is in! By S2, scriptwriters have totally figured out his smoldering sex appeal so the raven-haired, blue-eyed Gisborne conveniently has to be fitted for cold, unyielding armor while bare chested, or change black shirts before going out to create havoc.
S2E10 (Walkabout) is a great episode as Guy is finally transformed into a brave and compassionate hero as he tries to save Nottingham (and Marian) from annihilation. Guy also shines in E11 when he finally discovers the truth about Marian's alter-ego. Then entire cast is off to the Holy Lands for the last two episodes which unexpectedly ends S2 on a very somber note.
Overall, the lack of story continuity and poor writing are such a loss to what could have been a masterpiece series. Hood is overshadowed by the more complex Gisborne and the archly funny Sheriff which detracts from his commitment to social justice (should it just be titled it Nottingham?). Finally, Robin's band are additional rich characters all vying for face time as well and 45 minutes is just not that long!
The DVD extras include audio commentaries, cast interviews and several featurettes.