I’d like to post today about a series I’ve been watching lately. A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of house-sitting for a good friend and her family. She had the first two seasons of the BBC’s Robin Hood and recommended them to me to watch while staying at her place. I took her up on the offer and quickly fell in love with the show.
While initially thinking the first episode was a bit cheesy in terms of action sequences and dialogue, the rest of the series greatly improved. Jonas Armstrong, who plays Robin, fits the part well. He is dashing, handsome, charming, witty, and plays up the character’s nobility and honor very well. Maid Marian, played by Lucy Griffiths, is no damsel in distress and does a great deal to add not only more action and a strong female presence, she also is a great compliment to Robin, balancing out his personality. I really enjoyed her performance in the show.
Robin Hood connoisseurs will be pleased to see old favorites such as Will Scarlett, Allan A Dale, and Little John. I am no expert on Robin Hood lore, I’m afraid, but with exception of Alan Rickman’s portrayal in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, I’ve never seen a more despicable Sheriff of Nottingham than Keith Allen. Allen does an excellent job of being a greedy, sniveling, nasty, evil, loathsome, vile cockroach of a Sheriff, killing people all willy nilly, torturing his subjects out of their tax money, and being simply cruel. I absolutely love to hate his incarnation of the Sheriff. He is spot on in his performance, and one of the most excellently awful things about the show.
Now, here’s where you come in Nerdy Bloggers. As stated previously, I am no expert on Robin Hood lore, so I’d appreciate correction if I’m off. There are a few characters in this show that I can’t recall seeing or hearing about in other places. Accompanying the Sheriff in his quest to rule Nottingham with an iron fist is Guy of Gisborne, who takes over Robin Hood’s estate in Locksley while he is off fighting with King Richard in the Holy Land. Guy is played by Richard Armitage, who plays a cruel and ruthless, yet potentially good character. Armitage makes Guy interesting to watch and simultaneously makes the viewer wonder if he’ll be redeemed.
Other members of the Merry Men who (I think) are new to the legend, are Much, Robin’s servant, and Djaq, a Saracen woman. Djaq is masquerading as her deceased twin brother in order to fight against the English in the Crusades (and is my personal favorite). Djaq makes her first appearance in the fifth episode of the first season, entitled “Turk Flu” where she and other Saracen are brought to England as slaves and by the end of the episode, joins the Merry Men. Much is hilarious with his incessant banter, but is extremely loyal to Robin and the cause of justice for which they fight. Djaq, played by Indian-English actress, Anjali Jay, is my favorite as a strong female character, in addition to being smart and witty, is able to kick your hiney and make smart remarks all the while. She also functions as the medic for the Merry Men, taking knowledge she learned from a father who was a physician. I like to imagine myself as girl who could swing a sword and speak witty remarks over your defeated hiney, so I guess that probably contributes to my affection for Djaq. 🙂
One of the things I have come to appreciate most about the two seasons I’ve watched (there are only three seasons) is the excellent chemistry among the Merry Men. The characters work well together, making them not only fun to watch, but work well together as a cast.
The show is great for families with older children, as it really has it all: action, adventure, romance, and humor. There are great themes of fighting for good and for justice and treating all with respect, regardless of race or social class. There is very little coarse language and no real sexual content. This makes it a great show for most everyone enjoy. For these reasons, I give BBC’s Robin Hood, two thumbs up on the Nerdy Blogger scale.