Monday, March 30, 2009

The Horns of a Dilemma...

What do you know?

You wait all winter for the spring TV family Saturday night viewing to improve (spending a not inconsiderable part of it mourning that David Tennant won't be sitting in your living room for thirteen weeks this year), and then not one, but two Family Favourites show up on the same night on different channels. Yes. We had a huge dilemma this weekend. Did we watch him (my doesn't he look pretty with eyeliner?):



or him?

They have quite a lot in common: both unlucky in love (though Nick so far hasn't done the sensible thing and murdered Mrs Mad), both tortured with grief, both spending their not inconsiderable acting talents running around (for the most part) in stupid plots, and they're both what no 2 would refer to as hotties. The hottest of hotties in fact...

So, it was quite a dilemma choosing which one to watch and which one to video. If it was up to me, Primeval would have won hands down (sorry Richard, even your charms aren't enough to raise Robin Hood to Must Watch TV) Up until this series, the kids would have definitely chosen Robin and his merry men over Nick Cutter and his SWAT team. However, they are all most irritated by Marian being bumped off at the end of the last series - and finally (yay!) have cottoned on to quite how far this version of Robin Hood has deviated from the actual myth, so were much more prepared to go for the monsters. However as Robin Hood started half an hour before Primeval, we ended up watching the first bit of Robin, then videoing the end while we watched Primeval, then going back to Robin. (But given how daft the Robin Hood plots are, this didn't matter too much...)

Actually despite my cynicism (I cannot forgive the makers of Robin Hood for any amount of sacrilege, for eg: turning Allan a Dale, who wasn't even one of the merry men into a traitor, for making Eleanor of Aquitaine, the most accomplished woman of her time into a fat and lusty madam, and for making Guy of Gisborne more attractive then Robin Hood), this episode did turn out to be rather fun. Leaving aside the quite preposterous notion that there would have been a black friar wandering Sherwood Forest in the 12th century (I KNOW. It is a myth, but the time it is written in can surely be presented in an historically accurate way? My children are growing up thinking that mediaeval Muslim women commonly dressed as men and ran around shooting arrows at people...), actually David Harewood has done a fabulous job of reinterpreting the character of Friar Tuck so he is actually quite noble. Thanks to him, Robin's misery-feeling-sorry-for-yourself-because-your-wife-copped-it fest turned into a Robin Hood is reborn moment, which I rather liked. But pity poor old Jonas Armstrong. There he was, getting the job of Robin Hood, the ultimate folk hero, and first off they cast someone ten times as charismatic as him for Guy of Gisborne. In fact, I'd pretty much say everyone in it is more charismatic then wet old Jonas, including Keith Allen's ludicrously OTT performance as the Sheriff of Nottingham. And now, to make matters worse, even Friar Tuck is sexier, and more dynamic then Robin. No wonder (if rumour is true) he's leaving... If rumour is true, my betting is by the end of the series, we'll see Sexy David managing to bring Guy round to the outlaws side, and there will be a huge redemptive moment when Guy will see the error of his ways and turn his back on the Sheriff etc. In fact, he'll probably do what Robin has singularly failed to do so far, which is kill the Sheriff (who is also leaving, so I gather)...

We switched over at the moment when all seemed lost, Robin was alone, his merry men about to face the death penalty, yawn, yawn, to find Nick and co facing a new threat from an anomaly which had popped up in an Egyptian artefact in the British Museum. Now I know. Primeval is very very silly. There is far too much running around to no good purpose (this week a crocodile type creature escaped into the Thames, killed a few people, got shot and then limped back home, and, er, that was it really), but a) it doesn't take itself too seriously b) while I find Connor an irritating little eejit, the kids love him c) I can stand looking at Dougie quite easily for an hour and d) Mrs Mad is so much fun. Sadly we only got to see her at the end of the episode, but I am very much looking forward to finding out what nutty things she and her clones have been up to over the past year. And find out whether she's cloned metrosexual Stephen yet. I'm sure it's only a matter of time...

So that's us sorted for the next few weeks. Robin will be videoed, or missed if we don't get round to it, and Primeval will be our family viewing. Saturday nights have just become fun again...

10 comments:

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Richard, Richard, Richard all the way - but not in Robin in Tights!

Anonymous said...

Richard charismatic - you do mean the bloke who plays Gisborne, don't you? I find my worn out work shoes more charismatic, I'd far rather worship the star of the show thank you, he's well on his way to becoming a star of the future. Must say though, I don't approve of the storylines as it's gone too far from legend but that's not the stars' fault - it's the writers ....

Anonymous said...

Wow! This might come as a complete shock to you, but I find Jonas Armstrong MUCH more charismatic and handsome than Richard Armitage, who snarls and sneers his way through the part of Guy. Robin should've killed Guy at the end of Episode 1 when he had the chance.

Lisa Rullsenberg said...

Sorry to the anonymees, but I don't even watch much of Robin Hood and even I get that Guy is hotter... maybe its an age thing, but Jonas is just weedy!

Still, I am a biased 'I Heart Cutter' gal...

Anonymous said...

To each his own Lisa, but I am more in RA's age group of fans than that of young Jonas. And Jonas is still my hero even though he is more my Grandson's age. He's gorgeous and only starting his brilliant career.

MediumRob said...

"Horns of a Dilemma" - I'm surprised by a Doctor Who lover using that phrase, what with Horns of Nimon and the Twin Dilemma being two of the worst stories ever shown. You might as well as titled the post "Ballet-dancing bulls trample over giant slugs while the Two Bakers over-act".

Robin Hood I gave up on after episode three on the general grounds of its not-very-goodness; Primeval's first episode is sitting on my iPod waiting to be watched and I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that that's where it's going to stay because life's too short. So no real dilemma at all.

stu-n said...

I bet Jason Connery is checking his diary even as we speak. Surely he'd jump at a second time as second-choice Robin Hood! Even if he is a bit old!

Jane Henry said...

AWonI - agreed about the tights.

Anonymous you are of course entitled to your opinion, but like Lisa, I just find Jonas weedy...

Rob was in a hurry and chose the first title that jumped into my head. I can see why you don't have the same dilemma as me, but thanks to Dr Who Saturday teatime viewing is a bit of a family ritual and the kids like both Primeval and RH (well they did like RH),so we had to choose between them. Primeval is more fun I think, and RH is as you so rightly say pretty rubbish. I do like David Harewood though.

Stu-n - Jason couldn't do worse then Jonas could he? Mind you I thought they were planning the next series WITHOUT Robin entirely, which seems a trifle bizarre. But given that they have ignored pretty much the whole RH canon up until now, I can see they won't care all that much!

Anonymous said...

I am also old enough to be Jonas' grandmother, but I find him much more attractive and likable than snaky Richard.

Jane Henry said...

Ah but have you seen Richard in Spooks? Or North and South, or any other number of brilliant things he's been in... Although actually I fess up to first falling for his charms in the Vicar of Dibley.