I haven't written about our two latest tv shows from Netflix: the L.A. cop show Boomtown (2002-2003) and the British Robin Hood (2006-2009). I've been enjoying both quite a bit, though they are very different from each other.
"Boomtown" is a cop show -- and I often like cop shows -- but it's done with an ensemble cast and with an often quirky narrative structure, with different characters' stories overlapping and intersecting and gradually combining to form a complex picture of events. Shannon says he's read that the second season abandons this creative storytelling method, so I'm betting that the second season won't interest us as much.
"Robin Hood" is fun. I've always been a fan of the basic story, ever since seeing the 1973 animated film when I was a little kid. I also loved Errol Flynn's version when I saw it in Palo Alto during my summer at Stanford (that must have been 1990?): all that theatrical standing akimbo and arrogantly cheerful laughter rocked.
The guy who plays Guy of Gisborne in this British tv series (Richard Armitage) seems to be made up to look exactly like Alan Rickman's Sheriff of Nottingham in 1991's Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (which everyone else seems to mock, but which I saw several times and loved, though that may be because it was the *only* movie showing in the theatre in Stirling for weeks on end -- but RH:PoT is also the only movie I have ever seen that had a *funny* attempted rape scene -- they said it couldn't be done!). But I must admit that, though Armitage's hair has the same long, greasy, solid black appearance, it is not as ridiculously (and purposely) poofy as Rickman's. How can anyone watch Alan Rickman's performance as the Sheriff and not love this movie?
I even liked Robin Hood: Men in Tights (though it was rather too silly for me, since I'm not much of a Mel Brooks fan), but that was very possibly due to the fact that Cary Elwes in the 1980s/1990s was one of the hottest guys to ever exist on this planet. Not so much now, but back then ... rrroooowwr!
Anyway, so I was predisposed to like this British tv series. The guy playing Robin reminds me of one of my ex-boyfriends (Zed), which is a bit distracting, but the writing is enjoyable (in a light, don't-make-me-think kind of way) and the humor is not stupid (stupid humor gets to me every time, but this show tends more toward sarcasm). The whole look of the series is rather reminiscent of a Renaissance Faire, but ... hey ... I grew up going to the Ren Faire every summer, so that doesn't bother me much. The plot and dialogue are sometimes heavy-handed in their thinly-disguised proselytizing on the subject of modern day suspensions of civil liberties (in the name of war -- be it Crusades or Iraq) and the opportunistic abuse of power, but I can just roll my eyes and tolerate that. In fact, I'm rather surprised that such issues were considered important to British folks; I thought of it more as an American problem.
Anyway, I think I'm going to go sleep some more. I took some cough medicine, and it seems to be helping, so yay!