Or so I thought. The other weekend when I was out of town, all by myself, for four days, I found myself browsing the Watch Instantly section of Netflix for something to put on for background noise. Robin Hood showed up on there somewhere and I ended up watching it (again).
Here's the thing: the first episode was still terrible, but it was a good background activity, so I kept it on. The second episode was marginally better. And so on. And now, here I am a few weeks later almost through the second season, and LOVING it.
The weird thing is that I love it almost against my will. The rational side of me could list half a dozen serious flaws in the series that should, by all accounts, keep me from ever watching another episode. And yet I continue to watch. Last night, as I watched an episode toward the end of Season 2, I realized that despite its weaknesses, the show had somehow become good.
Here's that list I just mentioned, of all the reasons Robin Hood should be considered a stupid show:
- The show seems to have no memory of itself. Events that took place in the early episodes are conveniently forgotten later on. I could give some examples but they'd be full of spoilers so I won't. I can only imagine that in the beginning, the writers weren't sure where they were going to go with the story so they made a few mistakes.
- The fight scenes are uneven. Sometimes they are boring. Sometimes they're mediocre. Sometimes they're downright stupid. Sometimes you find yourself yelling at the screen, "just go AROUND him, you idiot!" more times than is reasonable.
- This is my opinion and thus perhaps not a technical flaw, but I think they made Guy of Gisborne (AKA Mr. Thornton from North & South, ladies) way more of a bad guy than was necessary. He's not conflicted enough and that waters down the whole series. (This is starting to change in Season 2, though, so maybe this was just another "mistake.")
- Some of the costumes are ridiculous. Well, let me clarify - almost all of Marian's costumes are ridiculous. But they are fun to look at and they do make it look like the wardrobe staff had a good time dreaming them up, I'll give them that.
- It is one of those British TV series that is often purposely and inappropriately modern for the time period it is set in. I'm not talking about inappropriate content - I'm talking about occasional modern habits of speech or modern touches to otherwise period costumes.
- As "romantic" as it is, I am growing weary of a certain plot device being used over and over again. And over AGAIN. (SPOILER this plot device is that Guy can only protect Marian if she is married to him END SPOILER.)
So. Those are the reasons you should not waste your time on "Robin Hood." If you decide to proceed anyway - and in case you can't tell, I think you should - you will find plenty of things that redeem the show, including the fact that the acting, especially among all the leads, is brilliant. I think Marian and Robin in particular give their traditional characters new, compelling life.
My final words of advice would be to skip the majority of Season 1. Honestly, you won't miss much and Season 2 is where the real story begins anyway.
Has anyone else seen this show? Do you agree or disagree with my opinion that it is often fantastically stupid and makes you like it almost against your will?