BBC America has begun showing a new Robin Hood series*. I’ve seen the first episode twice now (On Demand, thank you!) and I’m looking forward to the next.
I think most kids back in the day (and maybe now, I dunno, my kids are grown) relished the Robin Hood legend. The ‘steal from the rich and give to the poor bit’ satisfied young egalitarian hearts perhaps, but what really got the young hearts pumping were those cool bow and arrow tricks, doses of derring-do, sword-play and last second rescues.
Robin Hood, even though he was actually royalty, was a man of the people, even though he had to share Sherwood Forest with deer ripe for the poaching.
People of my generation are in like Flynn with Errol’s twinkling eye portrayal of the legendary equalizer. Later generations may think of Richard Greene or the aging Robin played by Sean Connery. Sadly some may know none other than the odd rendition of Kevin Costner, whose English accent weaves in and out of his ‘Robin Hood’ movie like so many errant arrows.
The new Robin is played by somebody I don’t know much about: Jonas Armstrong. What makes the new R. Hood palatable to the non-egalitarian set is that this Robin actually suggests eliminating all personal taxes and only applying what amounts to a sales tax at the market place in order to stimulate the local economy. What hath Laffler wrought?
The series begins with Robin returning from the Crusades with one dim-witted sidekick. He manages to toss off a few rescues in the first few minutes before arriving home to discover that the tyrannical NEW Sheriff of Nottingham played by the wonderfully diabolical Keith Allen is running the joint with his equally eee-vil deputized Sir Guy of Gisborne.
Egads, Robin Hood is dueling with the over-reaching governmental forces who are entrenched deeply into the lives of the peasants, who are basically financing the banquets of the royalty along with their fair share of the Crusades.
So, if you catch my drift, this Robin Hood rolls with conservative swagger (future episodes hint at the mis-use of the terrorist labelling so there may be some ‘fair and balanced’ forestry going on here). Despite my childhood fascination with the Jesse James aspect of the Hood, the new supply-sider still does plenty of cool tricks with the bow, and manages to pull off what I suspect will be at least one seriously rocking rescue per show.
The only problem I have with the series so far (I’ve only seen one episode) is that the bad guys are really better actors and more interesting than the actor who plays Robin Hood. Nonetheless, despite my lefty-leanings, two arrows up for supply-side Robin Hood. It looks like a fun ride.
*The new series is actually shot in Hungary. I”m guessing that the labour costs in merry old England caused the capitalist film-makers to abscond for the non-union Sherwood Forest film crew.