Some tales really have stood the test of time. “It still holds up today” we say, or “It was ahead of its time.” It takes something altogether more remarkable to cement itself into legend however. Such a tale is Robin Hood. Do you see how happy Robin and his men are in that picture? That’s the kind of smile the show puts on my face while I cook my breakfast on a Sunday morning.
The legend has seen numerous adaptations ranging from the gritty (Russel Crowe) to the camp(Men In Tights), and Disney even made an animated version in 1973. Yet my absolute favourite version was BBC’s adaptation, which ran from 2006-2009.
I wasn’t sure this qualified as a guilty pleasure – it’s got a score of 7.6 on IMDB, and an impressive 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. Yet every time I’ve tried to introduce a friend to the show, they’ve complained and not a single one has kept watching thereafter.
First, I’m going to address their complaints.
There are sheets of paper with more dimension than Sheriff Vaisey
Granted, yes, the character does not have a lot of depth. But that’s important to the tone of the show. They’ve created this wonderful light-hearted romp through the forest. We need to cheer every time they foil the Sheriff’s schemes, and cheer we do! We don’t want to see a political drama about how the town needs the money for services. We want to see a greedy and corrupt man get what’s coming to him. That’s the job of a fun show like this, and it does it perfectly!
It’s entirely predictable
Again, you’re not wrong. But I refer again to the tone the show has. It’s something fun to enjoy on a Saturday morning. We’re not supposed to wonder if the Sheriff is going to win. We’re supposed to watch for the inevitable triumph and revel in it. To watch him get foiled just as he is so assured that victory is his.
Another bloody love triangle
This one I refuse to acknowledge. Such triangles are focused on a character who is conflicted between two potential suitors. Marian has absolutely no interest in Gisborne, and this is made clear from the start. It occasionally makes things trickier for the outlaws. And it’s used to their advantage other times. Although if you actually feel sorry for the guy after what he’s done, there’s something up with you.
These are the three main complaints I here, so with those comments addressed, it’s onto why this is easily one of the best ten shows I’ve seen in the last decade.
An Immensely likeable group of outlaws
Every single member of the gang adds something to it. The eternally ribbed Much, stoic Little John, the rogue Alan a Dale, the subdued Will Scarlet and of course the charming leader Robin Hood. From their effortless chemistry on-screen – one conversation springs to mind in which they discuss eating vegetables with their food. I also live each character’s speech quirks – Alan a Dale’s “not being funny”, or John’s Yoda-esque sentence structures “Him, I liked.” The gang just make you want to be part of their fun!
Go on. Give that a listen. I’ll wait. It makes you feel triumphant just lying in bed with your pyjamas. No wonder every time it kicks in and we see Robin and the gang win we feel so awesome!
The Emotional Moments
Being the fun, light-hearted show that it is, Robin Hood doesn’t do sad often. But it hits all the harder when they do. I’ll keep this post spoiler free, but there are a number of scenes throughout the show’s run that will shock you to the core. This actually ties into the complaint regarding the show’s predictability – while it’s true that you never feel that the characters are in real peril, it hits all the harder when the show proves you wrong.
This is a show I could write for much longer on, and reminisce on some of my favourite scenes, but I’ll stop now while it’s coherent and free of my rambling thoughts. Needless to say, if you haven’t seen the show, you should definitely watch it. Also if you’ve seen it and didn’t like it, watch it again and realise that you were wrong.
The show might be over, but am I done with the outlaws of Sherwood? A clue, no.