by Sean Pruett-Jones | April 30, 2014 10:09 am
There’s been lots of hubbub about the amazing shows that are all on today’s TV. Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad (yeah, it ended, but everyone loved it), and, while it’s between seasons currently, Wilfred (which is my personal favorite). Now, don’t get me wrong. Each of these shows are great for their own individual reasons, and they’ve managed to stay great throughout their duration.
However, I have a cunning plan.
My plan is to get you hooked on a show that is from back in the heyday. Back from before I was born, or any other student in RB was born. Back before one or two of the teacher’s were even born.
I’m talking about the marvelous 1980’s British Sitcom; The Black Adder, starring Rowan Atkinson, Tim McInnerny, Tony Robinson, and other iconic actors who feature in the later episodes: Brian Blessed (Clayton from Disney’s Tarzan), Miranda Richardson (who played Mab in Merlin, the one with Sam Neill), Hugh Laurie (from the show House), and Stephen Fry (who’s in all sorts of things, like V for Vendetta, The second Hobbit movie, and A Fish Called Wanda). Each season lasts for six episodes, and each season is a different descendant of the original Blackadder (excluding the first season, which is about the original Blackadder).
Blackadder is about Edmund Blackadder, who wants nothing but riches and power, and his servant Baldrick, who simply wants a turnip of his own out in the country. Every season puts Edmund into a different time period, the first being medeival England, the second in the Elizabethan era, the third season during the time when Colombus skittered on off to America, and the fourth one taking place during World War I. One thing always remains the same – Baldrick is Edmund’s servant, Edmund is a raging jerk to him and Baldrick never seems to notice (he’s a bit of an idiot), and Edmund wants to be powerful and rich, but is always thwarted due to his or Baldrick’s incomptence or because the situation is too dire indeed.
This show first aired in 1983, which is likely why not many kids these days know about it, and I mean, you can tell. During some of the scenes when they’re outside, it’s so blatantly obvious that they’re on a set that’s probably no larger than the computer lab I’m sitting in, but it all just adds to the charm of it. Now keep in mind, this is British humour indeed, and as we all know from Monty Python: it’s hilarious. The physical comedy is there, the unending comparisons of people to silly things, and the raunchiness of the time. It’s all one big shcmorgishborg of insults and schemes and recurring actors.
Blackadder has produced some of the funniest things I’ve yet seen. Edmund says some of the greatest things, like “They do say, Mrs M, that verbal insults hurt more than physical pain. They are, of course, wrong, as you will soon discover when I stick this toasting fork in your head.” And better yet, ”We’re in the stickiest situation since Sticky the Stick Insect got stuck on a sticky bun.” And while the neverending jokes never fail to disappoint, the physical comedy is beyond genius. There’s just something magical in Edmund trying to pretend to be a woman’s husband, the husband he executed three days earlier but she doesn’t have to know that, even though he has to pretend he has no arm and wear a bag on his head so she doesn’t know its him. There’s something spectacular about Edmund trying to rewrite the entire english dictionary in one night, the only assistance being posh definitions of words like “fart” and/or “butt”.
Blackadder lasted a total of 24 episodes, each 30 minutes long, so you’ll have your hands full. Still, when it’s all over, it feels too short, and you’ll wish that there was more. So, so much more. I know I sure did, and I can tell you that if you give it a run for it’s money, you might too. It’s a rather cunning plan, you can’t deny. If nothing else works , then a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see me through.
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