herneafter two intro eps that were vanilla to the core — no one died and the SoN’s threats of tongue-cutting were camp gesture — RH shifts upsettingly up a gear or two: this is fun mid-evening hokum in which CHILDREN AND INNOCENTS CAN DIE; and the motivating question — “ok WAR AGAINST EVIL — can it be ok for good ppl to kill innocents and/or children?” — is ramped up lots (at peril of comfy watching) (interesting study to be made abt conventions of acceptable bodycount in TV aimed mainly at kids)

the answers to the question are still ending up a bit pat (“no obv”), bcz robin and the merrymen aren’t themselves properly implicated yet — they’re still quarantined from the ethical complexity (we the viewer KNEW they were wrongly accused). the script clumsiness — i actually think worse this week than before — currently stands against us much losing our distance from the reality of the dilemma

however i am STILL defending this problematic issue on the grounds that it’s caused more by inept solution to the rollout of necessary backstory than some less interesting failing — after all, we ARE still getting backstory rolled out (and full marks to anyone who guessed the NIGHT WATCHMAN’S identity when s/he first appeared — i only twigged when the NW’s honour was defended too stoutly too quickly) plus i wd honestly far rather have inept storybuilding than lose the thing the show is ambitiously creeping towards, WHICH I DEEM IS THIS:

i. revitalise and recomplicate the word “outlaw” by arguing it has an equivalent social content to “terrorist”
ii. bring danger and energy back into a hugely overtold and become-comfy storyline by importing our tangled feelings about current affairs
iii. allow us to develop new perspective on current affairs by tracing the strains and tensions our tangled feelings undergo as the importing in ii. develops (this requires more holyland backstory, so far only hinted at)

(in other words, i’m specifically refusing the explanation that this RH is merely a lame “allegory” of the GWoT; yes I *want* it to be the more intriguing bcz demanding project I’m outlining, which respects the older story enough to want to revivify some of its gone-dead tropes — being recruited into allegory isn’t so respectful of the reason the older story has largely survived, adaptations to each new era’s mytho-political requirements notwithstanding — even tho, bcz more ambitious, this project has a lot further to fall)

–keith allen is still by far the weakest link: his DICTION IS AWFUL — get 1xbasic actor technique you lazy bum; the larger outline of the take this version will have on the king richard/prince john/sherriff/robin structure will be key (promising: this sherriff is “actually” evil now tho, not just a pantomime cypher) (potentially promising but also potentially catastrophic: the robin-sherriff intimacy — as noted passim this series wants to be xena-esque but isn’t actually that good so far at cheerful comic innuendo)
–the plotting has not so far allowed much of an internal merryman dynamic to emerge (makes you realise how much of older robin hoods is them sitting round eating and bantering) — this was one of the great strengths of robin of sherwood (ray winstone as will scarlett!)
–undersold and likeable element: the merrymen haven’t had it easy establishing themselves — the villains have actual purchase on the territory currently, and by cunning or force will have to be driven off

anyway for now I HEART MAID PIEFACE and h8az can still bug-off