This series of episodes has the decedent of the first Edmund Blackadder in Elizabethan times. Atkinson, quite dapper in his beard, is still plotting with a lot of cunning plans to further his lot in life with the decedent of his friend Percy and his Dogsbody Baldrick. This time Edmund is up against Queen Baby who borders on nutso, with nursey at her side.
These episodes 1 - Bells finds Edmund employing a new servant named BOB - much to Baldrick's distress. Just as things seems to turn out all right in comes FLASH his best man and complicates all.
Episode 2 - Head - Queenie appoints Edmund Lord High Executioner and she keep his hopping with "off with their heads" only Edmund gets a little ahead of himself and lops one head too many
In Episode 3 - Potato - Edmund is furious that Sir Raleigh has returned and curries favour with Queenie, so he Percy and Baldrick set out to find the new world...but they bring back something rather different!
Episode 4. Money - has the Bishop of Barton Wells after Edmunds for money owed, only Edmund does not have it and is dashing about madly to get it before the Bishop gets out his hot pokers
Episode 5 - Beer - is one of the best of the series - Edmund has
his uncle and aunt - religious people - coming for supper. But the Queen has Edmund in a drinking contest with her PM. Add an oddly shape turnip in to the mix and the Goblin song and it is riot!
Episode 6 - Chains - has a mad German master of disguise trying to rule the world. He kidnaps Edmund and the PM, and the Queen can only ransom one....
A side-splitting great time!
on April 24, 2001
Black Adder stars Rowan Atkinson, an absolute comic genius who is also the star of Mr. Bean. The screenplays were written by Richard Curtis (Mr. Bean, Not the nine o'clock news) and Ben Elton - possibly one of the funniest modern writers.
In the second series, Rowan Atkinson plays a clever palace courtier in Elizabethan England. Sometimes favourite of queen and scourge of his rivals, Edmond parties in merry olde England.
The six episodes in the second series:
1. Bells - Served by a dungball in a dress and accompanied by a dimwit that he can't seem to shake, Black Adder finds himself strangely attracted to his new servant - Bob
2. Head - Newly appointed Lord High Executioner - Edmund Black Adder - finds himself in a bit of pickle when his decides to cut short on his chores and executes the wrong man.
3. Potato - Not to be outdone by the pompous and boring Sir Raleigh, Black Adder sets out to find the new world and ends up drinking his own urine
4. Money - An angry bishop with a red hot poker tries to collect on Edmunds debts
5. Beer - Juggling dinner with his puritan relatives while conducting a drinking game works fine for Edmund, until someone discovers an oddly shaped turnip
6. Chains - A crazed master of disguise, with an awful german accent, threatens to ruin Black Adder's whole life
on December 22, 2004
Of this series that has to be one of the funniest things I've ever seen committed to videotape and broadcast! "Blackadder II" involves the fortunes of a descendant of the first "Blackadder" series living in the Elizabethan period of Merry Olde England along with a descendant of the first Blackadder's dogsbody, Baldrick and his distant relative Percy. Edmund Blackadder is a court favorite of the Queen, here played by Miranda Richardson as a spoiled, capricious brat who always gets her way and pretty much behaves like a child for the run of the series. It's a brilliant portrayal, but a presumed fiction, as Elizabeth I is generally considered to be one of the more enlightened leaders in Britain's history.
You have to wonder what goes on in the minds of British comedy writers, as the premises for the episodes here are wild and varied. The episode "Potato" is one of the funniest, with Tom Baker, of "Dr. Who" fame, portraying an eccentric pirate/sea captain enlisted by Blackadder to help him show up the smug bore, Sir Walter Raleigh. "Beer" involves Edmund trying to juggle entertaining his extremely puritan relatives with holding a drinking contest with his buddies from Elizabeth's court. The scene where he tries to concoct a lie "on the fly" as to why a monk from the drinking contest group roars drunk into the room crying "Great booze-up, Edmund!" while BA is hosting his relatives is probably the funniest in the entire run of the "Blackadder" series. The "See you, Jimmy" scene from "Chains" is also funny as the blazes!
I've often wondered how the erudite, sophisticated Edmund Blackadder could be played by the same actor who parlays the meek, nerdy, retiring "Mr. Bean". It almost looks like the two characters are being played by twin brothers, they're so different in temperament, and, to be honest, level of sophistication in the humor. Anywho, about the only thing from British television that even comes CLOSE to equalling "Blackadders II & III" in tone and genius is the very clever "Red Dwarf" series, (all eight years!) a satire on "Dr. Who" melded with "The Odd Couple in Space".
I can't recommend this and "Blackadder III" highly enough!
on June 9, 2001
Black Adder is without a doubt the funniest series to have ever come from England - yes - funnier than Monty Phython!!! Although I have never been a fan of Mr Bean - Rowan Atkinson proves his comedic genius in this, the best of the Adder seasons. However, it does help to have SOME knowledge of the time period in which this series takes place.If you are new to the Black Adder, I recommend this series as a great starting point.
Against all odds and certain laws of evolution, apparently the primary characters of "Black Adder I" managed to reproduce.
Amazingly, this is fortunate for us, because it turns out that "Black Adder II" is hilariously superior to the previous season in just about every way possible. Rowan Atkinson is pitch-perfect as the acid-tongued Lord Edmund Blackadder, who is forced to navigate a surreal Elizabethan court full of bizarre characters and hysterical dialogue.
After (temporarily) firing Baldrick (Tony Robinson), Blackadder (Atkinson) hires a new manservant, Bob -- who is actually a girl named Kate, who is trying to escape a life of prostitution ("It's a steady job, and you'd be working from home!") by pretending to be a boy.
But predictably, Blackadder soon finds himself sexually attracted to "Bob," which unnerves him greatly. After visiting a leech-obsessed doctor and a crazy wise woman, Blackadder finds out the truth about his "manservant" and decides to marry her. But of course, the course of love never did run smooth -- especially not for a Blackadder.
Things don't get much better for Blackadder after that -- insane Queen Bess (Miranda Richardson) appoints him Lord High Executioner, and he tries to make the process more efficient. After sneering at Sir Walter "Ooh What A Big Ship I've Got" Raleigh, he ends up on a round-the-world voyage to find something as interesting as a potato and bring it back to the Queen. And due to an old loan, he finds himself on the bad side of the "baby-eating Bishop of Bath and Wells."
Additionally, the Queen commands him to throw a beer-soaked debauch on the same evening that his wealthy Puritan relatives are visiting. And after Blackadder and his nemesis Melchett (Stephen Fry) are kidnapped by a charades-playing inquisitor, they find themselves at the mercy of the waitress/sheep impersonator, Prince Ludwig the Indestructible!
Somehow the first season of "Black Adder" never really impressed me, since most of its humor came from the superhuman repulsiveness of its title character. Fortunately they added a new writer in the second season, and suddenly everything about the series clicked into place -- the writing, insults and historical mayhem all suddenly went from funny to sidesplitting.
Much of this comes from the incredibly surreal plots: usually it's Edmund in over his head and surrounded by people he deplores and/or fears, in a situation that spins out of control. Deranged sea captains who can't find France, rubber breasts, a bombastic self-absorbed adventurer, turnips shaped like naughty bits, and an inconvenient severed head all come into play, making life MUCH more difficult for Edmund.
But the real genius is the dialogue, which ranges from mildly insulting ("Am I paying for this abuse, or is it extra?" "All part of the service") to hilariously barbed ("My name is Edmund Blackadder, and I'm the new minister in charge of religious genocide"). There's a lot of raunchy jokes, irreverent mockery of revered English monarchs, and fun moments where they poke fun at the Elizabethan era ("It wouldn't have anything to do with LEECHES, would it?").
Rowan Atkinson is the heart of all this jaded, nasty hilarity. He does a simply brilliant job as the one semi-intelligent person in a court of nincompoops, who deals with it by having thinly-veiled contempt for everybody and a tongue woven from barbed wire. Robinson is suitably gross and not-very-bright as his faithful servant Baldrick.
Supporting them: Richardson is brilliant as a squealy, childish Elizabeth I ("There's simply HUNDREDS of Catholics who DESPERATELY want their heads SNICKED off.... and there's no one to organize it!"), while Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Miriam Margoyles add to the surreal wit. And watch for Tom Baker as the deranged sea captain who's obviously not had a girlfriend recently.
"Black Adder II" magnifies everything that was enjoyable about the first "Black Adder" season and shucks away everything that wasn't. Comic brilliance.
on November 23, 2007
I positively LOVE British comedy... Benny Hill, Fawlty Towers, `Allo `Allo, Mr. Bean, Monty Python, Mind Your Language etc. The best of these is Black Adder.
Black Adder turns history upside down on its head. Forget whatever you learnt of the Tudors because you will have to re-learn it when you watch the "real history" of Black Adder.
For those who are unfamiliar with this series, it may take you a while to understand the nuances and "read between the lines". But this ability to understand the humor will increase as you watch the series. A general underlying truth is that each episode gets funnier as you move forward in this series.
Rowan Atkinson is positively brilliant! Honestly speaking, I think that his performance in this series is just head and shoulders above his comedy in Mr. Bean.
on October 31, 2003
"I am the Queen of England. I may have the body of a weak and feable woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a concrete elephant." "Prove it!" "I most certainly will. First, I am going to have a little drinky-winky and then in the morning I'm going to have you all executed." Miranda Richardson as Elizabeth I is in my opinion the best part of all of Black Adder. At first I though she was being a bit annoying but when she came the lines above, the only thing to keep me applauding her was the fact I was in the room alone. Black Adder is one of Britain's best and this is certainly its best season (though one of the best parts of the series is the way they rewrite history and I think season one probably did the best with that aspect). The only thing I found disappointing was that Queeny didn't actually behead everyone in the last episode.