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on March 11, 2007
I ordered this ROBIN HOOD after seeing only 2 episodes. I don't usually do that; I usually read all the customer reviews before making up my mind to buy something. Why did I jump in so early? This looks like being a classic ROBIN HOOD.

The pilot and first episode are fantastic. The pilot retells the familiar story of how Robin returns from war in the Holy Land and becomes an outlaw, and does so with wit and verve, in true swashbuckling style -- and with a beautifully light touch of humor. If you have seen THE PRINCESS BRIDE, you have seen a similar style of humor to that used here. But in that movie humor is a large element of its content. It is a very small but important element in the RH pilot.

The first episode turns very gritty; and the humor becomes a much lighter, smaller element. The Sheriff of Nottingham takes over Robin's former estate (like the terrorists took over a Russian school a few years back) and starts cutting out people's tongues -- one peasant at a time -- in an effort to make them tell him where Robin is. Meanwhile, Robin is having his own troubles with the outlaws of Sherwood Forest, who see him as an enemy from the upper class. This is a complex story with complex people and very believable motivations.

The writing is very sharp; the acting is spot on. It is beautiful. Do I have any complaints? Well... I could be a little picky and say people really didn't bathe much back then; and when the Sheriff says, "Tick, tock, tick, tock..." to indicate time is passing and he is getting tired of waiting for someone to tell him what he wants to know... ordinary people didn't have mechanical clocks back then. But, hey, this is a legend not history. And it is superb.

I love this ROBIN HOOD.
0Comment|130 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I'll be the first one to tell you--I'm sophisticated and classy. You know why? I watch BBCAmerica, and the Brits--they are the leaders of urbane and upscale entertainment. If you need any convincing, just watch an episode of "Footballer's Wives," "Mile High," or "Bad Girls." Of course, I'm kidding. These shows are brassy, bawdy, and loaded with bad behavior! But, you know what, they are also filled with life. They embrace their nastiness wholeheartedly and make no apologies for being pure popcorn entertainment. With language and nudity not permitted by American networks, it seems as if the genre of nighttime soaps has been revitalized by Britain. But that's not all BBCAmerica has to offer, they are just the shows that helped the network grow in popularity. Some other intriguing entries that recently aired in the US are on their way to DVD--there is a new hip take on "Robin Hood," the supernatural "Hex," and the complex crime story "Conviction." So beware! The British are coming, the British are coming--and it's a good thing!

On preparing to sit through "Robin Hood," it's best to know what to anticipate. If you're expecting any sort of historical insight or don't want anyone tampering with the "classic" tale of Mr. Hood--then I'd advise you to take a pass. Do I need to say what "Robin Hood" is about? Robin is a former noble who becomes an outlaw and forms a posse to (duh!) rob from the rich to give to the poor. This version casts attractive actors, employs anachronistic language, and is firmly rooted in modern (and politically correct) sensibilities. The production is slick, stunts and camerawork exemplary--this is a well crafted entertainment. Most episodes move at a brisk and amusing pace, and even when things seem to lack real danger--the series more than compensates with humor. The plots aren't particularly revelatory, but any lack of originality is likely to be forgiven due to the energetic and likable performances.

And the success of this "Robin Hood" rest squarely on Jonas Armstrong's shoulders. Armstrong is a star! Perhaps a bit slight for a true action hero, Armstrong is wildly appealing and has great comic timing. His need to be loved by the people is a running gag and one that works exceedingly well--but, then again, who wouldn't love this Robin? Keith Allen is a stellar Sheriff of Nottingham, this is comic villainy at its finest. Richard Armitage as Guy of Gisborne is the show's real menace and does a nice job with a somewhat underwritten part. Lucy Griffiths plays an earnest Marion--updated to hero status herself just to be fair. At first, the show had trouble incorporating Marion into the main action and her tone was always more somber--but a balance is reached as the show progresses. The secondary players are a bit more sketchy, but are employed to good effect when necessary.

If this version of "Robin Hood" is guilty of anything, it might be a "too cool for school" mentality. It is so intent on being clever with ironic humor and modern attitudes that the sheer adventure is sometimes secondary. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this updating--it just tries so hard to be "hip." From the whimsical episode titles through to the inevitable laugh that ends just about every episode, "Robin Hood" almost defies you to take it seriously--and yet, its ultimate success depends on you doing so. I wanted to be blown away be this series, but the episodes end up being more of a lark than anything else. Fun, frothy and not very filling--I still give this 4 (maybe 3 1/2) stars. I see "Hood" having the potential to develop more compelling story arcs with greater ambition, let's see if that happens when Season 2 rolls around. KGHarris, 04/07.
55 comments|74 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 3, 2007
This show is not a historical reenactment. It is not Errol Flynn nor Mel Brooks. It is not tighly scripted but it IS a good TELEVISION show. There are anachronisms - who cares - it makes the story make sense to modern audiences.

This is the best Robin Hood version I have seen. It gives you a feel for the times. Has wonderful references to historical cultural activities. The technology shown is very convincing. Who cares if it is from 1300s rather than 1100s - it is still good.

Robin is not a hero- he is a man trying to do the right thing given the circumstances. Guy is not a villian - he is a man trying to do what he thinks is expected. The Sherrif is a politician who is heartless and unethical. Marian is caught between her family obligations and her compassion. These are multidimensional characters with complex interplay between them.

The best thing about it is this show we can all watch together. The story line is complex enough for me and my husband but the plot is direct enough for my 9 year old son. The violence is downplayed and there is no gore. If a man gets shot with an arrow, he falls down. Anything disturbing occurs off screen. There is flirtation and romance but no sex.

This is the best show on Television for the family that I know of.
0Comment|15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I'll be the first one to tell you--I'm sophisticated and classy. You know why? I watch BBCAmerica, and the Brits--they are the leaders of urbane and upscale entertainment. If you need any convincing, just watch an episode of "Footballer's Wives," "Mile High," or "Bad Girls." Of course, I'm kidding. These shows are brassy, bawdy, and loaded with bad behavior! But, you know what, they are also filled with life. They embrace their nastiness wholeheartedly and make no apologies for being pure popcorn entertainment. With language and nudity not permitted by American networks, it seems as if the genre of nighttime soaps has been revitalized by Britain. But that's not all BBCAmerica has to offer, they are just the shows that helped the network grow in popularity. Some other intriguing entries that recently aired in the US are on their way to DVD--there is a new hip take on "Robin Hood," the supernatural "Hex," and the complex crime story "Conviction." So beware! The British are coming, the British are coming--and it's a good thing!

On preparing to sit through "Robin Hood," it's best to know what to anticipate. If you're expecting any sort of historical insight or don't want anyone tampering with the "classic" tale of Mr. Hood--then I'd advise you to take a pass. Do I need to say what "Robin Hood" is about? Robin is a former noble who becomes an outlaw and forms a posse to (duh!) rob from the rich to give to the poor. This version casts attractive actors, employs anachronistic language, and is firmly rooted in modern (and politically correct) sensibilities. The production is slick, stunts and camerawork exemplary--this is a well crafted entertainment. Most episodes move at a brisk and amusing pace, and even when things seem to lack real danger--the series more than compensates with humor. The plots aren't particularly revelatory, but any lack of originality is likely to be forgiven due to the energetic and likable performances.

And the success of this "Robin Hood" rest squarely on Jonas Armstrong's shoulders. Armstrong is a star! Perhaps a bit slight for a true action hero, Armstrong is wildly appealing and has great comic timing. His need to be loved by the people is a running gag and one that works exceedingly well--but, then again, who wouldn't love this Robin? Keith Allen is a stellar Sheriff of Nottingham, this is comic villainy at its finest. Richard Armitage as Guy of Gisborne is the show's real menace and does a nice job with a somewhat underwritten part. Lucy Griffiths plays an earnest Marion--updated to hero status herself just to be fair. At first, the show had trouble incorporating Marion into the main action and her tone was always more somber--but a balance is reached as the show progresses. The secondary players are a bit more sketchy, but are employed to good effect when necessary.

If this version of "Robin Hood" is guilty of anything, it might be a "too cool for school" mentality. It is so intent on being clever with ironic humor and modern attitudes that the sheer adventure is sometimes secondary. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this updating--it just tries so hard to be "hip." From the whimsical episode titles through to the inevitable laugh that ends just about every episode, "Robin Hood" almost defies you to take it seriously--and yet, its ultimate success depends on you doing so. I wanted to be blown away be this series, but the episodes end up being more of a lark than anything else. Fun, frothy and not very filling--I still give this 4 (maybe 3 1/2) stars. I see "Hood" having the potential to develop more compelling story arcs with greater ambition, let's see if that happens when Season 2 rolls around. KGHarris, 04/07.
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on June 27, 2007
Some of the previous reviewers apparently expected a Simon Schama documentary or a reenactment with 12th century dialogue and sensibilities. If you want it that way, go buy Chretien de Troyes instead and prepare to be thoroughly bored.

On the other hand, this series is engaging and often funny, with excellent acting by Armitage, Griffiths, Armstrong, Allen...well, every cast member. Sometimes the writers are a little heavy-handed with the modern parallels they draw, but it's only noticeable in the first few episodes. Otherwise, the strength of the series reveals itself through the complex interpersonal relationships between the characters. (My personal favorite is the Robin/Marian/Guy dynamic.) Additionally, Robin & Co. are well-rounded; each character has his/her own traits, history and humanizing features.

All in all, this is an appealing and endearing version of an old classic. Before watching this series, I was never remotely interested in the Robin Hood mythos, but the characters drive the story and the show ultimately benefits from palpable, modern situations and writing.
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on April 4, 2007
If you want a gritty, truly medieval-looking Robin Hood, you won't find it in this re-imagining. All the elements are in place: Robin Hood, Merry Men, Lady Marian, Sir Guy, the Sheriff of Nottingham. At first the costumes are guaranteed to drive purists crazy. The guys' shirts look like they came from the Sherwood Forest Gap outlet. Sir Guy's leather duster is right out of a Western (though hunky Richard Armitage wears it well). Marian's costumes are mostly unflattering. Then there are the none-too-subtle current Bush-Blair political references. Robin Hood as terrorist? Hmm. Lady Marian as a feminist do-gooder? Okay. Maybe she's meant to be a good role model for girls. Apart from Much and Little John, the actors playing Robin, Will Scarlet, and Alan a Dale are practically interchangeable, all too physically similar for any one to stand out. Both Sir Guy and the Sheriff are far more memorable.

All that said, the series steadily improves from the outset. Once you make up your mind to stop looking for realism, the episodes are fun and entertaining. For a truly imaginative take on the legend, however, check out "Robin of Sherwood" with Michael Praed as Robin of Loxley, which is finally available in the U.S. on DVD. Once you've seen Ray Winstone's anger-fueled Will Scarlet, you will pity every actor who has taken on the role since.
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on June 7, 2015
Love this series, amazing and addictive. Awesome twist on the classic and just an awesome show I still enjoy as a teen today. First watched on Netflix and fell in love with Robin of Locksley and his merry band of outlaws, "Never forget the outlaws!" Said by Robin in the series. 3 seasons in total and that's all were getting. More accurate to the true story of Robin Hood, with UK own twist and amazing tale of this catchy and completely worth it series.
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on June 29, 2011
This is a pretty cheesy series. But I did watched all three seasons, so it does kind of hook you. The plots are pretty lame, and many many times it is completely unbelievable (it evoked many groans from me). They (the robin hood gang) are constantly getting into impossible situations and then escaping too easily. The villains aren't believably bad. I did like the ending, but if I could do it over, I wouldn't have wasted my time.
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VINE VOICEon April 28, 2007
It begins, of course, with Robin of Locksley returning from the Holy Lands having been injured in the service of King Richard. He defends an outlaw and becomes one himself. His land is forfeit to Guy of Gisbourne, who is the Sheriff of Nottingham's right hand man.

The actor who played the Sheriff (Keith Allen) recently appeared on The Brit Awards, a music TV program from London. The whole crowd was standing and screaming when they saw him. He truly is a villain who you will love to hate and a worthy opponent for Robin Hood (Jonas Armstrong). And Lady Marian (Lucy Griffiths) is a strong tough woman who's been defending her people long before Robin Hood came to take up the cause.

This is one of the best versions of the Robin Hood story I have ever seen and believe me, I have seen quite a few. You've got actors with real Brit accents, real Brit forests--okay and you have the devastating humor thrown in. The occasional gag on contemporary culture is just too good.

This version is well worth the purchase price and will definitely entertain for years to come.
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on February 21, 2015
I haven't seen the entire series 1 yet, but it is a very enjoyable adventure series. Keith Allen and Richard Armitage are both excellent as the Sheriff and Guy of Gisborne, respectively, exuding menace and greed without going too much over the top. Jonas Armstrong does a good job of Robin, but the best "Merry Man" is undoubtedly Sam Troughton as the ever loyal and whining Much. The other Merry Men have yet to have shown too much of characteristics to really know much about them. My main issue with the show is Marian and the historical inaccuracies. This can sometimes be done well, as in BBC's The Musketeers, but this is not so much the case with Robin Hood. My hope is that the series does improve as it goes on while retaining the action and action.
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