tek's rating: ½

Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire, BBC Two (UK) / Comedy Central (USA)
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This is a fairly straight-up comedy, a parody of shows like Hercules, which to begin with was intentionally campy, so doing a parody of such shows seems a bit redundant. Even so, it's amusing enough.

It's set in some ancient realm, which is ruled by some evil emperor, apparently, and there's a resistance that would like to overthrow him. However, the main villain of the series is Chancellor Dongalor, lord of the province of Hessemeel. He seems to want to gain greater power for himself, perhaps become the new emperor? I dunno. But meanwhile, he has to fight a band of rebels led by Krod Mandoon. At the start of the series, Krod and his group break into a prison to free the resistance's leader, General Arcadius. However, Arcadius dies in the escape, but tells Krod he believes him to be the leader named in a prophecy. Also, Krod has a sword that sometimes starts flaming. Krod doesn't really have much confidence in himself as a leader, but he is nevertheless determined to defeat Dongalor and the forces of evil. Or whatever.

Anyway, his group includes his girlfriend, Aneka, an oafish servant named Loquasto, and a warlock named Zezelryck. Aneka, a pagan warrior, seems to be pretty much the only one who's much good in a battle, though she often uses sex as a weapon to get what she wants, much to the dismay of Krod. He believes in monogamy, whereas she, because of her people's culture, will have sex with pretty much anyone. (It seems like sex is both meaningless to her, and yet sometimes an important religious thing.) Needless to say, Aneka and Krod's relationship is... complicated. As for Loquasto, he's from a pig-like people called the Grobble. He uses a crossbow, but his aim completely sucks. Zezelryck claims to cast spells, but thus far it doesn't actually seem like any of them do anything at all. The group is joined by Bruce, who was Arcadius' lover while in prison. I don't really know what else to say about him. The only other character I can think to mention right now is Barnabus, the loyal advisor of Chancellor Dongalor.

Anyway, the show clearly has a modern (and therefore anachronistic) sensibility, in the way both the heroes and the villains look at certain things. It sort of seems as if everyone is sort of aware of the cliches they're caught up in, I dunno. I want to say more, but I really can't, right now. I do like it, though, and it has a sort of originality in the midst of its... complete unoriginality. *shrug* Well, the first season was quite brief, only six episodes. I rather hope it gets another season. I might very well want to raise my rating of the series a bit....


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