Friends and Enemies
This is BBC1’s latest ‘event TV’. It is nothing like the book, the Cardinal (Peter Capaldi of ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘World War Z’) gets a historical villain upgrade and there is a lot of studs, earrings, women falling out of very tight corsets, leather, nice hats and brooding facial hair.
It is 1630 and daddy d’Artagnan dies in a lot of rain and mud to the horror of his son (Luke Pasqualino of ’Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome’). The interesting opening credits roll and I think back on musketeers past. The beyond awful 1993 version, the odd Gene Kelly version, the rollicking 1970s versions, the disappointing 2011 version and of course the great 1998 ’Man In The Iron Mask’.
Athos (played by a poor man’s Oliver Reed) broods and sticks his head into a bucket of ice, Porthos cheats at cards and fights a man with a fork, Aramis (Santiago Cabrera of 'Heroes') is a man-ho. Louis XIII is a twit, Anne of Austria sulks, Treville lurks and the Cardinal does not wear red. Milady de Winter lurks and the disruptive d’Artagnan picks fights and falls in bed with the dubious woman.
Where is Milady’s brand? She is at turns tender, vicious, romantic and a big old drama queen. D’Artagnan has no sense and this is supposed to be the iconic figure? Constance his future mistress shows up. D’Artagnan (who pronounces his name differently than his dead daddy did) meets up with the rough-edged musketeers. Just in time to foil a plot against the musketeers via Renaissance CSI. Athos specialises in total and utter inebriation as I’m sure the writers do. This was loud, dumb, full of ‘comedy’, over-acting, murdering and is plain silly. It’s on par with ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ for quality.
“You think this is bad?”
“If you love me, you’ll jump.”
“Any lice or crabs?”
“Use of the communal towel is free.”
“This looks like a badger’s intestines.”
“The man I loved tried to murder me.”
“How does this say prostitute to you?”
“I know that look in a man’s eye.”
“Then we’ll have to hurt him.”
“You’ll burn in hell.”
“I have work to do here first.”
“He’ll need someone to carry him home.”
“I want revenge.”
“I have sinned, often.”
When A Man Loves A Woman
In part 2 of a 3 parter, Hercules has fallen for an idealization not the real woman in Serena (Sam Jenkins of ‘Andromeda’). Joxer shows up to be really annoying. Hercules’ dead bleach burned wife Deianeia (Tawny Kitaen) is told by her burk husband that he’s replacing her with a new younger model so she better put up and shut up. As for Iolaus? He is harassed, gets in a fight, pulls on a rope and his alleged BBF Herc is totally indifferent to him when Serena is around. Iolaus asks Herc if he has thought about what they do (nudge nudge wink wink). Herc doesn’t seem too, bleah on Hercules!
Ares and Strife plot like creepy abusive creeps. Serena is not human, she is a Golden Hind and their blood can kill Gods. As the Hind, Serena is painted gold and trots. Hercules asks her to marry him unaware that it is all a game to the rollickingly exploitative Ares. The dumb Hercules looks detached and is useless and offensively stupid as he stars constantly in his own mental re-enactments of 1970s pornos with Serena.
Hercules visits his dead wife and kids (the ones Hera killed) and tells them he is abandoning them. Hades is nowhere to be seen. Ares tells Hercules he will have to give up his demigod status to marry Serena and Herc reacts with bewilderment to the idea of consequences for stupid choices. Hercules goes along with Ares which stretches credulity. Hercules is cringeworthy after losing his strength.
Hercules is type A crazy and states opinions as fact. Serena gives up being the Golden Hind and there is foreshadowing of season 5 when Hercules will lose his BFF. Iolaus shows up for the wedding which consists of the duo standing under a tree uttering platitudes at each other as Herc’s dead wife and kids float in the clouds approving of this hippie crap. Hercules shows complete disloyalty and sour grapes to everyone but Serena in this episode but it was okay, bad acting aside mainly due to Iolaus providing all the heart needed.
“It’s okay, I forgive you.”
“We don’t need to thank each other.”
“If you’re happy, I’m happy.”
“I choose Serena.”
“I win! I win!”
“Excuse me while I fall down laughing.”
We Shall Live Forever
Carrie has had porno sex with the thug Lucas Hood. No-one has yet figured out Hood is an impostor. Rebecca the slutty Amish girl is banished from her community. There is nudity and swearing as Lucas Hood shouts about how Carrie’s daughter is his. Oh, the boredom of hedonism. Meanwhile Carrie’s husband rampages and tears apart their bedroom.
Mr Rabbit’s thug finds Carrie. Kai tells Rebecca why he was banished back in the day. Kai seems to have a thing for his niece Rebecca. Carrie and her father’s thug beat on each other for a really, really, really long fight scene. Kai storms into an Amish picnic and confronts his kinfolk about Rebecca’s banishment and his bitterness over his own exile finally erupts.
Lucas is an idiot. Carrie’s old name is revealed to be Anastasia. Lucas is an idiot and there is to be a hearing about him. Carrie’s husband finds a locket, Carrie’s daughter worries, Rebecca is called a whore a lot, Kai is a creepy uncle, Native Americans do stuff and Carrie wins the long painful fight and is left bloody and battered to hell. This was okay.
“We can go anywhere.”
“This is my anywhere.”
“I went to prison for you.”
“I guess I wasn’t built for contrition.”
“You should have seen the looks on their faces when this Amish kid came at them.”
“Why don’t we, uh, skip all the ominous threats?”
“Oh shut up Miriam, you haven’t spoken my name in 20 years. There’s no reason to start now.”
“I finished mourning him years ago.”
“I’m starting to wonder about you.”
“Let me know when he’s dead.”
“You betrayed your family. You don't deserve to have another one.”
“Jesus you’re smoking pot.”
“Yes I am.”