Saturday, 27 June 2009

the state of TV

Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire. If you haven’t seen it I‘m about to save you the effort. Watch something else. Paint a wall and watch it dry. 'Cos Krod is crud.

For those of you who are blissfully unaware (my advice, stay that way – apart from while you are hanging on to my every word, of course) it is a fantasy spoof. You know, warriors and wizards and trolls and a sword that bursts into flames. Which I’m guessing makes it particularly difficult to wield. Singed fingers doth cripple the fighter methinks.

Krod Mandoon should work. It has a strong cast, excellent production values (even to my unpractised eye) and sets and costumes that must have cost a few bob. The problem is a collection of characters displaying all the conviction of a tranny with a goatee and a script as funny as a kick in the danglies.

Think Terry Pratchett after he’s had his sense of humour removed and replaced with that of a random schoolboy.

Now I’m venturing this opinion as someone who is more than happy to dip into the toilet to tickle his funny bone (strange metaphor; hey it works for me) but this is pretty much the sole source of the show’s jokes and frankly it’s shite.

Example one – a group of important looking individuals send Krod and his mates on a quest involving a Cyclops to retrieve some blah (sorry, I zoned out here) and they ended up debating the difference between “normal” hair and pubic hair around the table. Laugh, I couldn’t start.

Actually, at the cyclop’s pad we veer away from the schoolboy humour for just long enough to fit in a couple of “eye” jokes. The cyclops? The big guy with an eye the size of a satellite dish in the middle of his forehead – get it? Example – go on let me give you an example – the Cyclops and his father – wait for it - didn’t see eye to eye. Boom boom.

As a nation, we seem to be stuck on pointing the finger at public bodies who waste our money. Let’s raise a shitstorm on this colossal waste of cash. I have no problem with my money being used to produce TV programmes that the BBC might want to sell around the world. But can we make it good? Pretty please?

It’s time to take stock and re-direct the money being used on this car-crash of a show to a scriptwriter who knows what they are doing and who might have the ability to raise a laugh from an audience over the age of thirteen.

By the way, my son loved it. Aged 11. And now I feel like a bad parent. Not because of the adult content – although that did raise a couple of awkward questions – but because he now thinks that this is what grown-ups should be watching on telly.
-You don’t think anything’s funny, dad, says he when I moaned halfway through.
-I know, I’m a humourless drone who had his funny bone removed at the age of two by a nun wielding a plastic ladle and a dessert fork.
He pauses, gives me THAT stare and then gives me his considered opinion -You’re weird.

In an ideal world? They get hold of Joss Wheedon and the gang at Dollhouse – this is imaginative, well-produced, intelligent television with a script that sparkles with wit while managing to engage and intrigue – and give them every last bit of wallah they have and maybe they will be able to retrieve a few of the licence payers pounds along with their self respect.

‘Nuff said.


  1. I think you're a little hard on Krod. I enjoy it a lot; it's something of a medieval workplace comedy. There you've got your reluctant yet unwavering hero who has to overcome his own inadequacies, the antics of his friends, and an evil tyrannt; he has to work with his ex and confront a world full of unleashed sexuality where no-one shares his "core values". I suppose that's what your son is seeing in it! Although the jokes might be a bit crude for his tender age. But where else at that time of the day can he learn the difference between femur and tibia, and get quotes ranging from Samuel Johnson ("[Sometimes the] chains of [brotherhood] are too weak to be felt until they are to strong to be broken.") to Proverbs?

    As they say, growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional. Long live the resistance!

  2. Hey, Anon, thanks for your comments. I always welcome a different perspective - paarticularly when they are so well phrased. And I'm with you on the growing up malarkey - who wants it?

  3. Fortunately, a review of the show put me off the idea of watching it. Mind you, the trailers would have done that, too. But I'm clearly no judge of comedy because I found Little Britain cruel, tasteless and not remotely funny. I also find May Contain Nuts funny, too, so my opinion's obviously crap.

  4. Well, now I have to catch it on BBC and see for myself, just what you were trying to avoid. They look the part...

    Maybe the best thing about this show will be enjoying your sarcastic review of it.

  5. ... catch it, definitely. Episode 5 has an unusual take on postnatal depression.

    By the way, I would say that this show is very different from Little Britain. Although they share a rather rustic humour, Little Britain doesn't really care for any of it's characters (I think that's what makes it so cruel; I'm barely able to watch it by fast-forwarding through the worst 2/3 of the sketches). In Krod Mandoon all protagonists are at least occasionally shown as individuals (with all their shortcomings), which makes it more enjoyable.