The New Adventures of Robin Hood
The New Adventures of Robin Hood illustrates the dangers inherent in trying to kid a kidder; in attempting to be broader and more ludicrous than the already silly Hercules and Xena, Robin Hood becomes dithering, absurd, and ultimately annoying. Its hero isn’t the problem; Matthew Porretta played Will Scarlet O’Hara, a dapper dagger thrower, in Mel Brooks’ 1993 feature film Robin Hood: Men in Tights, and he’s got the Sherwood Forest swagger down cold. But the rest of the show lacks any original thoughts about plot, humor, or action. (Like all the series under discussion, Hood‘s battle scenes are cartoonishly bloodless.) Perhaps most disappointing is the way Maid Marion (Barbara Griffin) has been turned into a leather-swaddled babe — Xena sans empowerment.
The season premiere does introduce an amusing new character: Kemal, a slit-eyed mercenary-turned-Merry Man, played by Hakim Alston, a former world heavyweight kickboxing and full-contact-karate champion who’s got the slinky moves to prove it. Kemal’s presence makes no sense in this archery epic, but when he lashes out at an enemy with a killer toe stab, the roar that accompanies his thrust is more convincing than the synthesizer-enhanced ululations on Roar. C-