Archive for June, 2011


June 28, 2011

I live in a building that has only ONE cable option.  NO ATT U-VERSE!  NO SATELITE DISHES!  The only available option is repugnant to me based on my long history of servitude with that cable conglomerate!  I vowed to watch less television anyway!  I went to Lowes and bought one of those antennas that picks up HD signals.  I am a richer man because of the experience.  I have sub-channels provided by the local affiliates.  I get to watch all manner of B movies, Elvira, blast from the past and Julia Child sober.  All in HD for free.

I watch Robin Hood almost 5 times a week.  When I was a kid the black and white English production was serialized.  I forget which channel it came on but it had to be 2, 4, 7, or 9.  Most likely channel 9 in Windsor.  Watching it back then was for sheer after school entertainment value.These days, watching The Adventures of Robin Hood provides a history and ethics lesson.  I understand that the storylines are bias toward the commoners and noblemen loyal to King Richard the Lionheart but there is also much to be said about loyalty, camaraderie and religious values.  There is also thievery, chicanery and what Iceberg Slim might have called ‘the grift’ but it’s all done in the name of Richard the Lionhearted who represented The Holy Church.

When I compare The Adventures of Robin Hood to modern television, the quality and entertainment value of new television seems simplistic and cliché at best.  A lot of what I watch on contemporary television is a little scary in it’s breadth and economy.  I grew up on programs that presented clearly defined heroes and sexuality was left to one’s imagination.  I used to look forward to Ricky Nelson singing a song with his band, at the end of his family’s show, or having a dance party while watchin Swingin Time on Channel 9. 

Things changed when regular tv had to compete with cable television.  Today everything on tv is a little gay, formulaic or creepy.  The competition to see who can create the creepiest serial killer is hair-raising, especially as the lifeimitatesartgroup of creeps that watch those shows may be getting pointers from what they see on tv.

The Adventures of Robin Hood is a morality play on the forces of good and evil.  Today the show serves as a reminder as to how the rich and powerful were “granted” their legacies by the scoundrels that ravaged the lumpen and fattened their pockets.  It also serves as a historical account of Europe’s social and economic development as seen through the eyes of 1950’s English writers.  The evil Normans remind me of post bankrupted General Motors.  The Sheriff of Nottingham is British Petroleum; a necessary evil, toxic, greedy and unrepentant.  Robin Hood, the nobleman swindled out of his birthright really has no modern-day contemporary.  He’s a little of Tony Soprano and little Judge Greg Mathis; ruling with an iron fist while meting out justice for all that suffer under oppressive Norman rule. 

I am particularly enamored by Friar Tuck.  His intelligence, strength, compassion and lust for good food and drink remind me of a fat man I know!  Lady in waiting Marian Fiztwalter is portrayed as independent and forthright as any modern woman but never succumbs to Robin Hood’s stilted passion and frequent French kisses!  She’s also bangin them tights! 

The show is a little bit of reality, and a lot of fiction but very entertaining nonetheless.  The Adventures of Robin Hood makes the kid in me long for a time when we were less aware of corporate avarice and the military industrial complex.  A time when we were optimistic about the future and good always triumphed over evil.