Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Why Can't We Have A Decent Fantasy Show?

Well, in watching Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire over on Comedy Central here in the US, it's clear that the show is a shallow parody of a genre that its creators don't enjoy or are even particularly familiar with beyond the basest elements. Don't get me wrong, it was amusing in a puerile sort of way - tastless gay jokes, sex jokes, gay sex jokes, and the occasional slapstick prevail throughout - and I will probably end up watching at least the next few episodes if only to see what they do to abuse poor John Rhys Davies and Eliza Dushku.

What is more amusing to me - though also just as disheartening in its own way - is that the show seems to be as much, if not more so, a parody of fantasy gaming as it is about the fantasy genre as a whole. Certain scenes seem to be built around tropes of D&D and its ilk such as Loquasto's firing into melee (and frequently hitting his friend Krod), taking a mulligan (which seemed almost a direct reference to dice rolling in its own amusing way), and the death of General Arcadius (I spent at least 30 seconds there counting off hitpoints from miltiple crossbow bolts and a spear to the chest).

The end result is a somewhat watchable show if you can get past the parts that bother you - and there most certainly will be parts that will bother you whether it's the, let's be kind and call her "promiscuous" Aneka or the over the top Bruce whom just about everybody with common sense will find offensive once he tells you the two ways in which his lover, the General Arcadius, transmitted the prophecy that supposedly will drive the show's plot, and that can be genuinely amusing at times.

But in the end, I have to wonder why we have to settle for this kind of thing. Why is it that the only halfway decent fantasy movie to make it to the big screen since the terrible Lord of the Rings trilogy is Harry Potter? Harry Potter poorly adapted no less. Why is it that fantasy movies made for television are consigned to the likes of the absolute drek that the Sci-Fi Channel (or should I say SyFy?) produces that aren't even watchable when extremely drunk. The Sands of Oblivion springs to mind here.

Why is fantasy reduced to being the ghetto genre of the Science-Fiction ghetto? Why the hell can't we get a decent show or movie made that isn't a shallow parody or just plain old terrible?


  1. For the money being wasted on this drek we could have had "Korgoth of Barbaria" instead. I'm just saying...

  2. Hollywood execs and producers will never, never, never understand or respect the fantasy genre. Their frame of reference is the swords and sandals genre of the 50's and 60's, and something like Xena is about as good as the TV shows in that area are ever going to get.

    Then again, at one time the superhero genre was stuck in the mire of the Batman and Spiderman live TV shows (i.e., infantile) so obviously things can turn around.

  3. Yeah, I wish the could have done a better job on this one. The chick is hot though.

    I thought only two things were funny: Krod getting his hand bolted to the badguys back by his buddy's crossbow, and also the bad guy riding his horse in the hallway, his lackey's following alongside all scrunched up against the wall.

    The creators claim to be huge Monty Python fans, and are injecting that kind of humor into the show. I say Epic Fail, gentlemen.

  4. If you consider the LotR movies to be terrible, you will never get what you are looking for. This is the sad and sober truth.