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This has to be the funniest, most scathing comedy series of all times. Rowan Atkinson, whose persona and looks change with each reincarnation, is, in these episodes, a strutting peacock always on the lookout for funds to support his lifestyle and he is, in a word, priceless! The supporting cast is without peer...Baldrick the filthy: Lord Percy Percy, the stupidest git that ever drew breath; Queenie, the psychotic; Nursie with the udder fixation; Lord Melchett, the brown-noser.......all are perfect. And others who pop up in particular episodes are spot on. The famous Blackadder sneer begins in these episodes and the insults fly like fleas from Baldrick's hair. In Blackadder II, "Chains" is the one that will make you choke with laughter. Hugh Laurie, as Prince Ludwig who doesn't want to "inconwenience the quveen" is hilarious and the secret of Lord Melchett's sheep is revealed.....baaaaaa. If you like Blackadder in all it's iterations, buy the book "Blackadder, the Whole Damn Dynasty".....it contains the complete scripts of each episode and you can laugh all over again. This is the best of the best in British humor!
To many who watched the ongoing saga of the Blackadder family at the time of
release, this is the best Blackadder series of them all - and they have a
very strong case. Although this is not my own personal favourite (I prefer
the original series), this second installment is a superb piece of comedy.
The time-period moves on approximately sixty years to Elizabethan England and follows the story of Edmund Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson) - the great-grandson of the original slimy Blackadder. This time Edmund is not a Prince of the realm but a Lord in the court of Good Queen Bess (the wonderful Miranda Richardson). Tim McInnerny continues in the role as Percy and he threatens to steal the show throughout. Percy's character is built on from the first series, being given a more child-like and innocent personality to go with the lack of brain cells, and this combined with McInnerny's fantastic performance gives the comedy an added dimension and direction. The Baldrick role (Tony Robinson) is also reprised, but instead of the street-wise peasant with the cunning plan of series one, we get the first incarnation of the Baldrick character we are now more familiar with - dirty, smelly and incredibly stupid. In this series it works, because now Blackadder himself is significantly brighter and more refined than his ancestor and this time he's armed with a razor-sharp wit. The characters do complement each other well, but the close-nit group of the first series is now missing with Blackadder resenting and mistreating his sidekicks throughout, but this is used well for comic effect.
The supporting cast is also excellent and the characters they play are brilliantly written. Elizabeth herself is portrayed as a spoilt little school-girl, complete with screams! Richardson plays this role superbly and with hilarious results with the queen being highly unpredictable and volatile. Elizabeth also has a couple of loyal sidekicks, Nursy (Patsy Byrne) the woman who weaned her as a child, and Melchett (Stephen Fry), her advisor. All of these characters add weight to the comedy, and are sufficiently different to each other to provide alternative directions in comedy.
Although Blackadder does have a basic goal in this series - to marry Elizabeth and become her consort - it does not drive the plot as much in this series as it did in the first. The plots for each episode however are still extremely entertaining and contain the basic premise of Blackadder getting into a desperate situation that he must get out of - with the aid (or hindrance) of Percy and Baldrick. The stories are well-thought out and the comedy a good-blend of dry-wit from Blackadder and farcical situations. The stories are well scripted and contain some excellent supporting characters played memorably by the likes of Rik Mayall (of Young Ones and Drop Dead Fred fame), Ronald Lacey (Raiders of the Lost Ark) and ex Dr Who Tom Baker.
This series of Blackadder successfully alters the main character into the intelligent and dry cynic, because it does not do so at the expense of the other characters and the plots. Ben Elton's influence however is evident with the supporting characters being of the less intelligent type, aluding to things to come in the next two series where these characters becoming the main target for the humour. Blackadder II works so well because it is the stories that drive the humour with the dry-wit as an added bonus - things were about to be reversed.
Like the first series this is a classic of comedy and well deserves its standing as, arguably, the most popular Blackadder series. The first and last series of Blackadder could not be further apart in terms of humour and subtlety - this series fuses both styles to create, perhaps the definitive Blackadder.
Blackadder II is a vast improvement over its less popular predecessor. The second series was almost not made due to the lack of success of the original, and clearly the writers re-considered Blackadder's character. He, rather than the now dull-witted Baldrick, is the more intelligent of the pair and his character is now quick-witted, cunning and offers much in sarcastic humour. This, and possible Blackadder goes Forth, is the best of all the Blackadder series. Blackadder's new character is much funnier and Atkinson plays it masterfully. The series itself takes place some one hundred years after the first, just before the turn of the 17th century. I recommend it to all comedy fans.
Blackadder II is the finest series of them all. we have the perfect cast
and the crispest writing. Everything is spot on here.
Miranda Richardson joins the cast, as a particularly loopy Queen Elizabeth. Stehen Fry joins in as the toadying Lord Melchett and the delightful Patsy Byrne is the daft Nursie. Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, and Tim McInnerny are back as the descendants of their previous characters. Percy is still a cretin, but now so is Baldrick! Luckily, Lord Edmund is a step above his ancestor, even if his station in life has fallen.
The guests this time include Hugh Laurie as mad Prince Ludwig, Rik Mayall in his first turn as the great Lord Flasheart, and Tom Baker as a rather insane sea captain.
If you never get to see any of the other series, watch this one.
Lord Edmund Blackadder is a Lord in the court of Queen Elizabeth I. With
his long suffering servant Baldrick and `close-friend' Percy he must wiggle
his way through several sticky situations to come through with his political
state and his skin intact!
This second of four series of Blackadder ranks as one of the consistently best. It may not be as fresh as the thrid and fourth series mainly because the later series were sharper, crueler and benefited from very familiar (and by then quite famous) characters and actors. The stories were always a little absurd but built around the deadpan, downbeat Blackadder. Plots include the Blackadder falling in love with his female man-servant Bob, beheading a man who was meant to be pardoned or just being kidnapped by a French master of disguise.
They all are filled with sarcasm and wit and make up for the daffy plots. Atkinson is comfortable in his role but is better in series 3. Robinson is funny in a poor role of Baldrick. McInnerny is OK as percy but is not as good an idiot as Laurie's Prince in 3. The royal court is funny with Fry, Richardson and Byrne all good.
Overall this is as good as all the series are. Witty, cruel, sarcastic and with off the wall plots and extreme characters it's typical of how good British comedy can be.
'Blackadder 2' provoked outrage when first broadcast in the U.K. Those who'd liked the first series were extremely unhappy at the show's reformatting; Nina Myskow, television critic of 'The News Of The World' bestowed on Rowan Atkinson her infamous 'wally of the week' title. Its only with the benefit of hindsight can we see now that the changes were absolutely spot-on; Edmund becoming a sarcastic cad, Baldrick turning stupid, and the expensive film sequences dropped in favour of stronger characterisations and tighter plots. Without the likes of Brian Blessed to constantly upstage him, Atkinson was free to dominate the show. Ben Elton replaced Atkinson as Richard Curtis' co-writer - another wise move. As the squeaky-voiced 'Queenie', Miranda Richardson was simply outstanding. Tom Baker played 'Captain 'Redbeard' Rum' in one episode, a tour-de-force of over-the-top acting. The weight of public opinion gradually swung behind 'Blackadder 2' - its now regarded as better than its predecessor.
I adore this. It's about as funny as old-fashioned brutal British sarcasm gets. Not only that, but the characters themselves are fantastic, despite the theory that it is "being a true and japesome historie of Englande" is perhaps a little unlikely. Favourite episode? "Head", has both verbal and physical side-splitting hilarity, and although the lines are occasionally a little predictable, their fantastic delivery makes up for it. In my opinion, this is by far and away the best of all the Blackadder series if only for the Miranda Richardson factor(perhaps I am a little biased....) but I would recommend this to just about anyone in need of a laugh. Unless they had a heart condition.
Reading through the many comments on Blackadder i agree with the
majority that it was an extremely funny and enjoyable show, especially
once they had sorted out the main character from being a whiny no hoper
with a stupid voice...
time and time again Rowan Atkinson has played characters like this and they are just not funny...someone has even suggested that Mr Bean is Atkinson at his best...
Blackadder (series 2,3 and four) will remain a testament to great writing and performance...idiot characters should hopefully be forgotten to time.
This series is so brilliant, so witty, so laugh out loud funny, I watch them over and over again. I actually did NOT care for the first one (where Rowan was Edmund, the Duke). It seemed to be all over the place, embracing the history more than the comedy. But this one, Blackadder II, is MY favorite, even though Three and Four are also good. Four set during WWI is hit and miss, but some of the episodes are exceptional -especially the very last one. Funny, yet incredibly moving. Everyone's work in this series is fantastic. BELLS and HEAD are my two favorite episodes of this series. Rowan Atkinson was born to say Elton and Curtis' words and Miranda Richardson's performance as Queen Elizabeth, in all it's spoiled rotten pouting, is comic gold. The only American series that even came close to this (And I give them credit for even trying) was the summer series on CBS, THANKS - which was about the first American Pilgrim family at Plymouth, Mass. 1621. It, too, was brilliant satire, but, gee - American audiences preferred watching the premeire of Who Wants To Be A $%#@%%$ Millionaire!!! This Blackadder series IS available on video in America - so seek it out!!!
Simply fantastic. Whilst this isn't my fav series (I prefer series III) it is still hugely funny. Unfortunately the humour is very British and probably won't work in the USA. Pity. This series is a huge improvement on the first, the increased interplay (piss-taking) between Blackadder and Baldrick is the key (it also helps having a little more stability in the story line. Simply fantastic, can be watched over and over again, although one must avoid quoting it on a daily basis!
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