|Index||6 reviews in total|
In the beginning, I thought, "Oh no, not yet another mockery of the search for the Holy Grail!" I watched, though, and by the end of the first mini-episode, I was totally taken in. The dialogs are brilliant, witty, absurd, and screamingly funny. I honestly don't find any faults with this little jewel. I didn't know we, french, could be as good and daring as Monty Python... We can. It's a relief. Thanks to Alexandre Astier, who dared come out with a preposterous idea (King Arthur is the only intelligent guy in a environment of dorks, dimwits and blockheads: namely, the knights of the Round Table), the tradition of Audiard carries on. The best french TV series I've seen in a very long time.
First, I must say that I'm far from being a fan of french humour or french comedies. But this TV-show, in spite of its shortness, is brilliant. Some of its lines have already become mythical, as the "For example, you take the present day, you wait for a week, well you'll end up with the same day as today! But be careful, you might make a mistake, it's not an accurate science..." (approximately translated). Perceval, King Arthur and Leodagan are real funny characters. I have rarely met such smartness on words, on images, I recommend this show to any amateurs of parodies and besides the costumes and sets are great and well used.
This is one of the best comedies I've ever seen. As a translator, I'd
be hard-pressed to put this into English - it pushes the envelope to
the limit in its own language. The wordplay is amazing.
Each episode is about 3.5 minutes (!), over 6 seasons. In the first three seasons, the episodes are stand-alone, with a few seeds planted for the story arcs that arise in the 4th and 5th, which take a serious turn while remaining funny. I haven't yet seen season 6. Every episode, very intelligently written, has us coming back for the next (for the time being, they can be seen on YouTube).
A humorous take on Arthurian legend, other than Père Blaise, the Roman-educated Arthur is the only erudite person in Kaamelott. He's surrounded by a bunch of "billes", "marteaux", "clodos" and what not, who exasperate him with primitive values and general ineptness, a misuse of the language, and misunderstanding of the simplest instructions.
Each character is distinct from the others. Perceval, for example, is an idiot-savant who simply can't get an instruction right. Leodagan, Arthur's father-in-law, is the irascible knee-jerk rule-by-force male member of the "couple infernal" in which he's married to the shrew Dame Seli. Their battles are legendary. Their daughter, Guenevièvre, is the twit who's married to Arthur. Their son Yvain is a lazy oaf whose best friend, Gavain, is not much better. Bohort is a febrile coward whose face is always contorted with tension, Merlin is addle-pated, the Lady of the Lake is visible only to Arthur, which Arthur can't get others to understand, and so on.
Despite all this, it's quite faithful to the actual legend and the story manages to build up a lot of tension as well as tenderness through season 5. It has earned an ardent following in France and Canada. If you have any understanding of French, you gotta see it, otherwise, you might find some episodes with English subtitles on YouTube.
I have been watching Kaamelot since it came out. It is probably the funniest TV Show ever made (even compared to the US TV Shows). It describes King Arthur's Legend with great sense of humor and a really nice way of filming it. Don't even think in terms of respecting the history here or you will be disappointed. But my point is this : as old the show gets as old it getting better in terms of content and realization. I've heard that about 15 countries have already bought the project for local diffusion and Ican't do nothing else than encourage people to turn their TVs on whenever that show airs. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Kaamelott is about King Arthurs and his knights. OK everybody knows the
story, or believe knowing the story.
In fact this was not as the legend told us, and this show reveal it. King Arthur, is a man inhabited with the vision of the legend he can create, but alas nothing goes the right way. All characters are totally stupid and king Arthur has a lot to do to stay sane. Situations are medieval but vocabulary is modern, dialogs are fast and brilliant in the tradition of french dialog author Michel Audiar. A pure marvel. This show is an huge success in France. There are 200 episodes shot and the broadcaster has ordered 100 more.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I discovered Kaamelott about two or three weeks after its first airing,
and since I'm a fan.
Who was the fool who said all knights were serious, clean and excellent characters, just like Sir Launcelot ? They were human, after all... Just check an episode of Kaamelott where Percival and Karadoc are present, and you'll see how human they really are. In Kaamelott, Knights of the Round Table are foul-mouthed, stubborn, stupid, greedy drunkards, except Launcelot of course, and Sir Bors, whose greatest fear is meeting a rabbit at night while peeing in the woods near the camp ; Merlin is anything but a powerful wizard ; the peasants find any possible way to complain to the king - about tasteless bread or the murder of a white chicken, for examples. Honestly, King Arthur is no better than his subjects, but as their leader, he has a real destiny, a real goal in his life, so, he's often desperate by its comrades.
That's, my friends, the way Alexandre Astier chose to show us the world and court of Arthur, king of Britons. Here are his wonderful talents of screenwriter/director/gagman/actor. Behind him and his vision, the main story remains quite faithful to the legend. Add to this a bunch of excellent comedians (I can't find one of the regular characters who isn't great, same thing for the guests, except maybe Elie Semoun, always a little loud and excited for my taste), a little music, nice shooting places, and you'll get one of the best french TV shows of the two last decades.
As time flies, the tone of the series became more sinister, but the fun isn't over at all, and they are many in France, such as me, who wait for the next season to be on air !
Kaamelott rules ! Hail to the King Alexandre !
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