|Index||3 reviews in total|
Major Star may not be as good as Corporal Punishment or Captain Cook,
but it is a well deserved 10/10, and is hilarious and fresh as well.
Though cross-dressing has already been tackled in other Blackadder
episodes, the idea to bring it into World War I is one that needs to be
done carefully, or it will look stupid. But it has been done well here,
and another star of an idea is to have General Melchett fall in love
with George - who is dressing up as a girl under the name of Georgina.
Though we never actually see the two together (a slight disappointment,
especially as the entire episode revolves around them), Blackadder and
George's conversations help keep everything in check, and we actually
do feel a sense of love between them. Blackadder is once again horrible
about everything - not even Charlie Chaplin, the hero of early
film-making, is free from his nastiness. We do see less of Baldrick in
this episode, and he isn't exactly at his wildest and stupidest, though
every character has his day, and in this case, it's Lt. George's day.
Once again, the girl called "Bob" who thinks she is a man shows up - we
last saw her in Series 2. Though she isn't particularly significant in
the story, her role was effective, and the whole episode would not have
worked without it. The episode revolves around a talent show, and
Baldrick is in it - doing a rubbish Charlie Chaplin impersonation (with
a costume consisting of only a black bowler hat and dead slug). Yes,
once again, Blackadder tries to stay away from the things that the
episode revolves around, and just keeps us updated by speech, but that
doesn't matter, because with an episode this good and well-written,
you're probably going to be having too much fun to notice them anyway.
On the whole, Major Star is a very good episode, but it, and the previous two, will be no match compared to the next three episodes, which will actually get us prepared for the end. Still a spiffing job, though. Well done! 10/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After the excellent "Corporal Punishment" and before the wonderful
"Private Plane" there sits a story about two men in drag. One is George
and the other is actually a woman in real life, fan-favourite Bob. It's
not quite the same seeing Bob without Flashheart but the next episode
will rectify that error.
Things kick off with Edmund pretending he loves Charlie Chaplin so as to be given a task by Melchett that could take him to The London Palladium. It's suspiciously similar to the King & Country competition from "Captain Cook" but it takes a distinctly different story direction with it and is arguably the better of the two.
The task he receives is to plan a show for the men to increase morale debuting in the Palladium. Edmund is given Bob (He, Sir, he, he?! See, you're laughing already!) to help and among the acts we have 'The Three Stupid Twerps' (the big joke being there's only two of them), Baldrick's Chaplin impression (consisting of a bowler hat and a slug) and 'The Gorgeous Georgina' which is Lt George in a dress. It's Baldrick who makes this scene though as Edmund responds with a telegram insulting the real Chaplin in Hollywood. The telegram will receive a response (via Darling) at the end of the episode and that is home to one of the funniest putdowns you'll hear on a TV show (Don't let him ever.... Stop). Edmund gets revenge on Darling by pretending Baldrick's slug is a liquorish allsort and makes for the most sickening ending of any Blackadder as Darling bites into it. It's reminiscent of the pee-drinking from "Potato" and just as funny.
The main bulk of the episode comes from Melchett believing 'Georgina' to be an actual woman and falling in love and the two of them get engaged! It's a daft premise but it's done well, even though we never actually see the two together which would really improve proceedings. Their apparent love leads to the true dilemma of the episode as Edmund has to save George from the horrible fate but at the cost of his leading-lady. Natural, Melchett believes Bob's replacement 'drag'-act to be an actual man (!!!) and cancels the show.
The best bit though is when Melchett plans what to say to his beloved 'Chipmunk' as it plays up to the silly name of his right-hand man Darling. This was an idea that "Captain Cook" briefly touched upon and "Private Plane" will do it again but it's done best here.
Not the best of series four but still a great edition of Blackadder. 8/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
By the way, when you watch "The Blackadder Goes Forth", don't look at
it or any of the other Blackadder series as history lessons! In the
case of this episode, the time-line for the Russian Revolution is all
wrong, but with this show does it really matter? For history teachers
like myself, this is a tiny worry--for all others, no.
This episode concerns Captain Blackadder trying to organize a show in order to escape the hellish front lines. That's because General Melchett has promised that if anyone can create a good show, they will go on tour...in London! Being a total realist and coward, he jumps at the chance.
In a funny nod to an earlier series, there is a soldier named "Bob"--and is obviously a girl just like the Bob from the first episode from "Blackadder II". However, in this case Blackadder quickly recognizes her as a girl. This is actually even the same actress who'd previously played Bob--Gabrielle Glaister.
Also rather funny is seeing Hugh Laurie in the show dressed as a lady. This was a great addition, as seeing him in drag was both funny AND rather convincing--so convincing to General Melchett that he demands to have a date with 'Georgina' before the show goes on its London tour. What follows are many homosexual jokes and innuendos---and a proposal from Melchett! Considering that there are three more episodes, it's pretty safe to say that Blackadder's scheme is less than successful in the end.
One of the best in the series.
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