|Index||2 reviews in total|
While any Blackadder episode is better than no episode at all, I really
disliked this final installment of the second series. While I noticed
that the other review was quite glowing, I had a much, much different
reaction. For the most part, the episode was undone by a rather dull
plot and horrible overacting (even for this series) by Hugh Laurie.
The show begins with learning that there has been a series of kidnappings. As for Edmund, he is completely unsympathetic about this and recommends to the Queen that she not bother paying the ransom, as anyone stupid enough to be captured deserved to die. Naturally, only minutes later, he and Melchett are both victims of this bizarre gang. Bizarre because the men doing the kidnapping speak Spanish and their boss is a German (Laurie) with an outrageous accent. Every second he's on camera, he mugs horribly his accent is about what you'd expect from a middle school student who is trying to make his classmates laugh--without much success. I frankly found the character completely incomprehensible--one of the worst characters from any Adder series. As for the end, it comes COMPLETELY from left field and actually makes no sense at all--like is was tacked on as an afterthought. The only pluses I can find in the show is the costume worn by Nursie and Blackadder's great one-liners. A sad disappointment to a great series.
On the whole, Series 2 was better than Series 1, and elevated
Blackadder's status from slightly dull to a must-see. Thank God for Ben
Elton is all we can say. Series 2 may have ended, but Blackadder is far
from over. It has reached a peak, and will stay at that peak forever,
and become one of Britain's best comedies, and a highlight of the 80s.
Anyway, let's start the review of the episode.
Chains spends no time lingering on details - Blackadder is kidnapped about 3 minutes into it, with Melchett. Blackadder's true colours are revealed in this episode - he is nasty to everyone, even if he is stuck with them, and never loses his cool. Hugh Laurie is great as Prince Ludwig - from here onwards, he will appear in every Blackadder episode. The episode once again reaches hilarious heights - Melchett's shameful past is revealed too subtly, though. We once again switch between Blackadder's situation and Queenie's situations, but while Blackadder's scenes have brains, Queenie's situations aren't brilliantly written and should have been left out. The episode is clearly resolved in the end - as it is with all Blackadder episodes - but there is a surprise ending - do not press stop on the credits sequence.
On the whole, Chains is a very funny episode, and a worthy close to what has now become a great comedy. Spiffing close to a spiffing series, which is soon to become even greater. 9/10
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