General Melchett holds a competition to paint a cover for for "King and Country" magazine. Despite his intense dislike of the magazine, Captain Edumnd Blackadder enters the competition as the winner will likely escape the trenches for a while. Unfortunately, Blackadder has no artistic talent and must rely on other skills (specifically: deceit) in order to win.Written by
General Melchett tells the Lieutenant that his uncle Bertie sends his regards and asks for him to have a week off in April to attend the boat races. Hugh Laurie plays Bertie Wooster in the TV series Jeeves and Wooster, and Stephen Fry plays his valet, Jeeves. Hugh Laurie was also on the rowing team at Cambridge which not only refers to the request to have him attend the boat races, but to Laurie and Fry's hand-clapping game about rowing. See more »
Blackadder states being a war artist could spell his way out of the trenches. George replies 'yours?' as if he and Baldrick want to get out too. However, until the very end of the last episode, they are naively playing out the view (formed by nationalistic war propaganda) that they are happy to be there, or at least honoured. See more »
Although the fourth Blackadder series is very highly rated, I never was a huge fan of this installment. Maybe most of the problem is I am a history teacher and I can't possibly think of a less funny period in history than WWI (perhaps WWII, but this is up for debate). After all, making trench warfare and death funny is a toughie! As for this particular episode, I found it to be amazingly unfunny. Most of the laughs seemed to be about cooking rats, turds and the like.
The show is like subsequent ones in that Captain Blackadder's goal is to get himself off the front lines--thus sparing himself from a horrible death. In this case, he learns about an art contest to make a cover for a patriotic rag. While he has absolutely no talent, he learns that George is very good--and he hopes to claim George's painting is his own. When he IS selected to paint the cover, he thinks his fortunates have improved--though he actually is being selected for a suicide mission! At the end of the show, you learn that Blackadder, George and Baldrick all avoid front-line action by posing as chefs and going to work at headquarters. At this point, there are more turd jokes and jokes about making custard from a cat.
I first saw this series when it debuted and have loved the other Blackadder shows. However, just like it debuted two decades ago, I found this amazingly unfunny compared to the other shows. My opinion stands--at least for episode one.
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