When I was in the Twilight fandom (don’t judge!) we used to joke that the pages of the books had to be laced with heroin and the movies full of subliminal messages because there was no other reasonable explanation for why we loved it the way we did.
(operative word being did, it does eventually run it’s course 😉 )
I had gotten to the point in my fan path where I felt I really couldn’t avoid Guy of Gisborne any longer. The leather and guy-liner aside, there had to be something to this character.
After I realized that the show was called Robin Hood and not Guy of Gisborne… I found it on Netflix and settled in to see what all the hoopla was about.
My immediate first impressions:
Richard’s not the star of this show?
Robin is a twerpy douche
is this supposed to be funny? because the subtleties are cracking me up!
I needed to watch more than just one episode in order to form an opinion of Guy and to get a real feel for the show.
4 hours later a box popped up on my television screen asking me if I wanted to continue watching. That sent me into a fit of giggles, like the TV was judging my viewing choices!
(the TV does this to guard against being left on, unattended)
A lot of negative things have been said about this show; the acting, the costumes, the writing. I find it generally enjoyable. I think, as adults, we judge it unfairly. It’s a family show, sprinkled with contemplative points amid the action and veiled humor. It was easy to see that Guy would take the forefront though. My kids, who wandered in and out during my first viewing, became more interested in Guy’s plight than the seemingly obvious hero of Robin.
Guy wore black, he was mean, and he held a job that gave him power; this automatically equaled “bad guy”. Robin was dressed in a more mismatched style, had a lighter disposition, and was essentially homeless; this equaled “good guy”. And, of course, there is always a girl stuck in the middle.
As my kids became more interested, my son for Robin’s magical archery skills
and my daughter for pretty Marian and boyish looking Robin, they both soon remarked on the flipped issues.
Robin was doing the right thing by fighting injustice, yet he was stealing from unsuspecting travelers to do so.
Guy was being ruthless with the peasants, but it was the Sheriff who was forcing that kill-or-be-killed mentality onto him.
Marian was attached to Robin because of childhood memories and their shared values, yet it was Guy who appreciated her for who she was and was always trying to protect her.
My 9 and 13 year olds were a bit less articulate in their explanations, of course, but their musings and questions told me that they understood what was going on under the surface.
After I went on to watch the rest of the episodes on my own, with my adult sensibilities, I had many positive and negative reactions to the characters, storylines, realism, etc.
But it’s that first simplistic impression that stays with me, and it’s why I find myself going back to Robin Hood, aka Guy of Gisborne, again and again.