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The New Adventures of Robin Hood: Witches of the Abbey

The New Adventures of Robin Hood: Witches of the Abbey (Mon. (3), 7-8 p.m., TNT) Filmed in Lithuania by Tarnview Ltd. of Ireland and Dune S.A. of France in association with Metropole Television and P.E.C.F. in France, Baltic Ventures International Ltd. and Warner Bros. International Television Prod. Executive producers, Tom Kuhn, Fred Weintraub; co-producers, Jackie Dubey Weintraub, Barbara Weintraub; supervising producer, Sandra Weintraub; writer, Susan Graham; director, Terry Marcel; director of photography, Serge Halsdori; editor, Pascal Cuissot; music, Frederic Porte; production design, Galius Klicius; sound, Harry Brooks; casting, John and Ros Hubbard. Cast: Matthew Porretta, Anna Galvin, Richard Galvin, Martyn Ellis, Mary Tamm, Maria Lenon, Chantal Marcks, Shayne Anderson. First-ever exclusive original series made expressly for TNT, "The New Adventures of Robin Hood" is "Hercules" with much better grooming, giving us a decidedly '80s Robin Hood who looks a little too much like Matthew McConaughey and acts a bit too much as if he's preparing for his close-up in an Old Spice ad. Little John resembles Big Fabio, there's a leather-clad Maid Marion and more sheer campy wonderment per square inch than any dozen Las Vegas-style Parisian revues. Actually, this is high praise. "Robin Hood" aspires to be "Star Wars" in a forest and mostly succeeds because the cast seems to understand it isn't doing Shakespeare in the Park. The special effects from Gene Grigg and Michael Clifford are used liberally, and the stunts (courtesy Sergej Golovkin and David Morizot) with cheesy abandon. But there is a sense of breezy fun in "Robin Hood" that balances the over-the-top shenanigans and casts an eccentric spell, even if none of it makes a whole lot of sense. In tonight's episode of the show that premiered on TNT to huge ratings on Jan. 13, bearded, charismatic hero Robin (Matthew Porretta) is summoned when a trio of gorgeous and heavily rouged witches (Mary Tamm, Maria Lenon and Chantal Marcks) snare Little John (Richard Ashton) in their sick little spell. These witches, who act a lot like lonely Queens housewives playing dress-up, have kept a guy named Brendan (Shayne Anderson) as their personal slave for the past 10 years. They spot Little John in their bubbling cauldron, dig his rippling muscles and decide to summon him for a fistfight with Brendan. The winner gets to be their slave. Now, one would figure that the guy who has been satisfying the sick needs of these women for a decade would know this and lose on purpose. But no! He fights hard, and the resulting scuffle plays like Tuesday night at the wrestling matches, complete with head butts and pile drivers and eye gouges. "Oh look, a full Nelson!" remarks one of the witches between licks of her own lip gloss. After Little John's victory, his slavery is sealed. It is left for Robin to fake his own death and be entombed in his own family's crypt to save LJ. Turns out that one of the witches is his aunt. Her side of the family always was a little weird. Susan Graham's script colorfully embraces the show's outlandish sensibility, while Terry Marcel's direction on location in Lithuania gets the most out of his fanciful characters and situations. Tech credits are solid. ---Ray Richmond The New Adventures of Robin Hood

The New Adventures of Robin Hood: Witches of the Abbey (Mon. (3), 7-8 p.m., TNT) Filmed in Lithuania by Tarnview Ltd. of Ireland and Dune S.A. of France in association with Metropole Television and P.E.C.F. in France, Baltic Ventures International Ltd. and Warner Bros. International Television Prod. Executive producers, Tom Kuhn, Fred Weintraub; co-producers, Jackie Dubey Weintraub, Barbara Weintraub; supervising producer, Sandra Weintraub; writer, Susan Graham; director, Terry Marcel; director of photography, Serge Halsdori; editor, Pascal Cuissot; music, Frederic Porte; production design, Galius Klicius; sound, Harry Brooks; casting, John and Ros Hubbard. Cast: Matthew Porretta, Anna Galvin, Richard Galvin, Martyn Ellis, Mary Tamm, Maria Lenon, Chantal Marcks, Shayne Anderson. First-ever exclusive original series made expressly for TNT, “The New Adventures of Robin Hood” is “Hercules” with much better grooming, giving us a decidedly ’80s Robin Hood who looks a little too much like Matthew McConaughey and acts a bit too much as if he’s preparing for his close-up in an Old Spice ad. Little John resembles Big Fabio, there’s a leather-clad Maid Marion and more sheer campy wonderment per square inch than any dozen Las Vegas-style Parisian revues. Actually, this is high praise. “Robin Hood” aspires to be “Star Wars” in a forest and mostly succeeds because the cast seems to understand it isn’t doing Shakespeare in the Park. The special effects from Gene Grigg and Michael Clifford are used liberally, and the stunts (courtesy Sergej Golovkin and David Morizot) with cheesy abandon. But there is a sense of breezy fun in “Robin Hood” that balances the over-the-top shenanigans and casts an eccentric spell, even if none of it makes a whole lot of sense. In tonight’s episode of the show that premiered on TNT to huge ratings on Jan. 13, bearded, charismatic hero Robin (Matthew Porretta) is summoned when a trio of gorgeous and heavily rouged witches (Mary Tamm, Maria Lenon and Chantal Marcks) snare Little John (Richard Ashton) in their sick little spell. These witches, who act a lot like lonely Queens housewives playing dress-up, have kept a guy named Brendan (Shayne Anderson) as their personal slave for the past 10 years. They spot Little John in their bubbling cauldron, dig his rippling muscles and decide to summon him for a fistfight with Brendan. The winner gets to be their slave. Now, one would figure that the guy who has been satisfying the sick needs of these women for a decade would know this and lose on purpose. But no! He fights hard, and the resulting scuffle plays like Tuesday night at the wrestling matches, complete with head butts and pile drivers and eye gouges. “Oh look, a full Nelson!” remarks one of the witches between licks of her own lip gloss. After Little John’s victory, his slavery is sealed. It is left for Robin to fake his own death and be entombed in his own family’s crypt to save LJ. Turns out that one of the witches is his aunt. Her side of the family always was a little weird. Susan Graham’s script colorfully embraces the show’s outlandish sensibility, while Terry Marcel’s direction on location in Lithuania gets the most out of his fanciful characters and situations. Tech credits are solid. —Ray Richmond The New Adventures of Robin Hood

The New Adventures of Robin Hood: Witches of the Abbey

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