Remember the Outlaws: My Love for BBC’s Robin Hood

Being a Robin Hood fan is practically in my blood. My dad was half-British and, during part of his teen years, lived near Nottinghamshire. He would tell my siblings and me stories about visiting a giant tree—probably the Major Oak, which was (supposedly) the tree in which Robin Hood would hide when hunted. I also grew up with the classic 1938 Errol Flynn film and, of course, the 1973 animated Robin Hood. The daring outlaw and his band of men have been a part of my life for quite some time, so it was a pretty sure thing I would at least enjoy BBC’s take on the Robin Hood legend.

So did I enjoy it? Yes, I did—and continue to do so to this day!

If you are looking for a historically accurate TV show about medieval Britain, complete with sumptuous, period-appropriate costumes and realistic action sequences… you won’t find it in Robin Hood. The first season, especially, has bad, unrealistic costuming—everything from a digital camo print scarf on one outlaw to some of Lady Marian’s outfits looking as though the costume designer assembled them from the nearest thrift store. (Yes, that bad!) The action sequences are cheesy and over-the-top (again, most often in the first season) and I find it difficult to believe that every single outlaw would wholeheartedly welcome Djaq (a woman and a Saracen) into the group.

And yet.

From the very first episode, the heart of the show shines through despite the odd stylistic choices. Robin is a good man faced with near-impossible choices. He does what is right repeatedly, even at the greatest personal cost. (Though Robin can be a frustrating character, his single-minded determination to do the right thing makes him a hero worth loving.) Then there’s Much, the comic relief and the butt of jokes, but who also gets a scene in the first episode that shows how he suffers from PTSD. He is never just a comic relief character, and though the writers might have forgotten that, Much gets enough serious moments in the show to satisfy me.

Marian can be a divisive character in the fandom, especially because of her (manipulative) love triangle with Robin and Guy of Gisborne, but she’s one of my favorite fictional heroines of all time. Marian has as much of a passion for helping the poor and downtrodden as Robin does—and she proves that, even when it costs her (no wonder she and Robin are such a good pair). Speaking of Guy of Gisborne, his character arc over the show’s three seasons is beautifully done. Almost every character on the show—major or minor, heroic or evil—has depth, understandable motivations, and sympathetic moments. It truly is the characters that make Robin Hood a show worth watching.

The legend of Robin Hood has always been a part of my heritage, in a way. But thanks to BBC’s Robin Hood, that legend has become a part of my heart as well.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Eva-Joy Schonhaar is an aspiring author who has written several novels and hopes to be published some day soon. She’s a Christian fangirl who drinks insane amounts of coffee, thinks that chocolate chip cookies solve pretty much everything, and always uses the Oxford Comma. In her spare time she can be found geeking out over superheroes and reading The Hunger Games for the millionth time.

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