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The Mists Of Avalon, Part One

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Jacob Clifton: F | Grade It Now!
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Just close your eyes and think of England
The Queen of Mean and Rogaine are forbidden from leaving the castle to pick medicinal herbs for Migraine, because before Gerlois left to kill the High King of all Britain he realized that there might be repercussions, and put them under house arrest. The guards don't really care that Migraine is dying; they're just kind of shrugging and acting that infuriating red-tape bureaucrat way that'll drive you nuts when there are herbs on the line. The Queen of Mean tosses Rogaine out a window for the sheer joy of it, under the guise of sending her to pick these herbs. On her way back to the castle, Rogaine gets arrested by those same listless guards. The entire castle and estate is about a hundred feet square, which might be historically accurate, but does tend to make the way people are constantly yelling and running around kind of melodramatic. When I see you across the living room, I don't scream your name at the top of my lungs and sprint directly for you. Unless you are a cat, or messing with my CDs, or both. There are no CDs in Cornwall. Instead, there are Merlin and Gerlois riding up on horses at this very moment (conveniently for Daddy's little girl, because who knows what Gerlois's instructions were if any of his women got caught disobeying his decree). I know what you're saying -- Gerlois is a dead man, killed moments ago by Uther Pendragon, and since he's Christian he won't even get reincarnated. Yes, that's true. And even though Rogaine psychically saw her father's death a couple of times already in the last ten minutes, she's able to suspend disbelief and run up to her "father" and Merlin, who is getting sassy without Vivarin to keep him down, and keeps throwing shade at the red-tape guys. The guard is unable to do likewise, instead asking to peek under "Gerlois's" helmet; apparently, this was another rule set forth by Gerlois before leaving, just in case someone stole his armor, impersonated him, and rode up in the company of the Lady of the Lake's second-in-command. My lord's motto is "Be Prepared For Every Contingency." So too is that of the Harvest Home Womyn's Collective: there's some weirdly stock-footage-like wind in the trees, and Merlin makes some stupid faces, and "Gerlois" removes his helmet to reveal that he is, in fact -- Gerlois. I KNOW! I thought it was going to be Uther, but that's only because I've seen a movie before. The guard, who has not, is apparently just being a jerk for no reason except for the opportunity to show us that the power of the Harvest Home Womyn's Collective is such that it can make a tall, swarthy red-haired man look just like a tall, swarthy dark-haired man.

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Mondo Extra
The Mists Of Avalon, Part One

Episode Report Card
Grade It Now!
YOU GRADE IT
Just close your eyes and think of England

With Gerlois verifiably dead and rotting in the Cornwall courtyard, there's nothing to keep Uther from moving Rogaine and Migraine out to Camelot, which looks like the Ewok village, and thereupon impregnating Migraine with the cornrow-haired issue of Pendragon, King Arthur of Camelot. There's a pretty long, fairly adorable waiting room scene in which Uther and Rogaine are kept waiting outside the bedroom while Migraine screams and almost certainly writhes in pain. After the birth, Rogaine comes in and makes a scary, scary face at baby and reaches out for baby with both hands like he's half a Twix. This is basically the point where the story stops being about Migraine, and starts being the autobiography of Morgaine Le Fay as told to Jacqueline Susann.

A few years later, Rogaine goes riding with her brother, a lovable enough sprite whose main disadvantages as I see them are: 1) his eyes are black all over like Dark Phoenix Willow and 2) his hair is crazily braided all over his head like a scary Juliette Lewis experiment. I am serious when I tell you that you have never seen anything like this in your whole life. The camera pulls back to take in all three hundred square feet of Camelot, but the lack of scenery is more than made up for by the sweeping, irritating music. They ride over to see the women doing fertility rites in the fields so they can have a clumsy expository discussion of the previously-discussed Christians-and-pagans situation. The coolest thing the women in the fields are doing is something I call "patting the wheat man," in which large grain effigies made to resemble stout people figures are held up in the sky and then patted briskly all over. I don't know either.

I thought all this "young siblings" stuff would be a little creepy or foreshadowy, due to how they're due for a leg up in fifteen to twenty, but it's actually kind of sweet. It has to be, in order to lend the next few scenes any emotional weight whatsoever. Get ready, because Rogaine is about to realize the power of the Harvest Home Womyn's Collective some more. She's sitting on the steps playing with a doll and eavesdropping as Vivarin and Merlin lay a patch on Migraine and Uther's parental rights. Vivarin smiles spookily as she reminds them that, when Rogaine was born, she was promised to the service of the Goddess, and Vivarin has come to collect. Merlin has accompanied her so he can take Arthur and get his Sword in the Stone groove on. Migraine thinks it's not very loving of them to just drop by and kidnap their kids, and Uther gets all kinds of testosterone effects happening, and established non-Christians Migraine and Uther suddenly say they would rather Margulaine become a nun at Glastonbury for some reason I don't get. Uther threatens Vivarin with some High King mojo, and she totally scoffs and says she put him there to begin with, and it's almost tense. Then there's a whatever goodbye scene between Migraine and Uther and their children, and Vivarin could not be more BFD bored, dude, and creepy little Rogaine is crying, but I am pretty sure it's because of the ugly-as-sin dress she is wearing in this scene.

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