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New Escapist Column! On How “Willow” Gently Plays with Fantasy Tropes…

I am doing weekly reviews of Willow at The Escapist. They’ll be dropping every Wednesday evening while the show is on, looking at the legacy sequel as it progresses from one episode to the next.

It is too much to call Willow a deconstruction or a subversion of classic fantasy tropes. Certainly, the show is often a celebration of the trappings of high fantasy, and a much more old-fashioned take on the genre than contemporary shows like The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power or House of the Dragon. At the same time, the series is written with an understanding of the tropes and conventions of the genre, and a willingness to play with those ideas in a way that deepens and explores its own themes. Given that this is a show about divorce, Willow eagerly dives into familiar fantasy tropes about blood and lineage.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

Robbin’ the Hood: Give The People What They Want…

I’ve been thinking (dangerous, I know). Specifically about Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood. I’m going to be honest with you, I was more than a little surprised at the way the film was put together. The film is, to borrow from the parlance of the times, an “origin” story. It’s about Robin, but before he was Robin. There is a single robbery over the entire course of the film, and it doesn’t really amount to much – it’s hardly the stuff of infamy. Instead, Robin is off doing battle with the French in a very manly, water-logged fashion. I tried to judge the film on its own merits (and I think my review is fair), but I’ve found myself thinking over the same question a lot since I saw it: Aren’t a lot of people going to be disappointed that there’s essentially little-to-none of the conventional tropes of a Robin Hood movie present?

Bringing the Hurt...

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