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Third-episode verdict: Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire

Posted on April 23, 2009 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Krod Mandoon

In the US: Thursdays, 10pm/9c, Comedy Central
In the UK: BBC2, some time in the Spring/Summer, not this month as previously advertised

What's this? A third-episode verdict without even a review of the first episode? Well, Comedy Central's been chucking these babies out so fast, by the time I got round to watching episode one, episode three had already been on, so let's integrate.

As mentioned in my perfunctory preview, Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire is a co-production between BBC2 and Comedy Central - half the cast are British (and sometimes faking American accents) and the other half are American. It features the adventures of the eponymous Kröd Mändoon, semi-fearless warrior and germophobe (as played by Sean Maguire who seems to have a lock-in on things like this since Meet the Spartans), and his motley collection of followers as they try to fight against the oppression of the evil Chancellor Dongalor (Matt Lucas).

Yes, you guessed it, it's parody time, with role-playing games, Dungeons and Dragons, et al, as the target of this mildly humorous, slightly obvious comedy, mainly involving silly names.

Prepare to laugh - a little.

Plot
The series, set in an ancient fantasy realm, follows reluctant hero Kröd Mändoon, a "thin-skinned and underconfident freedom fighter" in his struggle against the evil ruler, Chancellor Dongalor.

Is it any good?
You know what, I did laugh a bit, but it's very hit and miss, and where it does strike home, it's only at the most obvious levels. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but you kind of wish that it was just a bit better, that's all.

Essentially, most jokes revolve around Kröd and his girlfriend Anaka, who's just a bit too willing to sleep with other men (or just about anything) in order to get the job done as far as Kröd's concerned; Chancellor Dongalor and his mildly camp wickedness that's reminiscent of Dr Evil in Austin Powers; and the juxtaposition of modern attitudes and concepts with the fantasy realm.

There are other jokes, but that's about it really.

So Kröd's scared of germs and gives his troop performance evaluations; Anaka leaves the group for a while for the pagan festival in which she must sleep with 300 men, although Kröd only thought that her saying she was sexually adventurous meant she might be up for a threesome and "some light bondage"; Dongalor has a weapon of mass destruction hidden in his basement and the emperor (Emperor Zanus - as in "Have you seen my uncle Zanus?" Yes, that's the level we're working at) sends a weapons inspector to find it; and so on.

Everything almost works, but it's not quite there, since everyone seems to be thinking that it's all so funny in and of itself, they don't really need to work too hard. Delivery is always slightly off and over the top, although everyone's not that bad at all, really.

All the same, some of it does hit home, even if you end up questioning a lot of its politics, since it does seem to have a few issues. Quite fun, and if you've a big fantasy fan or under 18, you'll probably love it. For everyone else, it'll raise a few titters, but not much more.

Here are a couple of clips, including a preview of the next episode:

Carusometer rating: 3
Prediction: Will last a season but probably won't get renewed

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