Mark Watches ‘Blackadder Goes Forth’

Oh god, THIS SERIES IS SO INCREDIBLE, Y’ALL. I think that in terms of consistency, this might be better than series two. Holy shit, I’m so impressed! Thanks goes to Ryan and Emily, who commissioned the three episodes that I watched on video for y’all. I WOULD HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED THIS.

Videos first!

“Captain Hook”

“Corporal Punishment”


  • God, this entire series was funny and brutally so. It’s like the show got this new boost of life in the interim between series three and four. But I think it’s also in part because of the choice of where to set this.
  • It’s not that the previous three series didn’t satirize and criticize British history. They do! That’s half the fun. But Blackadder Goes Forth openly goes after World War I, British imperialism, war in general, and the hierarchy of the military. Like, these jokes are funny, but in this harsh, realistic way. LORD. It’s like Blackadder is almost a different show!
  • DARLING. Oh my god, his name alone was hilarious.
  • Baldrick is largely the same as the last two series, and George is somewhat the same, which is fascinating, given that he was the Prince of Wales in series three and now he’s just a lieutenant.
  • This is also the first time that there is ever a clear antagonistic force. As much as the characters spout all their anti-German and racist rhetoric, they are their own worst enemies. In fact, it’s Melchett (and by that logic, Darling) who provides the most conflict, who deserves the most ire. He foolishly sends people on one terrible mission after another because he’s 35 miles away. He has no concept of the ramifications of his orders because of this.
  • “Corporal Punishment” is this series’s “Beer.” Funny from beginning to end, extremely consistent, and a goddamn treat, y’all. I LOVED THAT EPISODE SO MUCH.
  • Honorary mention to “General Hospital” for being pretty much flawless as well.
  • But my god, THE LAST EPISODE. “Goodbyeee” is funny, but then it starts this slow descent into being UTTERLY DEPRESSING. It’s a brilliant choice for the end of the series because it highlights why the jokes were being made in the first place. I kept expecting a joke about Darling being sent to the front lines, but it never happened. Even Blackadder’s last words are appropriate. How could he ever expect escape?
  • Goddamn, this was great. I finally feel like I get this show, though it definitely took me quite a few episodes for it to click with me.


Mark Links Stuff

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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