The Blackadder Reboot Sounds Like A Stale Sitcom For Boomers
For comedy nerds, there are few greater delights than getting to drone on for hours about Blackadder, the cult sitcom set during the greatest periods of British history featuring the most cynical man in the world loudly complaining just how terrifyingly incompetent the people that fill our history books truly were. But since the series ended 20 years ago, many rumors for a fabled fifth season have been dashed like an oversized turnip smashed on the ground. Except the aging cast now has a plan to revive the show, but it's about as cunning as an old beagle hiding his face in a pillow after pooping in your shoes.
Over the past two decades, there have been several attempts to return to the adventures of the continuously reincarnating Edmund Blackadder and his allegedly human sidekick Baldrick. Some ideas were predictable but great, like a Blackadder set during the Russian Revolution called Redadder, while others sounded more like a mildly promising LSD hallucination, like Blackadder in a '60s psychedelic rock band with a drummer called Bald Rick.
But this month, fans' hopes for a revival were revived by UK tabloid / birdcage liner The Sun, which claimed the original cast was spotted discussing a fifth season. But if Blackadder were to return in this day and age, would it be as Bolshevik Blackadder or Band Blackadder? No. Instead, co-creator Richard Curtis has a whole new idea for a pitch, which can disappointingly be described as "Boomer Blackadder."
Recently talking to Radio Times, Curtis, now best-known for making movies that feel like 90-minute Marks & Spencer commercials, revealed his desire to flip the Blackadder script. Because he's now one of the rich, powerful old men he used to satirize, he feels it's a much better idea that the new season "should be Blackadder as a teacher in a university, about how much we hate young people." Because nothing screams "We still got it" like turning your historical comedy about a cantankerous conman constantly trying to bamboozle his (often inbred) betters into a school sitcom about a tenured teacher telling kids to get off his mortgage-free lawn.
This is a complete reversal of one of the show's biggest themes. The whole point of Blackadder is that the further he gets from privilege, the more clever and anti-establishment he becomes. That's why the first Blackadder is as the rich idiot son of the boss (the king of England) but later Blackadders wind up being the historical equivalent of wildly overqualified interns serving the wildly under-qualified 1%.
Also, no matter his status, Blackadder never punched down (except at Baldrick, but that counts more like animal abuse). So instead of turning Edmund Blackadder into some trite combo of Louis C.K. and Jordan Peterson dunking on 19-year-olds for being genderfluid Marxists who dare to protest about school shootings, Boomer Blackadder should do what all his ancestors did before him: try to scam hereditary dons, elite buffoons, and presumably a slightly more successful lecturer called Darling out of as much fame and money as he can get his greedy hands on.
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