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I've probably mentioned this once or twice before but it really is the most excellent thing ever to come out of French TV.

You can watch a trailer in English here but it doesn't really do it justice.

Kaamelott is shown on the French fifth channel. It's a short (3.7 minutes long) and there are 4 series of 100 episodes and a fifth series in a different format. There are three graphic novels and a possible feature film on the way. I suppose it might be compared to Les Visiteurs, but it's better.

It's basically the story of King Arthur and his knights. Arthur and Lancelot are pretty competent but pretty much everyone else is either stupid or petty or both. Actually Arthur and Lancelot can be too, but hardly ever as badly as anyone else.

Perceval and Caradoc are the two dimmest knights of the bunch. Percevals innocence is due to the fact that he can be relied upon to not understand even the simplest concepts. Caradoc likes to eat, up to 11 meals a day, and keeps a decent supply of dried meats and cheeses in his bed.

Arthur is married to Guenievre but has never loved her. She looks uncannilly like a young Joan Sims and he has a string of mistresses (which the Queen is aware of and gets on pretty well with).

The beauty of the series is that the small episodes whilst showing the story as happening to normal(ish) people who aren't for the most part noble or elevated or courtly, barely distinguishable from the peasantry, the myth of Arthur also takes places in snippets, in the background, in passing or by accident.

You could really see how La Morte d'Arthur could have been written by someone who witnessed events such as these.

A word of warning though, to anyone who fancies giving it a go. The level of French required is pretty high. There's a mix of strong accents, the French is extremely idiomatic and fast. Subtitles and context will help of course.

But for me, it's right up there with the Holy Grail.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 26th, 2009 02:35 pm (UTC)
And having watched 160 episodes since Xmas, I've not done a lot else. I'm just starting series IV now.
Jan. 26th, 2009 03:43 pm (UTC)
MG and I love it and are also at the end of Series 3, having rather idiotically bought Series 2 twice.

It does start to get a bit samey in places, but usually just before they realise this and introduce some new element - even if it's only a new location ...
Jan. 26th, 2009 08:33 pm (UTC)
Je n'ai pas la francaise sufficient, aber je voudrais watcher un version English, lol.

Some of the actiony/effects bits look reasonably exciting, alongside a Pratchetty kind of vibe.
Jan. 26th, 2009 09:29 pm (UTC)
If I have to hear those bloody trumpets one more time... :)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )