Vikings, TV review: As unsubtle as a thwack over the head with Thor's hammer
Ellen E Jones
Ellen is The Independent's TV critic. She writes a daily review of Last Night's TV and a weekly 'Inside TV' column for the i paper, as well as a column on general topics for the main paper most Wednesdays. Ellen is a former Hollywood correspondent and a contributing editor to Little White Lies, she's written on TV, film, lifestyle, travel and politics for publications including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, Esquire and Total Film.
Sunday 02 March 2014
In sharp contrast to Stewart Lee, the ninth-century warriors in LoveFilm’s Vikings always say what they mean and mean what they say.
It’s as unsubtle as a thwack over the head with Thor’s hammer. The show’s second season, made available to stream this weekend, has many qualities to recommend it – the exquisite Irish countryside, a theme tune by Swedish oddball Fever Ray, costumes to provide fashion inspiration at every crusty squat party from here to Stockholm, the sparkling blue eyes of former male model Travis Fimmel – but the dialogue certainly isn’t one of them.
As the series begins, Ragnar Lodbrok (Fimmel) has been forced to delay conquering England so he can do battle with his envious and ambitious brother Rollo (Clive Standen). Then princess Aslaug arrives in her longboat, bearing a particularly nasty shock for Ragnar’s wife Lagertha – by the looks of it, she is about six months pregnant.
Ragnar, the dirty beggar, can’t see why they shouldn’t all just be... ahem... friends. “I have heard that similar arrangements exist all over the country,” he said, casually stroking that ancient symbol of lasciviousness, a goat, as if it were only his pet tabby. In Game of Thrones, such a suggestion would no doubt have been greeted by the sound of two chastity belts clattering to the floor, but raunch is one of those other things that Vikings lacks. Don’t get your hopes up just yet.
Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
‘Remember the attackers are a cold-blooded, crazy minority’, says Blek le Rat
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 Syrian refugee child beaten by Istanbul Burger King manager for eating customer’s leftover food
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction
Alfred Hitchcock's unseen Holocaust documentary to be screened
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Photographer Matt Lankes' portraits of the cast of Boyhood influenced the film's storyline
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners