Fantasy farce flames out fast
Frequently, a moment arrives midway through a "Saturday Night Live" sketch when you just want out. You've been drubbed over the head one too many times by the same joke. Oh, it wasn't a bad joke at the start, but now, now you want to run far away from it and never see it again.
That moment came quickly for me in "Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire," which is a full-length series and not just a late-night sketch. Very early in tonight's hourlong premiere, at 10 on Comedy Central, I wanted to find an escape hatch out of the relentless, mediocre spoofery that so desperately wants to remind us of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." Really, brandishing a sword as a phallic symbol is funny only once, if you're lucky.
Krod - that's "dork" spelled backward - is a medieval warrior who also happens to be emotionally sensitive and germphobic. He is "the son of a blacksmith and a stay-at-home mom," as faux heroic narrator Chris Parnell informs us. As Krod, Sean Maguire mugs and preens his way through the show's endless fantasy action sequences, trying to convince us that the bad puns and gay jokes are funny. He is unsuccessful.
Krod and his gang of warriors - including the powerless warlock Zezelryck (Kevin Hart) and the oaf Loquasto (Steve Speirs) - are fighting to save the kingdom from the evil Chancellor Dongalor (Matt Lucas). They rescue the imprisoned General Arcadius (Roger Allam) from Dongalor's clutches, and they adopt his swishy prison boyfriend, Bruce (Marques Ray), as a member of their merry band. Meanwhile, Krod's warrior girlfriend, Aneka (India de Beaufort), is having sex with every bearded, muscle-bound hottie in tights.
Maybe the show, created by Peter Knight, will make more sense in half-hour segments. Probably not. After a minute, maybe two, "Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire" already feels way too long.