Oct 1, 2009

I clearly didn't read enough Black Stallion books when I was a kid.

The Adventures of the Black Stallion
The Complete Second Season
Episodes 2.1-2.6
Sometimes I choose not to be productive, and this usually leads to a blog entry. Such is the case today, because I had this fabulous romp through the first six episodes of The Adventures of the Black Stallion, season two. This happened randomly, because Netflix just decided to send me this disc without much of an explanation. It certainly wasn't supposed to come along until later (as if there is a plan, or something!), but here we are and whatever.
Six episodes. I honestly thought they were all fabulous in a totally campy, hilarious way. Every single episode involves something nefarious happening to The Black, and in every single episode something totally convenient happens that causes The Black/Alec to escape the evil clutches of the villain of the week, and then someone has an even more illogical change of heart that ultimately leads to boy/horse bonding bliss!
They are also poorly written, poorly acted, and poorly produced. Everything you could possibly want! Also, they are filmed in France.


2.1: Barn Burner
Nicole, the spunky French gypsy is introduced! Nicole wants to clean The Black's stall, but Henry says no in a repetitious way that has Nicole throwing empty cans at him in indignant fury! However, Nicole has other problems because someone keeps randomly lighting fires to horse barns in the area. At one point, she is actually in custody when one barn bursts into flame, but she is still held accountable! Oh, those French. Guilty until proven innocent is serious business there, but apparently developing police cars with doors that don't unlock from the inside is also an issue there because Nicole bursts out and singlehandedly saves all the horses except The Black, who kicks down the door and strides through the flames in super slo-mo. So who is the barn burner? The crippled ex-jockey, who, no joke, tries to run away from the cops. He gets about two feet before being slammed into the hood of a police car.

2.2: Diamonds
Arguably my favorite episode, in which The Black, Alec, and Nicole take on diamond thieves! When diamond thieves hide their diamonds in The Black's trailer in order to avoid police check points (although, quite frankly, that uzi is probably giving you away, guys), they are flummoxed and upset when they come back to discover their diamonds have predictably disappeared! (Nicole took them, hoping to finance her trip to America to find her wayward father, but that is not important.) In order to find their diamonds, they take Henry and his lady companion hostage while Alec is off vaulting on The Black, or whatever the hell it is he is doing. So Nicole and Alec ambush the thieves, which doesn't quite work because this leads to The Black being used as target practice. As an aside, the guy with the uzie really is a horrible shot. Nicole and Alec argue about some moral principles while The Black is getting shot at before Nicole finally gives up the diamonds and Alec plays into the evil thief's hands. Of course he's still going to shoot The Black! Hasn't Alec learned anything from all these other episodes? Only all that shitty target practice means the uzie is empty. The thieves turn on each other, and then somehow Nicole shows up in a carriage led by Friesians? Well, it happened!

2.3: Chateau Sauvage
The Black is kidnapped by a rescue group! I...have no idea why! And their aim is to send him back to the Arabian Penninsula, which I am sure is not a good idea. So Henry winds up getting shot with a horse tranquilizer, Nicole spends an hour clinging to the back of a horse trailer, and Alec is forced to prove that The Black loves him. The Black loves him.

2.4: Killer Stallion
The Black is doped! And because of this he goes stark raving crazy! And then someone hires a big game hunter "who likes to kill big animals" to track and shoot him! This one was actually a little forgettable, but I will always remember the hunter using his rifle scope to find The Black, when in reality the horse is about twenty yards away.

2.5: Machine Rider
Alec has a jockey nemesis! And this jockey knows he cannot beat The Black in a fair race, so he turns his whip into a cattle prod and uses it on The Black VERY, VERY OBVIOUSLY in a race. Nicole chews out France's most beautiful actor for being a poor father after she completely takes out the guy's toddler daughter in an effort to save her from The Black's state of pure crazy. Actor guy is suitably chastened, but the message doesn't sink home that he has to supervise his child until she somehow manages to wander out onto the track. The child stands in the grass, waves at the oncoming horses, and is then taken out by Alec as he sweeps her off the ground during the middle of the race. I will always remember the surprised shriek from the child as her legs go blurring off the screen. This seems to be what it takes for actor guy to promise Nicole that he will teach his daughter how to ride by himself, thank you. Lesson learned!

2.6: The Alhambra Zarr
Apparently there are four founding stallions in the Thoroughbred line, and The Black is now a Thoroughbred? Someone in America is not thrilled about this development, and has French people attempt to assassinate anyone who attempts to sanction The Black. Eventually his orders are to just kill them all. All of them! Yeah, that doesn't work. So The Black is headed back to America to race...apparently.

I honestly cannot figure out how this show was produced in France and New Zealand and the US. It totally boggles my mind.


Schatzi said...

My library had like, a hundred Black Stallion books when I was little, and I read EVERY ONE.

I have to say, though, I never saw this show.

Anonymous said...

Hey i love the black stallion series but your reviews are hilarious, are you planning to continue them?

Anonymous said...

Jeez, the first season was worse. It ends with a guy named jerry who's rocking the blonde dreadlocks, and you won't believe this, he dies by running into a hay stack.