Whilst driving a few months ago, I encountered a billboard for Hooten and the Lady; initially, I thought it may have been a late, yet to be removed, advert for Uncharted 4 – with the quality of game engines these days, I think I can be forgiven.
Hooten and the Lady is in fact a live-action adventure series starring Michael Landes and Ophelia Lovibond as Ulysses Hooten and Lady Alex Spencer-Parker respectively. Now three episodes in, I think it is fair to say that this show is evidently not out to impress critics, nor is it attempting to match the genre’s predecessors, whether that be Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider or Uncharted. Consequently, it is apparent that it adheres to the genre’s conventions, although it does so remarkably.
The most stand-out feature for me is the fact that it has fun.
Far too often are new shows out to impress by deliberately provoking an audience: consider the recent tendency towards chilling crime dramas and historical epics that litter our screens, the majority of which mimic the HBO tendency toward nudity, profanity and controversy. In their own contexts, its fine, it can be part of the appeal, but for once, it’s actually nice to sit back and enjoy a show for what it is.
Embrace the cheesy dialogue, flirty banter and over-the-top action sequences and you’ll enjoy it, trust me.
So far, it seems to have garnered a mixed reception from viewers. Type ‘Hooten and the Lady’ into Twitter’s search bar and you’ll see the majority of people are loving it. Pop onto IMDB’s review, however and people are also slating it.
My personal favourite is “Perfect – if you’re 11.”
Perhaps that says a lot about people who choose to leave scathing comments on IMDb, but each to their own.
Sky 1 also runs a behind-the-scenes feature, Adventurin’ With Hooten & The Lady.
From the very first episode, it is clear to see that the cast and crew genuinely enjoy making this production. The stunt co-ordinator, Antony Stone, is evidently a creative genius that develops amazing contraptions, on location, in order to capture the perfect shot.
Furthermore, the show is almost entirely shot on-location, and for a show of its calibre, that is something of a novelty. Take a similar show, The Librarians, for instance, as quirky and fun as it is, green-screen generated backgrounds feature just about as much as their leading cast members.
In an interview with RadioTimes, Hooten himself, Michael Landes discusses this further:
“That’s the good thing about this show, it’s not fake. It’s not special effects. We didn’t lie. Sometimes it’s so amazing-looking that it almost looks fake but it’s not. I have the air miles to prove it…I don’t know any other show that will travel the world like that.
I had one flight itinerary that was hysterical, in 10 days it was: Cape Town, London, LA, Hong-Kong, Siem Reap, Kuala Lumpur, and then back to LA. So I went around the world one and a half times.”
Personally, I highly recommend it.
As it’s one of my favourite genres, perhaps I’m a little biased – I’d take a globe-trotting action adventure over a superhero series any day.
Give Hooten and the Lady a go, take it for what it is and, if nothing else, it passes the time with a few witty jokes and beautiful location shots.
Thanks for reading!