Melian writes: I just found this on the paper’s entertainment wire. French and Saunders are the team behind the UK’s hit show
FRENCH & SAUNDERS: LORD OF THE RINGS
What: Parody of Peter Jackson’s acclaimed movie epic by the British comedy duo Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.
Where: BBC America.
When: 5 tonight and midnight.
In a nutshell: Clever but brief parody leaves a lot of targets unscathed.
Just as “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” prepares to dominate movie screens for the next month or so comes “French & Saunders: Lord of the Rings,” a modest effort to deflate some of the epic’s more pretentious inclinations.
Created by the British comedy team of Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders (the latter best-known for her sitcom “Absolutely Fabulous”), this parody opens with some inept special-effects grunts trying to figure out how to create a fearsome army boasting half a million soldiers. Ants should do the trick, they figure, if you scratch that fearsome part from the equation.
Elsewhere, French and Saunders make comic hay out of the techniques employed in the first film to distort the proportionate sizes of Ian McKellen and Elijah Wood as they played the grand wizard Gandalf and wee hobbit Frodo. They relentlessly skewer the litany of goofy names and complicated mythology running through the story — the most convoluted narrative wheel-spinning since the pages of “begats” in the Old Testament.
The characters themselves get bored relating all this tongue-twisting minutiae. And, apropos of nothing in particular, they take shots at
Teletubbies, Madonna, U2’s Bono and Harry Potter. It’s fairly funny stuff, but sort of truncated — French and Saunders barely wade halfway into the
movie. They’d better keep up — Jackson’s already completed six hours of his masterpiece; French and Saunders have only mocked 30 minutes.