Review: A fantasy hero embraces his inner Mel Brooks in Krod Mandoon

Hark, it's a journey into an ancient realm as a reluctant hero and his faithful band of followers take on an oppressive evil that has swept the land. Could it be Son of Legend of the Seeker, or maybe even Lord of the Rings Redux? Nope. This hero is a thin-skinned germaphobe whose sword bursts into flames when he least expects it (and accidentally sets the odd tavern on fire) and who regularly gets shot with arrows by one of his own men.

In fact, he is the Krod in the Comedy Central's Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire, the network's first half-hour live-action fantasy comedy. The "character-driven workplace comedy" is actually built on a recipe of Spaceballs and Legend of the Seeker, with a dash of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Mix it all together in a big pot and add a bit of sex and incompetence, and you have Krod Mandoon.

In the special one-hour pilot, which premieres on Thursday, April 9, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, we meet Krod (Sean Maguire), a resistance fighter who soon discovers the reason his sword keeps bursting into flames is because he's the "Golden One" and it's been foretold that he is destined to stop the evil Chancellor Dongalor's (Matt Lucas) reign of terror and bad clothing choices.

Krod, the son of a blacksmith and a stay-at-home mom, sets out with his loyal band of challenged warriors to save his mentor, General Arcadius, who is trapped in Chancellor Dongalor's dungeon. His not-so-merry band includes his beautiful Pagan girlfriend, Aneka (India de Beaufort), his half-human/half-swine servant, Loquasto (Steve Speirs), and a magic-challenged warlock named Zezelryck (Kevin Hart).

The journey will pit Krod against his old enemy, Dongalor, who is in possession of a weapon of mass destruction called the Eye of Gulga Grymna. Now if only Dongalor could get the darned thing turned on.

While Krod is concerned about saving the general and stopping Dongalor, his really big problem is that Aneka keeps having sex with the enemy. Yes, it's for really important reasons, like getting the keys to the dungeon or getting directions, but Krod has issues and Aneka doesn't want to go to couples counseling. It's tough being a hero, especially one with bad hair.

So, is it funny? Sometimes, yes. Too often, no. But once in a while it is laugh-out-loud funny, and that makes Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire worth watching. The cast and crew work incredibly hard, and they embrace their inner Mel Brooks at every turn. Every "hero's journey" convention is skewered, and nothing is left sacred, which is as it should be.

The cast playfully embraces the material, and Sean Maguire is an excellent Krod. However, Matt Lucas as Chancellor Dongalor and Alex McQueen as his administrative assistant Barnabus, steal a bit of the good guys' thunder as they embody their comically evil characters to great effect.

Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire looks to be a good addition to Comedy Central's lineup. Creator Peter A. Knight has managed to take very familiar material and twist and turn it on its head while thoroughly capturing the spirit that makes Krod an epic fantasy of comic proportions.

More from around the web