Crossing Swords
CrossingSwords TitleCard.png
Genre
Created byJohn Harvatine IV and Tom Root
Directed byJohn Harvatine IV
Voices of
ComposerRandall Crissman
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes20 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
ProducerMario De Jesus
CinematographyHelder K. Sun
EditorClayton Baker
Running time22 minutes
Production companies
DistributorSony Pictures Television
Release
Original networkHulu
Original releaseJune 12, 2020 (2020-06-12) –
December 10, 2021 (2021-12-10)

Crossing Swords is an American adult animated stop-motion sitcom created by John Harvatine IV and Tom Root for Hulu.[1] The series premiered on June 12, 2020. Six days after its premiere, the series was renewed for a second season,[2] which premiered on December 10, 2021.[3]

In June 2022, Harvatine IV announced that Hulu cancelled the series after two seasons.[4][5]

Premise

Crossing Swords follows "Patrick, a goodhearted peasant who lands a coveted squire position at the royal castle. His dream job quickly turns into a nightmare when he learns his beloved kingdom is run by a hornet's nest of horny monarchs, crooks and charlatans. Even worse, Patrick's valor made him the black sheep in his family, and now his criminal siblings have returned to make his life hell. War, murder, full frontal nudity—who knew brightly colored peg people led such exciting lives?"[6]

Cast and characters

Main

Recurring

Guest

Episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
110June 12, 2020 (2020-06-12)
210December 10, 2021 (2021-12-10)

Season 1 (2020)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Pilot"John Harvatine IVJohn Harvatine IV
Tom Root
June 12, 2020 (2020-06-12)
Patrick is a peasant lad who is bullied by his older siblings: Coral, a notorious pirate queen; Blarney, a successful clown; and Ruben, a dashing rogue. Patrick yearns to be a knight, though his parents belittle his dreams, and enters a jousting tournament held by the raucous King Merriman. He befriends the optimistic Broth who has failed eight years in a row and quickly forms a rivalry with a knight named Holden. In each round of competition, Patrick uses his experiences to help him succeed: tucking back his genitals to withstand low blows, exposing a trick from the magician Blinkerquartz, and lying to dissuade the sexually voracious Queen Tulip (though she is turned on by everything but simple refusal). But when Patrick realizes that he cannot win fairly in an unfair system, he gets fed up, calls everyone out on their morals, then uses a firework rocket in the joust to defeat Holden. Despite the rebuke and the blatant cheating, King Merriman accepts him as his squire nonetheless. Patrick returns home where his siblings mockingly tell him that they are in his life forever.
22"Hot Tub Death Machine"John Harvatine IVTom RootJune 12, 2020 (2020-06-12)
On the squires' first training with Sgt. Meghan, Patrick refuses to kill and eat fairies and is hazed. King Merriman asks Patrick for advice on how to bring his polls up and Patrick inadvertently gives him the idea of holding a public execution using a complicated machine. The squires, minus Patrick, are taken to Naked Lady Island by Meghan, only to find out that it is a training exercise to fight a Medusa. Ruben and Coral learn of the execution and try to have their names be offered up as a way of getting recognition. Patrick is forced to pick a criminal to be executed all while being mocked by Sprinkles, the fairy he spared. Patrick eventually settles on executing a prisoner named Charles Reinhold, only for him to be revealed to be Robin Hood who has given money to all the peasants. The execution machine is activated and Robin Hood is graphically killed. Sprinkles is killed as well, but not before revealing that he sold out his kind. Merriman's polls rise out of fear and the squires return traumatized, except Broth who was turned on by the Medusa.
33"What's Kraken?"John Harvatine IVSean LaveryJune 12, 2020 (2020-06-12)
44"In the Line of Squire"John Harvatine IVAmy ReedJune 12, 2020 (2020-06-12)
Patrick, Broth, King Merriman, and Blinkerquartz uncover an assassin who is targeting high profile lords and ladies in the kingdom. Princess Blossom has returned from boarding school. She wants to attend the Beast Feast music festival. King Merriman and Queen Tulip, fearing for her safety forbid her from going and put Patrick in charge of her safety. Princess Blossom escapes from her room to go to the music festival. Patrick and Broth follow her to protect her. Princess Blossom falls in love with Keefer, the lead musician of Testa-Kyll. Blossom gets ready to attend Keefer's headlining performance in the evening. The assassin attempts to kill her while she is getting ready. Fortunately, Patrick is there to foil the attempt without Blossom even being aware. Unfortunately her tent is ruined in the turmoil and she blames Patrick. Angrily, Blossom heads off to the concert and Patrick follows, wary of the assassin still. At the concert, Blossom is invited onto the stage to perform with Keefer. While on stage the assassin fires a crossbow bolt at her. Luckily, Patrick is there to jump in the way and foil the attempt once more. Blossom is thankful. Unfortunately, while all this was going on, Keefer stumbles into the haunted iron maiden prop on stage and is killed.
55"Let Them Eat Clown"John Harvatine IVSean Lavery
Maggie Monahan
Amy Reed
June 12, 2020 (2020-06-12)
66"My Super Sweet Period Party"John Harvatine IVMaggie MonahanJune 12, 2020 (2020-06-12)
Princess Blossom causes some trouble at a bonfire with some of her friends. Blossom returns to the castle, and it is discovered that she is having her first period. Her parents want to throw her a period party. She meets up with the ghost of Keefer to make out. At their makeout spot she meets an imprisonned Aunt Donna who tells her that at the period party she will be given a chastity belt or be locked up in a tower for refusing. Blossom wants to lose her virginity to Keefer before this happens. Aunt Donna reveals that there is a way to bring Keefer back to life for an hour. The information can be obtained in the restricted section of the library. Meanwhile Holden has returned to join the other squires. It is revealed that there will be circumcision inspection for the squired to pass. Patrick is not circumcised so he sets about finding a way to remedy that. Patrick and Blossom end up meeting each other in the library and Patrick decides to help Blossom. They obtain the ingredients for the ritual and return to Aunt Donna. They perform the ritual but Aunt Donna betrays them and uses it to revive her doll instead. They decide to gather the ingredients again and try again. Patrick fails to find snakeskin for the ritual. He decides to circumcise himself and use that in place of the snakeskin. It works. Keefer comes back to life and Blossom and Keefer have sex. Queen Tulip then reveals that she has always had a spare key for the chastity belt and it never really mattered anyway. Holden reveals to Patrick that the circumcision inspection was a prank done out of revenge.
77"Look Who’s Stalking"John Harvatine IVSean LaveryJune 12, 2020 (2020-06-12)
88"The Snow Job"John Harvatine IVMaggie MonahanJune 12, 2020 (2020-06-12)
99"The A-Moooo-Zing Race"John Harvatine IVAmy ReedJune 12, 2020 (2020-06-12)
1010"Unchained Monarchy"John Harvatine IVTom RootJune 12, 2020 (2020-06-12)

Season 2 (2021)

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title [8]Directed byWritten byOriginal release date
111"Shamrock Shakedown"John Harvatine IV
Bradley Schaffer
Shawn Kenji PearlmanDecember 10, 2021 (2021-12-10)
Patrick finds himself on trial for betraying the kingdom, and only avoids punishment with a hopeful promise to the king: that he will find the legendary leprechaun gold.
122"Toxic Femininity"John Harvatine IV
Bradley Schaffer
Marina ShifrinDecember 10, 2021 (2021-12-10)
A drug epidemic at Blossom's all-girls academy threatens to derail the king and queen's scheme to draw attention to their newfound wealth.
133"Destination: Wedding"John Harvatine IV
Bradley Schaffer
Michael PoissonDecember 10, 2021 (2021-12-10)
The wedding of the year brings Merriman a chance to mend fences with King Rami IV.
144"Good Vibrations"John Harvatine IV
Bradley Schaffer
Brandy FinmarkDecember 10, 2021 (2021-12-10)
When Queen Tulip slips into a sex-toy-induced coma, King Merriman throws a beauty pageant with hopes of replacing her; Patrick attempts to wake the queen before the kingdom is torn apart.
155"Get Your Minchachas Out"John Harvatine IV
Bradley Schaffer
Tom RootDecember 10, 2021 (2021-12-10)
On an island training retreat, Patrick and the squires meet the most famous knight in the kingdom, but Patrick quickly decides the knight's lessons are superficial crap.
166"Tent Pitching"John Harvatine IV
Bradley Schaffer
Marina ShifrinDecember 10, 2021 (2021-12-10)
The circus returns to the kingdom; Blarney reunites with his uppity clown-college roommates.
177"Nothin, Usurp With U"John Harvatine IV
Bradley Schaffer
Amanda BarnesDecember 10, 2021 (2021-12-10)
The kingdom adjusts to life under the Old King, who is back on the throne thanks to Danielle's machinations; Patrick is torn between his loyalty to the kingdom and loyalty to his former king; Merriman finds a new career after a drug trip.
188"Sad-iator"John Harvatine IV
Bradley Schaffer
Shawn Kenji PearlmanDecember 10, 2021 (2021-12-10)
As punishment for his refusal to turn in King Merriman, Patrick is forced to fight in the arena as a gladiator.
199"Knight Of The F**king Dead"John Harvatine IV
Bradley Schaffer
Brandy FinmarkDecember 10, 2021 (2021-12-10)
Patrick is tasked with chaperoning Princess Blossom, but he abandons his duties to hang out with knights at a party; Princess Blossom switches bodies with her deceased Aunt Donna, who runs amok at the party.
2010"Hard Day’s Knight"John Harvatine IV
Bradley Schaffer
Maggie MonahanDecember 10, 2021 (2021-12-10)
The Mole People finally lash out at the surface-dwellers who have ruined their home by depleting their jewel mines.

Production

Development

On September 27, 2018, it was announced that Hulu had given the production a series order for a first season consisting of ten episodes. The series was created by John Harvatine IV and Tom Root who were also expected to serve as executive producers. The series was produced by Stoopid Buddy Stoodios and distributed by Sony Pictures Television.[6][9] On June 18, 2020, Hulu renewed the series for a second season.[10] On June 9, 2022, co-creator John Harvatine IV revealed the show was cancelled.[4][5]

Casting

Alongside the series order announcement, it was confirmed that the series' voice cast would consist of Nicholas Hoult and Luke Evans, among others.[6][9]

Reception

On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season holds an 27% approval rating based on reviews from 15 critics. The site's critics’ consensus reads, "Crass and cruel, Crossing Swords bleeds its thin premise dry".[11] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, gives it a score of 47 out of 100, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[12]

References

  1. ^ Evershed, John (2020). Adult Animation Finally Breaking Free of its Comedy Shackles (PDF) (Report). High Concentrate, LLC in Squarespace. p. 27. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 3, 2020. Retrieved November 2, 2020.
  2. ^ "Crossing Swords on Hulu Press Website". Hulu. May 25, 2020. Retrieved May 25, 2020.
  3. ^ "Teaser: Hulu Unsheathes 'Crossing Swords' S2 in December". 8 October 2021.
  4. ^ a b Schwarz, John (June 11, 2022). "Stoopid Buddy Stoodios News: Crossing Swords Canceled ; Seth Green Gets NFT Rights Returned For Bored Ape Yacht Club". Bubbleblabber. Retrieved June 13, 2022.
  5. ^ a b "Big thanks to Hulu for giving Root n' I a platform for our lil' stop-motion tv show, and to Sony for helping make that dream a reality. Thank you voice talent and thank you crew, who under a tv schedule made a gosh darn good looking show…wood grain and all! New adventures won't be anytime soon, or ever…but #gooniesneversaydie! Thanks for your 💚 and support ⚔️ #fadetoblack #crossingswords". June 9, 2022. Retrieved June 27, 2022.
  6. ^ a b c Andreeva, Nellie (September 27, 2018). "Hulu Orders 'Crossing Swords' Animated Series Starring Nicholas Hoult From 'Robot Chicken' Team". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  7. ^ "'Robot Chicken' team bring medieval depravity in NSFW 'Crossing Swords' trailer". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  8. ^ "Crossing Swords". Hulu Press (Press release). Retrieved November 20, 2021.
  9. ^ a b Otterson, Joe (September 27, 2018). "Hulu Orders Animated Comedy 'Crossing Swords' Starring Nicholas Hoult". Variety. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  10. ^ "Solar Opposites/Crossing Swords renewed at Hulu". The Hollywood Reporter. 18 June 2020. Retrieved 13 June 2022.
  11. ^ "Crossing Swords: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes.
  12. ^ "Crossing Swords". Metacritic.