Slings and Arrows
26 March 2008
I’ve been meaning for months to rave about Slings and Arrows because it is absolutely fabulously awesome (and available on DVD). It’s Top 5 television for me, along with Deadwood, Buffy, Firefly, The Wire, and Battlestar Galactica. (Okay, that’s six. Oh, well.)
I have a degree in acting. At one time, I wanted more than anything to be a professional film and stage actor (and if I can become a go-go dancer at 47, then I am sure as hell not giving up on acting just yet). I tend to fall in love with television that seems like Big Fun for Actors. I care about movie performances, of course — but a movie is a novella, if you will, whereas television series are novels. The best movies give me a chance to be part of a story, an experience with a specific emotional arc. The best television gives me a chance to be part of a world, to live over time with people, to go on and on from one emotional space to the next. I love that. It’s the only reason I watch television (unlike my sweetie, who adores educational programs and South Park).
And so I love Slings and Arrows. I love the people. I love that the acting and the writing are so good. I love that it’s about theatre. I love that it’s funny and gutsy and passionate and smart.
And there’s some kickass Shakespeare. I’ve done Helena (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) onstage, Lady Mac in my heart, Hermione (A Winter’s Tale) in auditions, and Ophelia’s mad scene in a bikers’ bar (but that’s another story). As well as being about life, love, and the chaos and joy of being creative, Slings and Arrows is also about the genius of Shakespeare, about finding one’s way into the words as living text rather than historical magnificence or high school torture. Absolutely brilliant stuff.
Here’s a long-ish (about 4:30) trailer for the show.
1Oh, and I’m also dying to write for Frances McDormand, Jodie Foster, Laura Linney, Robert Downey Jr., Alan Rickman and Johnny Depp. Because they are all so interesting.