I recently had the good fortune to be introduced to the short-lived Canadian series, Slings and Arrows. As theatre is supposed to bring plays to life, Slings and Arrows brings the theatre to life. It satirizes the thinly disguised Stratford Festival and the corporate controlled state of modern theatre with a dash of British humour and a healthy dollop of Canadian content.
Not being a tv critic, or even a big tv watcher, there’s not much I can say, except this is the smartest television I can seen in a long time. As Slings and Arrows bemoans the inauthenticity that plagues the theatre, the actors deliver performances that bring the characters and the plays all the wit, charm, reverence and irreverence they deserve. The characters are all wonderful – from Geoffrey (my future husband and Stratford alumnus, Paul Gross), the new artistic director, notorious for his breakdown on-stage while playing Hamlet; to Kate (Rachel McAdams), the eager young bit player; to Holly, the corporate rep who is every bit Lady MacBeth, but without the conscience; to the two old codgers who sing a delightful ditty at the beginning and end of ever show. There’s love, sex, hate, betrayal, drunken dueling and smart-ass directors returned from the dead. Methinks the bard would be pleased.
Watch the theme song for season 1 for a brilliant example of the show’s cleverness:
The first two seasons are on youtube and in dvd sets. If you’re a lover of Shakespeare, the theatre or just plain smart television, for the love of god, watch it, watch it, watch it.
And for more comprehensive (and perhaps more comprehensible) information than I can provide: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0387779/