Friday, January 08, 2010

The rest, as they say, is silence

I rarely make demands of you, dear reader. But this, my friends, this is the exception.

I would urge you (insist, perhaps) to tune your television to the Bravo network at 8:00pm tonight (maybe 9...) and begin watching the re-telecast of Season One of Slings & Arrows. It is possibly the best thing that's ever been on television. Hands down it is the best thing about Shakespeare that's ever been on television. Hamlet, specifically. Likewise, perhaps, madness.

Watching Rachel McAdams (who plays Ophelia) act stoned in episode six or eight--particularly the scene where she runs into her friend (the American movie star brought in to play Hamlet as a resume-enhancer) in the video store looking for a how-to-do-a-Danish-accent video (I've simplified the scene quite a bit)--is almost too much for one simple man to bear. And this (originally aired in 2003) was before Rachel McAdams became Rachel McAdams.

I'm not sure of the total number of episodes in a season--maybe ten or twelve--but let me tell you, in the penultimate episode, when Geoffrey the Director talks his shaky American movie star through the opening night of Hamlet... Well, it is just extraordinary.

This, of course, is Olivier...

And the rest, as they say, is silence.


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