IHAO on ... Slings and Arrows

I love finding obscure, cool, movies and television shows.  It is part of the reason I collect, it is part of the reason I love to host, and it is definitely a reason why I enjoy writing these reviews for this site.  I go scouring the internet for cool things all the time, hoping to find more nuggets than garbage.  And I found one.  One that isn't even that hard to find yourself, and for some of my readers I think just may be the right show for you.

Slings and Arrows is very similar to an Aaron Sorkin show.  It is a hour-long comedy-drama that tells the difficulties of the actors, producers, executive stuaff, directors, and everyone else at a Shakespeare festival in Canada, all based around the major production of that year.  The first season focuses on Hamlet, the second on Macbeth, and the third on King Lear.  Beyond that, the show itself is Shakespearean in nature as well, with Shakespearean plots and character archetypes being filled all through the show.  There's even a ghost!

Much like I praised Birdman because of its incredible way of showing the inner-workings of a production of a show, Slings and Arrows does very similar, but with more overarching themes and plots like a Sorkin show.  It is superbly acted by Paul Gross as our leading man, playing a truly mad director with a passion for theatre.  He is surrounded by incredible actors, including two of the show's creators and writers, Susan Coyne, who you may not know but will really enjoy and Mark McKinney (you probably know him from SNL and Kids in the Hall).

It is hard to talk about how good the show is.  But that's absolutely my job, so let me try.  The show's characters all care about one thing: showing truth and emotion through the words written by William Shakespeare.  And that singular care makes the show alive with emotion.  There is humor and romance and terror and tragedy and villainous schemes and heroic plans and ends just like every Shakespearean comedy, with a wedding.  With only six episodes a season, the entire collection is absolutely worth searching out if you have any love of theatre, especially a theatre's inner workings and plots.  I very much recommend the show to everyone who loves drama and just ... good shows.


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