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53 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Doctor W... · 1 reply · +4 points

I'd forgotten about that ring, and your video made me look it up, and there's a sweet story behind it (both in-universe and real-world):

"The ring was, in actuality, two bands, which comprised of Peter Capaldi's own wedding ring, and a separate band with the green stone, which backed up against Capaldi's own ring. This was done so Capaldi would not have to remove his ring during filming."

56 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Doctor W... · 0 replies · +1 points

"It's petty on my part, but Bill's praise of the speech always strikes me as being self-congratulatory on the part of the writer and it bothers me a bit. Still, a very minor and very petty complaint and the only one in a stupendously written episode."

I've seen similar comments, that it's a white man lecturing the racist while the black woman just stands there, especially in comparison to [S11 Spoiler] ubj "Ebfn" cynlf bhg.

94 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Slings &... · 1 reply · +3 points

That reminds me, here's the gift shop at Stratford. I think Richard would love it:

I do want to read this however:

They also had DVDs of their filmed Shakespeare plays - apparently they're working their way through the whole canon. A lot of them seem to be available to stream as rentals on Amazon.

94 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Slings &... · 0 replies · +2 points

"I kept giggling when you said she was going to murder him because SHE KIND OF DOES. "

Haha, me too.

94 weeks ago @ - Weekly Shenanigans · 0 replies · +3 points

"Not to mention it's a great opportunity to cast actors of color. "

It is, but they could also just make a new show. Granted we live in an age of reboots and remakes where networks like the idea of having an established audience from the get-go. You know what Bryke might be good at, though? Earthsea.

But the bad choices of the movie aside, like the racebending, it still showed that this is really hard to pull off in live action, especially on a TV budget. I doubt Netflix will be spending Game of Thrones money on this. Just consider how much of the show takes place outdoors, and how it's basically one long road trip. No standing sets! That's expensive.

94 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Slings &... · 0 replies · +3 points

I love the insurance adjuster's old fashioned tape recorder.

One of my favorite lines from the show: "It's not like Kent just comes on and moves around a couple pieces of furniture! He's the moral center of the play!"

A beautiful ending to a beautiful show. One that will always make me regret never having seen William Hutt on stage, and probably ruin all future productions of King Lear for me by comparison (I've seen Ian McKellen and James Earl Jones on video, and Joseph Marcell live - all good, with variously interesting performances by both them and other characters - Rene Auberjonois's Edgar is practically Gollum).

I need to talk about Sophie for a minute. What in the world was going on with her story? We're meant to be sympathetic to her because this is her first role at the festival and she's having to go through this troubled production. But in our first introduction to her, she's awful. Just a complete asshole. Maybe that's justified, maybe we're meant to inherently side with the serious actors over the musical company, but we've never met her before. We have no basis for liking her otherwise. I mean, who goes into a fridge, drinks straight from a milk carton without looking at it, and then gets angry because it's soy milk? Plus, as I said in a prior review, she's even mean to Jerry! We love Jerry! And then there's this love triangle, which is resolved when Paul, who starts out an asshole but at least develops an open mind, realizes that yeah his girlfriend is pretty vapid just like Sophie says, then hooks up with her presumably without breaking it off with Megan first. Wow, how romantic.

I just wonder how much of this is leftover from Kate's intended storyline. We know they didn't expect Rachel McAdams to leave the show, and that she was meant to play Juliet. Would she have had the romance with Patrick? Would that also not have worked out? They wanted her ultimately to become a new Ellen, so that mentoring margarita night with Ellen and Barbara might have offered a glimpse of that. Though Kate would have been a bit less of an ingenue in her third season at the festival.

The Onion AV Club did a two-part interview with the creators, which has lots of info on all that and more.

Anyway. "I want to thank you, and I want to curse you. And I have to say goodbye now, Oliver. I love you. I wish you could be here today."

Aaaaaaaand - Caveman!!

94 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Slings &... · 0 replies · +2 points

I'll have more to say about Sophie when Mark wraps up, but for posterity: SHE IS MEAN TO JERRY.

94 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Slings &... · 0 replies · +3 points

And there it is. "Trying To Be Heard." One of my worst earworms. I think it might be a good song? Megan can certainly sing!

Darren on musicals: "People sing and dance, apparently spontaneously, but in unison. It's ridiculous." Yup! But so fun. East Hastings seems to be exploitative trash, of course. The move Megan makes on "whooooooore", oof.

Oliver, clever even in crisis: "Is there a heath nearby?"

94 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Slings &... · 1 reply · +2 points

Stratford update:

The Tempest was really good. Prospero was played by Martha Henry, who is in her 44th season at Stratford, and whose first role was as Miranda to William Hutt's Prospero. So I thought that was lovely. And Stephen Ouimette was in it, as Trinculo! Oliver himself! That alone made my week (he seems to be relying on a cane even out of character, though). It had some interesting special effects (they might have the Sierra System?) including an enormous bird puppet that came out of nowhere during the harpy scene. The trouble is I will forever compare productions of the Tempest to one I saw in Boston, which featured practical stage magic designed by Teller, a live band playing Tom Waits songs as a soundtrack, and an otherworldly Caliban played by two contortionists who both said his lines. Much like I will always compare King Lear performances to what we get of William Hutt's this season.

Next up was Julius Caesar, which I have never seen performed on stage or film and probably haven't read since high school, so I remembered the famous bits but enjoyed how much of it focused on Brutus. In fact, I've found myself so far this week strongly sympathizing with Satan, Brutus, and Cassius. Sorry, Dante!

There's been some gender-bending so far this week (Satan and Prospero) but this production was cast seemingly gender-neutral, with Caesar, Cassius, Mark Antony, Octavius, Lucius, and a few others all played by women. It was fairly straight-forward otherwise, with a mix of Elizabethean and Roman aesthetics. I was finally not the youngest person in the theatre, as there was a large school group seated right behind me in their blazers. No one threw any coins, at least, though there was some giggling during death scenes.

And then Coriolanus last night. This play I knew almost nothing about, just that it's gotten sort of a revival in recent years, with a movie and some other high-profile productions. I picked up a couple of overheard story bits in passing this week, but went in fresh otherwise. That made it a little harder to follow textually, but the production design was incredible. I'm not sure I can do it justice. The actors were all on a raised platform behind a screen, and it had vertical and horizontal apertures that could open and close to create different rectangular frames. It was very cinematic, with projected credits and location descriptions. It had rooms that could move, and a bar that lowered from the ceiling, and a car at one point, and all projected background scenery. The only use of the actual stage was when a kid came out and set up toy soldiers, and then later we saw a battle from his soldier doll's POV (projected live from a camera with night vision) as Coriolanus, as the kid knocked other soldiers down. It shared a lot of the cast from The Tempest, with Stephen Ouimette back as Junius Brutus, and Lucy Peacock as Volumnia, who also played Satan, so that's a lot of yelling she has to do.

The thing that has impressed me the most this week has been how they have multiple productions going on sharing theatres. I don't understand how they have room for it all. The theatre with Coriolanus also has Rocky Horror and a couple of others, like the comedy I'm seeing tonight.

94 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Slings &... · 2 replies · +3 points

Season 3! It might be my favorite though it also has the most glaring flaws. I once watched it straight through during a bout of insomnia back when it was on Netflix.

KING LEAR PARALLEL WATCH: Geoffrey attempts to delegate some of his responsibilities onto Richard, but on his own terms.

Lots of good lines in this one.

"Some of the critics said that my Hamlet was touched by greatness."
"I'm sure it was."
"I'm just I've decided to go in a different direction."
"A different direction from greatness?"

Mainly from Anna:

"I'm a bean counter!"
"Yes, but you're a *good* bean counter."

"Well I can't stand this, so I'm going to go away, okay?"

"I mean you've worked hard, And you've succeeded brilliantly. So treat yourself."