(I’m going to try reviewing every episode of Will on TNT as they come out. If something doesn’t seem right this week, it’s because last week they actually ran 2 episodes. So this is second week, third episode.)
This week’s episode does not bode well (bode Will?) for fans of the text. For fans of naked guys, absolutely.
You know the theory that Marlowe is gay? Not really a theory in this show. Marlowe is naked for much of the show, and surrounded by lots of other naked dudes. Not knocking the lifestyle, just saying that’s not what I’m here for, and I think they’re trying way, way too hard. It’s not even that naked Marlowe wakes up, strategically draped by another naked guy. Or that he leans over the balcony and yells to the other six naked guys, “Time to leave, I have to go to work.” Later there’s a full on naked orgy, with Marlowe in the middle demanding that he be serviced. Can we get back to the text, please?
The actual interesting plot line opens with Will being way too confident in his abilities and knocking out a random play that sucks. Everyone tells him, even Burbage’s daughter who is normally on his side. It takes him a little while to accept that he’s still new at this and needs to learn to improve his craft. Specifically, he needs to do so, daughter tells him, by stealing from other people. “Everybody does it, even Marlowe.’
Off they go to the bookseller to find source material, end up stealing a book, getting caught, and then … nothing happens. I found that relatively pointless, other than to set up as a cute little bonding adventure between Will and, I really should go look up her name. Alice? For a universe that started out showing us torture, you now have someone catch a thief red handed and play it for comedy. Make up your mind.
Anyway, now we get to the stuff that’s cribbed right from Shakespeare in Love as this girl acts as Will’s muse, helping him alter his ideas into the lines we know and love. It is not until I hear them change a character’s name to Sylvia that I can finally relax and think, “Ok, cool, they’re doing Two Gentlemen of Verona. The universe is back where it’s supposed to be.” Hence title of this post, by the way 🙂
I hope that we can fast forward a little bit and get to some of the material that typical audiences know. It’s going to be cliche as all heck for we geeks to have to sit through Romeo and Juliet like it’s a new thing, but I think that’s part of the reason why the show is so weak now. There’s nothing for the regular audience to recognize. They don’t know their Two Gents from their Two Kinsmen. Once we get to writing Hamlet and Lear and Othello (if we get that far!) then maybe we can settle in to having some episodes center around what the actual Shakespeare actually did, and not all this made up nonsense.