Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A few things

1) Please say someone saw the last episode of Love Soup! What happened?! I saw them all except the last one, which was silly. But why did I even like it? I've no idea. It wasn't praticularly funny... and I know that it's cool to love Tamsin Greig but I'm not even a big fan of her. It was just... really pleasant to watch. And for some reason that was enough.

2) Rory McGrath on Qi. Yes, dear, you're very clever. You're not at all like your They Think It's All Over persona. We get it. But please, for the love of all that is good, understand the premise of the show! Just answering straight away does not make for good tv, and I think Mr. Fry is starting to get annoyed. I won't have that.

3) Last night's Shakespeare Re-Told version of Much Ado About Nothing. Overall, I thought it was a wonderfully enjoyable hour and a half's worth of tv, and if we weren't comparing it to anything (like, one of the best love plays in the English language), then there'd be few complaints. In fact, even though we are, I think you'd have to be looking with an overly-critical eye to give it a complete mauling.
Damian Lewis was, I thought, without a doubt the best thing about the show - he managed to capture the essence of Benedick even though neither he nor Sarah Parish were given a very 'sparky' script. They both did their best with what they were given, but the fact is they should have been given better. Lewis, though, made what he said sound ten times better than it actually was - that's a mark of great acting. How brilliant would he be with Shakespeare's words?! I'd love to find out.
Giving 'Don' a weightier reason for wanting to hurt 'Claude' was an obvious change to make, seeing as though his apparent lack of motivation in the actualy play is often cited as one of it's weaknesses. Sometimes changes like this can seem totally unnecessary - making Chris Ecclestone's Iago a neo-Nazi in the TV version of Othello, for example - but it appeared pretty logical here.
From the words 'kill Claude' onwards, it seemed like a race to get to the end within fifteen minutes, but I don't want to be down on something that, in the end, made me very happy for 90 minutes. But maybe Lewis didn't just make the script seem better, but the whole thing...


David Duff said...

I didn't see the production, so I have nothing to say on it, but I will pick up your remark concerning the apparent lack of motivation for Don John's wickedness in the original. I think that WS was more concerned to investigate what constituted 'true love' as opposed to the faux variety displayed by Hero and Claudio. Also, it is worth remembering that whilst Shakespeare was an uncomfortably accurate demonstrator of the foibles of the human psyche, he knew that there were limits to how much you could 'know' concerning another person. The greatest example, I suppose, is Iago whose psychopathic malignancy cannot be explained by the rather half-hearted explanations he offers up in the course of the play. I think what WS is showing is the fact that no one can ever quite reach the bottom of another person's psyche - and neither can the owner of that psyche! So with Iago, and Don John, he is saying that there are some people who just evil for its own sake. That old fraud, Freud, fooled a lot of people in the 20th century by pretending that he had an explanation for human behaviour. Still, you'll never go broke under-estimating the great western public!

AnnaWaits said...

"he is saying that there are some people who just evil for its own sake"

I'm glad someone else thinks that! My A-level teachers were having none of it...!

Thanks for the comment :)

David Duff said...

They probably read too much Freud!