Summer 2017 saw the premiere of two Shakespeare-related dramas. The first was “Still Star Crossed” on ABC, a continuation of Romeo and Juliet by Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers that was rescheduled to Saturday after two airings. It was cute, with the requisite romance and modern female characters intrinsic to Shondaland productions. Aesthetically pleasing, but the dramatic pull was not as strong as most of their other work.
The second, “Will” premiered on TNT and had an interesting premiere strategy: the first six episodes are available online right from the start! Good job, TNT… good job. And there’s a bonus annotated version of the first episode a la Pop Up Video with historical references and quotes from Shakespearean plays.
Furthermore, this show is SICK! There is serious tension, intrigue and honestly gets pretty dark with the violence and the sewers, probably realistic to life in the 16th century. I was blown away with the production values and the writing, which shouldn’t have been surprising given the show creator who also wrote Romeo + Juliet, The Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge.
Plus – bonus points for having an acknowledged bisexual character in Christopher Marlowe who has not one but two gay kisses in the second episode.