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Slings and Arrows on Sundance

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Marty M, Sep 5, 2005.

  1. Marty M

    Marty M Screenwriter

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    Has anyone seen any episodes of this great show on Sundance Channel. It is a series from Canada starring Due South's Paul Gross. It makes me realize what a great actor he is. If you have Sundnace Channel, I highly recommend this series.
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    The cast also includes Mark McKinney (from Kids in the Hall) and Rachel McAdams. It's one of the funniest things I've seen on TV in years, especially if you're a theater junkie. It's a sharp satire about the trials and tribulations of a theater company dealng with an endless series of crises while putting on the annual production of Hamlet. I love the way it skewers with equal glee both the vanity of the artists and the greed of their corporate sponsors.

    M.
     
  3. Garrett Adams

    Garrett Adams Supporting Actor

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    As an HD junkie I usually don't follow what's playing on Sundance. Fortunately though I noticed a TV Guide watch recommendation for the first episode. Caught it and have since run with it. The show is brilliant.

    The corporate gal has taken Queen of Mean to a higher level. God I hope she receives a particularly nasty comeuppance.
     
  4. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    The series concluded tonight. Great finale!

    If anyone is interested, Sundance Channel will be re-running it. Check their website or local listings.

    M.
     
  5. Steve Felix

    Steve Felix Supporting Actor

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    Thanks to this thread I caught up with this hilarious show a few months ago.

    I just got this email from Sundance:
    Not too surprising that they're playing up Ms. McAdams, but Paul Gross is a genius in this.
     
  6. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    There's a SECOND season??!! [​IMG]

    My day just got better.

    M.
     
  7. Marty M

    Marty M Screenwriter

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    Steve,
    Thanks for the heads up. I never thought this would have been a multiple season show.
     
  8. Steve Felix

    Steve Felix Supporting Actor

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    I had to read it twice. [​IMG]
     
  9. Steve Felix

    Steve Felix Supporting Actor

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    Good opener. It will rerun several times this week if anyone missed it.

    It cracks me up that Richard sees his role in the first season so clearly now.
     
  10. Marty M

    Marty M Screenwriter

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    Caught the first episode tonight. I don't think this second season will disappoint me. I am looking forward to future episodes.
     
  11. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I knew the opening song would have to change to something about MacBeth, but I'm still going to miss starting each episode with "Cheer up, Hamlet!" [​IMG]

    I think my favorite line was Ellen's to Kate (the departing Rachel McAdams):

    I also thought Ellen's final advice to Kate followed nicely from Ellen's and Geoffrey's conversation in the boat in the final episode of season 1, when Ellen talked about not knowing any other life but the theater.

    M.
     
  12. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Now that we're four episodes in, what do people think of season 2?

    It doesn't have the narrative coherence of season 1, where everything revolved around the troubled Hamlet production, but the wit is still sharp and the familiarity with what goes on behind the scenes of a not-for-profit theater company keeps the satire right on target. I particularly like the clueless interns.

    If I have any criticism, it's the continued presence of Oliver's ghost. I understand why they wanted to bring back Stephen Ouimette, but there've been too many scenes of Jeffrey arguing with Oliver, only to have everyone else in the room stare like the guests at Macbeth's banquet. Too much of the Macbeth story has been tied up with Oliver's return, and I wish they'd let his goodbye at the end of season 1 be a final one.

    Still, the series is up there with the very best, and no show I've seen has ever made such good use of the backstage setting.

    M.
     
  13. Steve Felix

    Steve Felix Supporting Actor

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    I was thinking the same thing about Oliver's ghost until the last part of this episode. But now that Jeffrey is using his own mental illness to inform his version of the play, it's starting to pay off. (For instance, deciding not to show the ghost because Ellen said it was scary to see him talking to an empty chair.)

    Will Froghammer be vindicated? It seems impossible. Every time we glimpse the ads they're a little worse. I like the poster that simply says, "F*ck." If Richard's life wasn't bad enough, he's going to melt down when he hears Jeffrey fired his star attraction.

    I'm surprised at how much time passes between episodes. It's refreshing compared to the padding in 22 episode seasons.
     
  14. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    But the rest of us were cheering. [​IMG]

    It's an interesting reversal from the first season, where the lead was an untested Hollywood "face" in whom no one believed, except Jeffrey. Now it's an experienced big name that everyone loves -- except Jeffrey!

    M.
     
  15. Steve Felix

    Steve Felix Supporting Actor

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    I can imagine how all this would work itself out tidily (a new crowd shows up and demands Jerry, etc.), but since it will obviously be more interesting, next week ought to be a doozy. Jeffrey is showing alarming signs of responsibility but Henry shows no sign of repentance -- will we get to see him fired twice??

    There was too much funny stuff to recount. Of course, most of it was just twitches on faces.
     
  16. Steve Felix

    Steve Felix Supporting Actor

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    The opening of Macbeth was one of the funniest things I have seen on TV. At about the moment the understudy sat back up after the swordfight, I could hardly breathe.

    Thank goodness season three is coming.
    http://www.corusent.com/corporate/pr...ail.asp?id=845

    The play:
    King Lear
     
  17. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    With a summer 2006 premiere in Canada, I guess we'll have to wait until 2007 for season 3. It'll be worth it, though.

    The season 2 finale was the single funniest thing I've seen this year. During Jeffrey's meeting with Darren, I was laughing so hard I lost some of the dialogue and had to rewind.

    M.
     
  18. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    The first season of Slings and Arrows is being released on DVD next Tuesday, June 27, 2006, by Acorn Media. The release is so under-the-radar that it didn't even get picked up by the HTF "weekly roundup" (and Mike Frezon is very thorough). DVD Empire has it mis-listed as a DVD Audio release, but at least Amazon has an accurate listing.

    I haven't bothered to search for reviews, because I want it, no matter what. [​IMG]

    I'm putting this information here, since this is the thread that this show's limited fan base on HTF is most likely to check. At this point, there aren't enough of us to justify a separate thread in TV-on-DVD forum. But if anyone wants to discuss the set when it's in our hands, I'll see you there!

    M.
     
  19. Marty M

    Marty M Screenwriter

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    I want to give all the S & A fans a heads up. The third season of Slings and Arrows begins on Sundance Channel, Sunday, February 18. Here is the information from an email reminder from Sundance Channel's website. I assume the times are Eastern Standard. Sundance will also be showing marathons of Season 1 and 2 in February, with Season 2 being shown on Feb. 18 right before the 1st episode of Season 3.

    07:00 PM Slings & Arrows - Season 3: Episode 1: Divided Kingdom directed by Peter Wellington
     
  20. Clay_E

    Clay_E Stunt Coordinator

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    Marty M, thanks for posting this! I got Seasons 1 & 2 on DVD for Christmas, and have been wondering when Sundance would start airing Season 3.

    Call the Understudy - I shan't go on tonight!
     

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