Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Slings Arrows The Complete Collection|
Actors: Paul Gross, Martha Burns, Mark McKinney, Don McKellar
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Television
As seen on the Sundance Channel "Deliciously written" ?TV GUIDE "Big and powerful, a corker" ?LOS ANGELES TIMES "Charming and complex and lovely" ?THE NEW YORK TIMES Showered with awards and critical acclaim, this darkly c... more »
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It May Seem Sophisticated, And It Is, But It's Darn Funny To
K. Harris | Las Vegas, NV | 12/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If anyone had told me several years ago that one of my favorite programs on television would turn out to be a Canadian import about a Shakespearean theater troupe, I would have had my doubts. But Season 1 of "Slings and Arrows" beguiled me. So droll and sophisticated, but with moments of sheer slapstick, I was absolutely enchanted. Detailing the struggles of a failing company amidst the changing artistic climate, "Slings" presented a colorful band of misfits that formed the unlikeliest of families. The writing was so smart, so funny, and the performances spot on--including Paul Gross and Rachel McAdams (two of the more familiar actors for American audiences). It ended in six episodes and I wistfully said good-bye to a near brilliant show. I had no idea there was more to come.
So I was delighted when I heard Season 2 and even Season 3 were on the way. But I was also doubtful. Could they really mine the same material and come up a winner? To my mind, they did that and even more.
Season 2 contained less back story, so it dealt more specifically with the inner struggle of producing theatrical shows. The comic misadventures involved in staging a cursed production of "Macbeth" was definitely the highpoint. It might have been the funniest thing on TV that season, seriously. One subplot about an experimental advertising campaign to lure new traffic to the theater festival is perfection. As someone who has been a season subscriber in the LA theater scene for over ten years, this was particularly hysterical to me--how much truth there was. Season 3 (which added the always appreciated Sarah Polley to the cast) details how the theater adjusts to success. Its humor is dosed with many moments of melancholy. There is such sadness, yet hope, as the characters begin to make some life altering decisions--it's a fitting emotional tribute to a sublimely funny show.
But, trust me, you don't have to be a theater-goer or a Shakespeare enthusiast to enjoy this program. But you do have to enjoy smart, sophisticated entertainment with top notch performances. I have shown this series to a couple of friends who would NEVER have sampled it on their own. They were surprised how identifiable it was and how funny!!! A great change of pace from much of TV, check this one out! KGHarris, 12/07.
I cannot recommend this highly enough
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 02/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"So few people I know are aware of this wonderful show's existence. My hope is that collecting all three seasons in a single DVD box set could lead to a whole new group of viewers. What impressed me about the series is the way it provided absolutely first-rate popular entertainment in a relatively highbrow context. It is funny. There are romantic another other kinds of relationships that we as viewers come to care deeply about. And we are introduced to a host of fascinating characters. But at the same time there is some remarkably insightful discussion of Shakespeare.
You don't have to love Shakespeare to love this series, but you'll love it all the more if you do. If you don't own copies of HAMLET, MCBETH, and KING LEAR, I would strongly encourage you to order copies of each along with this box set. I reread each play as a result of seeing SLINGS AND ARROWS. I suspect that a substantial number of viewers of the show have done so as well.
The stories revolve around a moderately successful theater festival in a fictitious Canadian town. When Oliver Welles, the revered head of the festival, dies unexpectedly Geoffrey Tennant, a formerly celebrated actor who made his mark there, is asked to return as director. Paul Gross (perhaps best known to those in the United States as the Mounty assigned to Chicago in the fun series DUE SOUTH) absolutely steals the series as Tennant. I've seen a great deal of his work and this is hands down the best thing he has done. Although he steals the show, his real life wife Martha Burns costars as the resident lead actress of the troupe and the former lover of Tennant. The most surprising performance on the show might be that of Mark McKinney, formerly of KIDS IN THE HALL, who does a great job as the festival's business director. The cast is bolstered by a number of superb supporting characters as well as several excellent guest stars. Rachel McAdams was great on the show until Hollywood beckoned and she left the series after Season One. Geraint Wyn Davies, who many will remember from the vampire TV series FOREVER KNIGHT, excelled in Season Two as famous Shakespearean recruited to play McBeth. Sarah Polley (whose father was a regular on the series) is Season Three's Cordelia. Celebrated Canadian Shakespearean actor William Hutt turns in an astonishing performance as Season Three's Lear. But the funniest guest role is hands down that by Colm Feore, who plays a charlatan PR firm director.
This is just great TV and if you haven't seen this, you must. This is the best completely unknown television series of the past several years. I've pushed other little watched series on friends, like FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, but that wonderful series has several times the audience that SLINGS AND ARROWS had. All you need to do to love it is to watch it."
Superb and funny
J. R. Neale | Honolulu, HI | 12/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the most original, brilliant comedy series about theatre ever made, if not THE best. Anyone working within a nonprofit arts organization will recognize everything and everyone involved. It's pitch perfect and very funny. And one lovely thing about it -- it isn't mean spirited, not once."
H. H. LUTHI | Seattle, WA | 04/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First off - get the box set! If you get just the first year, you will be in a pickle because you will want to see the 2nd and 3rd seasons which cost more individually than the full set. You'll get the box set even though you already have the first season. Then you'll love it so much you'll want to give your extra first season to a friend (who better be someone you feel comfortable giving unwrapped merchandise even though you've never watched that copy) who will then have the same dilemma, perpetuating the problem. Besides, you will love the second season so much more, you will want your friend to see that as well making you wonder if you should just get THEM the box set or just loan them yours which you could have done if you had just gotten the box set for yourself in the first place, rendering your original 1st season not merely moot but a frustrating waste of space on your shelf you can't bear to just throw away because it's so very good. Trust me, you want the box set. The first season is great - well conceived, written, gorgeously acted, and FUNny. I could really relate to much of the life backstage because of my theatre experience but my husband (an architect) was loving it just as much. The second and third season really takes off because you already know the characters and don't need to spend any time establishing the interpersonal dynamics. It is absolutely HILARIOUS. Beware - we became so addicted we found ourselves staying up way too late (just one more!) and were profoundly sad when it was over. Sniff! Everyday television is just not up to these standards. Mind you, funky Canadian programming standards, not slick American standards. Give yourself time to slow down a bit to appreciate it."