Kill "Will": TNT's New Shakespeare Drama

Kill "Will": TNT's New Shakespeare Drama

Is this trailer for real
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The YouTube Thumbnail Picture

Are those groundlings or the extras from a Billy Idol music video?

Is there a single piece of Elizabethan clothing in this entire thumbnail?

Is that one of the Wachowski sisters on the left with the pink cyberpunk dreads?

Is there a God?

0:00 - 0:10: Very Angry Xylophone

The trailer starts. A woman with a sexy voice whispers "Will," just to confirm that Will is, in fact, short for William, and William is Shakespeare's first name. A woman, presumably she of the sexy voice, kisses Will Shakespeare horizontally on a bed, in the way that attractive people in movies can just float down on each other for a shot of them making out in profile.


There is a very angry xylophone in the background: TINK TINKLE TINK TINKLE

Voice-over: "HE WAS A HERO, TORN BETWEEN TWO WORLDS"

Shakespeare writes something with a quill pen because he's A WRITER

A hand with rings caresses a flagstone.


"A TNT Original Series" because they're proud of this, apparently.

0:11-0:18: Shakespeare Fun!

Voice-over, continuing: "[Torn between]....TWO FAITHS"

We get an extremely bad CGI Elizabethan playhouse and bustling townscape, which only lasts .3 seconds to avoid scarring your eyes. Will Shakespeare fords his way through a crowd of people who look like 20% Bjork, 30% Scandinavian viking metal, and 50% the Macbeth home video I made when I was 12.


When the voice-over says "two faiths," one shot of a faceless rando praying to a Catholic crucifix (Catholics were persecuted in England during the reign of the Protestant Elizabeth I) is opposed to scenes of drunken partying with strippers.


Not sure if they're implying anything about Anglicanism, or they just wanted to show you shots of people in tacky costumes making out under obviously electric lighting in extremely try-hard imitations of the Givenchy fall 2015 face jewelry because why not.

WINE GOOD! SHAKESPEARE FUN!


Angry xylophone continues.

0:18-0:23 : Shakespeare Straight!

Voice-over: "[Torn between]....TWO WOMEN."

Shakespeare is shown making out with a beautiful blonde minx, before another brunette woman, presumably his wife Anne Hathaway, is seen crying among the groundlings as Will notices her, shocked.


As you can see, TNT's "Will" attempts to piece together a sexual biography of Shakespeare by conflating him with the author of the sonnets, because what rich dramatic material lies in his obsession with the Dark Lady! Shakespeare was obviously torn between two women instead of between, I don't know, a woman and a man. I mean, where would people get that idea? The sonnet speaker's admiration of men was completely platonic.

I almost need to watch all of 2005's "A Waste of Shame" as penance for absorbing this 5 second scorched-earth campaign by TNT against our beloved bisexual Shakes, but I will soldier on through this heteronormative dystopia with Katy Perry costumes

[^^^ Above GIF is "A Waste of Shame," which I strongly recommend watching while you boycott "Will."]


0:23-0:40 : We Will Rock You

Xylophones cease. Shakespeare introduces himself to a guy who's probably James Burbage, and of course when he says he's "Will Shakespeare" we're supposed to pee our pants because zomg THAT SHAKESPEARE, and then there's a long

long

long beat, after which Burbage says, "Never heard of you,"

WHICH IS SO FUNNY YOU GUYZ HE DOESN'T KNOW SHAKESPEARE IS A GENIUS YET DRAMATIC IRONY

We then get the rousing drumbeat that's a shameless knockoff of Queen's "We Will Rock You," which is both an unintentionally adorable level of desperation and a double insult to the bisexual community by means of bringing Freddie Mercury into this. Please do not bring Freddie Mercury into this.

Wait wait wait XYLOPHONES RESUME

Some rival poet (or someone with a stack of papers in his hand) with a love-lock (probably the first actual Elizabethan fashion item I've seen) tells Shakes that "You can't just make up words!"


Probably because the first factoid most tweens learn about Shakespeare from the teacher who tells them that Shakespeare Can Be Cool™ is that Shakespeare "made up" lots of words.

0:40-1:13: EXTREME!

Marlowe's voice-over: "MONEY!"

"We Will Rock You" drum riff continues

"POWAHH!"

Some poor scrub in an Amadeus mask looks through a door

"GREATNESS!"

There's some noob at a table with a sack over his head, which is probably going to be some edgy interrogation scene, instead of a shot-by-shot recreation of the 1598 engraving of Shakespeare's rival poet Robert Greene in winding-sheet from Greene in Conceit. If it is Greene, however, I will actually take all criticisms of this show, print them out, and eat them.

A few shots are devoted to Jamie Campbell Bower, who plays a Christopher Marlowe with uncharacteristically tamed hair (and skintight leather doublet, effacing my beloved FLUFFY POOF JACKET, why you do this?) and chest tattoos of a skull! Because he's EXTREEEEEMEE!!! I used to think Jamie was better than these roles, but if he keeps taking them, maybe he's not.

Then he murmurs icily, "Because it's all just theatre," Wow so deep tell me more.

A guy in state robes says that theatres must be destroyed and then they light stuff on fire because EXTREEEEME!!! A guy (Marlowe?) gets creamed in the face and his blood spatters the camera. Public executions. I see the producers of this series went to the John Orloff/Roland Emmerich School of How Elizabethan England Was Basically North Korea. EXTREEMMMEEE!!!!

"We Will Rock You" is replaced by an ominous trailer piano ding, and red plague crosses are painted on the doors.

EXTREEEEMMMEE!!

1:14- 1:27 :One Man

Ah, now the trailer has entered Act III of most historical movie trailers, which I like to call the "one man/woman" movement because it involves ONE MAN (the hero) taking a stand against the HISTORICAL BAD GUYS. Will Shakespeare says that the players have created a world where a "common man can be a king" (sure, fine) and that "the time has come" to fight for their beliefs. More weapons shown. (WTF? Are the Lord Chamberlain's Men now a secret Catholic militia?)

Also, what the heck is this troupe? Some of they guys seem appropriately dressed, but:

Are they starring in the new play "Much A Douche About Nothing?" Playing the roles of Literally Every Douchebag?

Shakes then declares that their only weapons are words, which seems ridiculous considering he was just holding a sword a few seconds ago, and stood next to a dude with a gun. Also, pretty sure that Elizabethan writers DID pack heat. The dagger that killed Marlowe was his own, and Ben Jonson regularly fought, killed, and beat people up. But sure, words, whatever, whatever. Shakespeare and the actors proceed to Fight the Man. I'm starting to think that this drama will be pushing the "Elizabethan London's literary scene was full of queer people, people of color, and rebel misfits fighting for justice and rocking that glitter" aesthetic while simultaneously straightwashing Shakespeare and whitewashing the Dark Lady and featuring extras who play fictional genderbending strippers (as opposed to, I dunno, actual historical Earls) for edgy kool points.* When I imagined this film as being a Panic at the Disco! influenced fanfic of Roland Emmerich, I had in mind the movie "Anonymous," but it's looking more like "Stonewall" now, tbh.

*Note: There is a credit on "Will"'s Wikipedia page for Black actress Jasmin Savoy Brown as Italian-English court poet Emilia Bassano, who is put forward by some conspiracy theorists as the "Dark Lady", although this trailer makes it very clear the "Dark Lady" is the blonde Olivia de Jonge character. And I am just reviewing the trailer, in which Savoy Brown does not appear.

1:28-End

More strippers.

Shakespeare mutters some Bardolatrous thing about himself writing plays about "what is human."

It premieres July 10th on TNT.

'








Cover Image Credit: Adage

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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I can't wait till these movies come out. Going to the movies during summer is a great escape from the heat, giving you a few hours in the air conditioning while enjoying a big tub of popcorn.

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