Reviews: Slings And Arrows

A Perfect Series

Slings and arrows is a show that doesn't get as much popular recognition as a lot of the other "greatest shows ever." But I am more than happy to hold it up as one of the Greatest Television Series of All Time. This may seem a little crazy for a show that's basically about a Shakespeare festival, but I have a slightly different evaluating TV shows than most people. Where some shows have great ideas, wonderful actors, a brand new world to explore or a hook that just won't quit, I love shows that are perfectly constructed. What this means is a show where absolutely everything that needs to be there is, and everything that is there needs to be, in order to tell the story of the show. This is something that is not easily achieved in a serialized format like TV, and is much more common in smaller "unit" works, like film, theater and novels. Now, I haven't seen all of the "Great Shows" from the past 20 years or so (but I've seen most of them) and there are only two that come to mind as being as well constructed as Slings and Arrows: Arrested Development and The Wire. Those shows are probably better and will definitely be remembered long after Slings and Arrows has faded from memory, but in my personal opinion it's a crying shame.

I know I haven't said much about the show itself (read the tropes page if you want some insight, or better yet watch the show) and that's because to truly dissect the show and examine how everything just fits together would take a thesis length manuscript, and I don't really have the time. So, I not so humbly implore you, watch the show. It's not a show you can just try once to see if you like it, you can't drop in to it like CSI and just catch everything that's happening. You have to read the whole novel to have an idea of why it's great. Please watch it, and when you get to the end of the first episode (like I did) and go, "what was that? Is this supposed to be a comedy?" take my advice and keep going. If you aren't hooked by the end of the first series (six episodes total) then, by all means walk away. But you'll be missing out on one of the greatest three act drama's of our time and fantastic example of what the medium of TV can be.