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Series / Slings & Arrows

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Please shut up, Spirit Advisor.

"I am not collaborating with the spirit world on a production of Macbeth."
Geoffrey Tennant, to his deceased mentornote .

Slings & Arrows is a 2003–06 Canadian dark comedy about the New Burbage Festival, a thinly-veiled Fictional Counterpart of the Stratford Festival of Canada. It focuses on Geoffrey Tennant's return to the festival as artistic director upon the death of his estranged mentor, Oliver Welles (who immediately returns as a ghost visible only to Geoffrey).

Each season is a Story Arc, focusing on Geoffrey's production of a great Shakespearean tragedy: the first season does Hamlet, the second Macbeth with a subplot about Romeo and Juliet, and the third King Lear.


  • Geoffrey Tennant, the artistic director of the festival and archetypical Bunny-Ears Lawyer. Played by Paul Gross, of Due South fame.
  • Ellen Fanshaw, the aging leading woman and Geoffrey's on-again-off-again love interest. If you take a shot every time she insincerely says "sorry," you'll be dead before the end of the first episode. Played by Martha Burns.
  • Richard Smith-Jones, executive (business) director who nurtures a secret love of musicals. Played by Mark McKinney of The Kids in the Hall.
  • Oliver Welles, ghost, Spirit Advisor, and Foil to Geoffrey. Played by Stephen Ouimette.
  • Anna Conroy, secretary associate administrative director and frequent doormat. Played by Susan Coyne.
  • Darren Nichols, temperamental director and stereotypical postmodernist. Played by Don McKellar.
  • Maria, a typical stage manager. She doesn't like actors. Especially Ellen. Played by Catherine Fitch.

This show provides examples of:

  • Affably Evil: Sanjay isn't evil, per se, but he is a con man, and incredibly charming.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Darren Nichols is as camp as camp can be, but his sexuality just never comes up. Notable in that it's not played for laughs beyond his character being generally ridiculous, and there's no speculation as to which way he swings by any of the other characters.
  • Apologizes a Lot: Practically every other word out of Ellen's mouth is "Sorry!" In general, she's just self-aware enough to realize how annoying her diva-like behavior must be to everyone else, but not self-aware enough to stop doing it.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Geoffrey vehemently denies the Macbeth curse while talking to a ghost.
  • As You Know: Geoffrey is rather fond of this, often unnecessarily explaining plot details of the plays to the actors. This is lampshaded at one point by Ellen, who snaps that she knows the play, thank you very much.
  • Attending Your Own Funeral: In the middle of delivering a eulogy for Oliver, Geoffrey is freaked out when he sees Oliver offstage, laughing at his own jokes.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Averted: All acting of bad acting contained within the show resembles genuine wince-worthy bad acting. Especially Claire's. That is some very good bad acting.
  • Bathroom Stall of Overheard Insults: Oliver finds himself in one of these in the pilot.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: Richard is swayed very easily.
  • Beta Couple: One per season.
  • Bilingual Bonus: In Season 3, Nahum acts as translator when Anna needs to speak with the Bolivians, but he doesn't always translate faithfully.
  • Bitter Sweet Ending: In the Season 3 finale, Charles finally gets to be a stellar King Lear, Sophie and Paul get together, and Geoffrey and Ellen get married, but Charles dies, Geoffrey resigns from the festival, Richard relapses into a soulless corporate executive, Darren gets appointed artistic director, Anna is fired, and Geoffrey tells Oliver he loves him only after Oliver has disappeared for good. It redefines this trope.
  • Book Ends:
    • The first season gradually reveals the events that led Geoffrey to a nervous breakdown onstage 7 years earlier, ending his acting career. In the final episode of the series, circumstances force him to take part in the rump production of King Lear. Oliver coaches him through his initial floundering and he is able to play his part.
    • Both seasons 1 and 3 involve productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, season 1 following Oliver's lavishly produced but creatively dead production, and season 3 showing a glimpse of a nursing home production directed by Charles.
  • Brick Joke: In Season 1, Oliver's skull. It's a topic in episode 2 and the beginning of episode 3, and then is forgotten by viewers and by Geoffrey himself until Oliver reminds him at the last possible moment on opening night.
  • British Brevity: Actually Canadian Conciseness, but the effect is the same: Each season is only 6 episodes long.
  • Broomstick Quarterstaff: When he overhears Geoffrey yelling in the supply closet at odd hours, Nahum runs in brandishing a mop with a war cry.
  • Bungled Suicide: In a flashback, Ellen spends a while balanced on the edge of a bridge, dressed as Ophelia, with Oliver dramatically pleading with her not to jump and her telling him to go away. Then she does jump... and the water is about a foot deep. When she tells Geoffrey about it in the present day, he can't help but think it's hilarious.
    Ellen: Don't laugh! I was extremely upset.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer:
    • Geoffrey is rude, unreliable, and not particularly mentally stable. He's also a brilliant director.
    • The advertising firm Froghammer appears to be this way, using nigh-incomprehensible postmodern tactics to build up interest in the festival. It's later subverted when it's revealed that they were scam artists from the beginning, but luckily their phoney tactics actually work.
  • Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie: Oliver wanted his skull to be used for productions of Hamlet. Almost no one wanted to fulfill that request for some reason.
  • But Now I Must Go: Oliver in the final episode.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Jerry, the understudy. Though in the second to last episode of Season 2, he gives a kick-ass performance as Macbeth.
    • Richard is used by everybody and is barely effectual at best.
  • Camp Gay:
    • Patrick, especially around his male friends, to the point where Geoffrey is rather bewildered when he notices the UST with Sarah.
    • Oliver.
  • Call-Back: In the final episode, Ellen tells Geoffrey her answer is yes. He seems to have no idea what she's talking about, but presumably she is replying to his marriage proposal from 10 years earlier, which we saw in Oliver's flashback in the very first episode.
  • Casting Couch: Claire accuses Kate of trying to seduce Jack to help her career. Actually, Kate is genuinely in love with Jack, but the accusation makes her question her motives enough that it leads to a Second-Act Breakup.
  • Catchphrase: Changing every season.
  • Central Theme: Each season has a theme that relates the backstage plot to the Shakespeare play being performed.
    • Season 1: Hamlet - madness, betrayal, selfishness.
    • Season 2: Macbeth - power, ambition, trust.
    • Season 3: King Lear - rivalry, death.
  • Chess Motifs: Darren Nichols' invokes this in his production of Romeo and Juliet.
  • Christmas Episode: "Fallow Time" is mostly centered around Christmas (a downtime for the New Burbage festival, which performs in the summer). Oddly, it originally aired in July.
  • Classical Music Is Boring: invoked and subverted. In the first episode of the first season, the audience is falling asleep at A Midsummer Night's Dream; Corrupt Corporate Executive Holly Day convinces Richard that the festival would be better off producing slick modern musicals because "no one actually likes Shakespeare". However, later episodes show that this is the fault of the production, not the play, and even teenagers can get excited about the Bard when the cast and director actually care.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: So many characters, but the prize has to go to Sanjay and all the kids at Froghammer.
  • Cluster F-Bomb:
    • Maria's drunken rant about actors, ending, "Well fuck you all! Fuck off, you fuckers!"
    • Henry's backstage reaction to Geoffrey's use of Enforced Method Acting on him.invoked
  • Comedic Sociopathy
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive:
    • Richard is not so much corrupt as commodity-minded rather than art-minded, but that kinda comes with the territory. First, he rises above this corruption, only to eventually fall from grace into a deeper level of corruption.
    • Holly Day is just as business-minded as Richard, with several extra spoonfuls of unscrupulousness thrown in.
  • Classically-Trained Extra: Ellen tells Kate not to run off to Hollywood with Jack, because she'll become one (though she later changes her mind). In season 3, Ellen herself winds up with a job as a Rubber-Forehead Alien, which she despises.
  • Creator Cameo: The show was co-written by Mark McKinney, Susan Coyne and Bob Martin. The first two play regular characters (as Richard and Anna), but Martin also makes a cameo in a first-season episode as a plastics executive who takes a class in Shakespeare.
  • Damning With Faint Praise: Nahum's comment on Oliver's A Midsummer Night's Dream: "The production values are very high." We won't talk about the performances, the direction, or the design...
  • Dead Person Conversation: Geoffrey and Oliver on a regular basis. In Season 3, Charles joins in.
  • Decoy Protagonist: For most of the first episode, it looks like Oliver will be the protagonist of the series... until in the closing minutes of the episode he's run over by a pig truck.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Arguably Richard's descent from flawed-but-essentially-decent-person back into soulless corporate executive in the final episode.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: Frank and Cyril perform "Call the Understudy" in the bar as the final scenes of season 2 play out, and a different song is used for the ending credits.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: Lionel Train's attempt to get the actors to improvise a script for him.
    Lionel: You're paraphrasing. That's not what I want you to do. I want to tell the story as written, but in your own words.
    Ellen: That's what paraphrasing is.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Ellen's meetings with her tax auditor eventually morph into therapy sessions.
  • Double Entendre: Most occur in the text (it is William Shakespeare, after all), but the actors are also proficient.
    • "He was my Bottom for seven years."
    • "I've never played Romeo before."
    • "I want a thrust in the Rose."
  • Dream Sequence: Richard has one toward the end of season 2 that involves him being executed by Sanjay and one of the board members.
  • Enforced Method Acting: An in-universe example. After rehiring Henry Breedlove for the role of Macbeth, Geoffrey feels the need to use this when Henry defies his direction.
  • Face–Heel Turn: After going back and forth for most of the series, Richard settles on this in the last episode.
  • Feuding Families: Not literal families, but the classical and musical troupes in Season 3 do not get along, to say the least.
  • First-Episode Twist: Oliver is very much alive in the first episode, making spoilers tricky to avoid when describing the series.
  • Fisher King: Discussed, as it appears in Shakespeare's plays.
    Oliver: "A king is murdered, children are slaughtered, horses go mad—that's a sure sign of evil—horses going mad."
  • Flash Back: The first season has a few, to Geoffrey's Hamlet production.
  • Flynning: Geoffrey and Darrin's duel has a bunch of this. It's justified, since they're actors fighting with prop swords...
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": The funeral of Oliver Welles is comical, cliche, and ludicrous all at once.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: In-universe, Jack Crew is huge in Japan.
  • Gilligan Cut: "Of course, it all falls apart if one of the actors is no good at pretending."
  • Godwin's Law: A string of angry phone messages for the festival starts with composed complaints and devolves into "Even the Nazis—"
  • Hate Sink: Holly Day from Season One is literally identified by another character as "the devil" in her very first scene. She is shown from the start to be manipulative, extremely shallow, abusive, and cruel. She desires nothing more than to turn the festival into a kitschy, commercialized tourist trap, and is more than willing to ruin anyone who gets in her way. This all comes to a head in episode five when her presentation for the future of the festival horrifies a hospitalized May so much that it sends her into a coma. Holly, of course, feels no remorse at all for this. Richard finally comes to his senses about Holly by the end of the season, but she is portrayed as such a horrible person that it makes the audience wonder what in the world he even saw in her.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Richard at the end of the first season.
    • To a lesser extent, Brian Cabot starts season 2 a self-satisfied, complacent actor who is all too happy to phone in the final performance of Hamlet. After being fired from the festival, and after his infinitely worse protege Henry Breedlove is introduced, Brian begins to see the value in Geoffrey's vision and encourages him to do what is necessary to realize his vision of Macbeth regardless of Henry's demands.
  • Heteronormative Crusader: Anna has trouble finding a minister for Oliver's funeral. She comes up with one at the last minute, but he ends up giving a fire-and-brimstone sermon about how the theater is an abomination because it turns everyone gay. She has to pull the fire alarm to cut him off.
  • Ho Yay:
    • They are actors.note 
    • It is strongly implied that Oliver was in love with Geoffrey.
    • Patrick and his friends.
  • I See Them, Too: Charles noticing Oliver in the third season. Notably, this weirds out both Oliver and Geoffrey.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Almost all quotes from the play of the season.
  • If It's You, It's OK: Patrick, for Sarah, although for Joanne Kelly, anyone'd switch their sexuality. The actors would be loath to admit it, but this subplot is a Plot Parallel for Darren's incomprehensible gender-exploration production!
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • Macbeth isn't cursed, it's extraordinarily difficult to stage effectively.
    • Darren Nichols will not let you forget that he was stabbed!note 
  • Insult Backfire: Geoffrey and Henry disagree fundamentally on the interpretation of Macbeth. Geoffrey thinks it's necessary to showcase Macbeth's vulnerability in order to humanize him; Henry thinks Macbeth should remain in control of himself at all times (or, more precisely, Henry is the kind of actor who wants to be in control of his own performance at all times, and that informs the way he plays Macbeth). As a result of this conflict, Geoffrey pulls Henry out one night and puts in his understudy. Geoffrey thinks this is a great success. Henry, well...
    Henry: I saw a man stuttering and sweating his way through Macbeth. Now, if that was your desired effect, well, I'd say you succeeded admirably.
    Geoffrey: (proudly) Yes.
  • Intangible Man: Oliver starts phasing against his will in the third season.
  • Intimidating Revenue Service: Ellen gets audited in season 2.
  • Invisible to Normals: Only Geoffrey can see Oliver. (And, briefly, Charles. And possibly Henry at one key moment.)
  • Invoked Trope: If it can be used in theater...
  • It's Not You, It's Me: Ellen tries using this on Sloan at the beginning of season 2.
  • Jerkass: Early in Season 3, Charles is verbally abusive to the rest of the King Lear cast, to the point where nearly everyone is terrified of him. Poor Sophie, who plays Cordelia, takes the brunt of his anger. The fact that Charles is also a drug addict who is dying of cancer doesn't help his temperament.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Happen surprisingly often with Barbara in S3. When you look at it from her perspective, there's actually no reason any of the cast should be forced to tolerate Charles' dangerously erratic behavior, considering that none of them have been told he's dying' ' — she has every right to lodge a complaint, and the finale makes it clear that she could'' have been on board all along if the situation had been reasonably explained. It's not even surprising that she would have chosen to abandon True Art in favor of a financially secure career with a devoted fanbase, considering that the festival and most of its regulars seem to be perpetually one bad production away from bankruptcy.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Geoffrey is an interesting deconstruction; he is a jerk, and he does have a heart of gold, but he isn't a jerk to hide his heart of gold, he's a jerk because his mental illness, depression, and various other hangups make it extremely difficult for him to tolerate other people.
  • Magical Realism: Everyone leads perfectly ordinary, realistic lives, but for the fact that Geoffrey and later Charles regularly has conversations with Oliver's ghost. No explanation is given, no mythos is revealed. It just happens.
  • Mathematician's Answer:
    Geoffrey: Okay look, I'm not saying that evil isn't present in the play. What I'm asking is, are the events of the play driven by evil, or is it that the characters themselves are just, simply evil from the get-go?
    Oliver: Yes.
    Geoffrey: Which!?
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Quite a bit of the first season revolves around Geoffrey being unsure whether Oliver is really haunting him, or he's having another breakdown.
  • May–December Romance: Ever since Geoffrey's mental break, Ellen has had a series of these in order to (in Oliver's words) "screw the years off." In season 1 we see one of these play out with her and Sloan.
  • Meaningful Name:
  • Meta Casting: Charles, who comes out of retirement to play King Lear shortly before dying of cancer, is played by the distinguished stage actor William Hutt, who retired from the Stratford Festival several times, and who died of leukemia not long after filming.
  • Metaphorgotten: Geoffrey is discussing the end of his acting career with Terry from accounting.
    Terry: Geoff, you gotta get back on that horse or you'll never get on a horse again.
    Geoffrey: I don't wanna get on a horse. I'd rather... direct.
  • Motor Mouth: The original director of Romeo and Juliet appears for less than one minute, which she fills entirely with conversation at an impressive density. Both present Deadpan Snarkers Geoffrey and Oliver utterly fail to get a word in.
    Geoffrey: (after Naveen falls off the stage) She was in a neck brace when they wheeled her away. She was still talking, though.
  • Multitasked Conversation: Geoffrey, Oliver, and whoever else is around. Constantly.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Emily, the intern who serves as the Assistant Stage Manager of Macbeth in Season 2. She means well, but is very unfamiliar with how theatre rehearsals are supposed to work.
  • Nepotism: Claire is the relation of "some chairman," and so her atrocious acting runs unchecked.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
  • Not Actually the Ultimate Question: Kate has just found out about Oliver's death. She asks "What will happen to Hamlet?" (meaning, to the production he's about to direct).
    Nahum: Hamlet will be Hamlet: an ineffable tragedy of the human spirit that still resonates, even today.
  • Ode to Intoxication: "Call The Understudy," the ending credits tune.
  • Orphaned Punchline: Scenes are often opened at the end of what have clearly been long true-from-life accounts, just in time for the punchline.
    • One of the eulogies at Oliver's funeral is only shown to consist of this, with the narrator relating Oliver quipping: "Well if it's not my car I'm certainly not going to clean the upholstery."
    • Breedlove is a walking example; he is introduced finishing a story he's telling to a crowd, at the conclusion of which a fellow actor returns "with a fish," which he throws at a woman in the audience. Later a scene cuts to him saying, "I thought The Pope was a pretty good sport about it."
  • Our Product Sucks: The Froghammer ad campaign in Season 2.
  • Phrase Catcher: The circumstances of Oliver's death and the phrase "pig truck."
  • Plot Parallel: As with Central Theme above, there's always many, many connections between each season's play and backstage plots.
  • Protest By Obstruction: In the first episode, Geoffrey Tennant chains himself to his bankrupt Theatre Sans Argent. Oliver sees his protest on the news and calls him, setting in motion the events of the show.
  • Punishment Detail: The Minister of Culture in season 2 was the Minister of Health until she spoke out against her own party, and clearly would still rather be — her reaction to Richard coming to her with a grant proposal for the New Burbage theater festival is to note that the money would probably be better spent on an MRI machine, which would actually save lives.
  • Punny Name: Holly Day, Lionel Train.
  • Put on a Bus: At the beginning of the second season, Kate is Put On A Limo (to Hawaii).
  • Quick Nip: Oliver, before his death.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: When Richard first meets Holly, it's in the middle of a corporate shake-up. After Richard's former contact at the company introduces the two of them and then leaves, Holly comments of him, "He's just gonna love Anchorage."
  • Reference Overdosed: Given that the majority of the cast are in-universe Shakespearean actors putting on Shakespeare's plays and the show itself reflects those plays in its characters, arcs, and themes, this is inevitable. While the actual plays performed are among Shakespeare's most famous, the characters are not afraid to reference his more obscure works. (Season 1 ends with a quote from King John; season 2, with a quote from Richard II.)
  • The Reveal: The cause of Geoffrey's nervous breakdown and his falling out with Oliver and Ellen. ( Oliver had sex with Ellen.)
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder:
    Geoffrey: Which would you prefer: an empty house with a great play, or a full house with a piece of garbage?
    Richard: GARBAGE! GARBAGE! I want GARBAGE!
Ellen: What do you want me to do, ask her to leave?
Geoffrey: Yes! Now! Please!
  • Running Gag: Sanjay quoting something inspirational, and finishing "Richard Nixon said that."
  • The Scottish Trope: Season 2 is about a production of Macbeth, so naturally this comes up. Oliver refers to Macbeth as "the Scotsman" until Geoffrey starts making fun of him for it. The opening credits are all about how the role is cursed, and call him "Mackers."
  • Shout-Out: To William Shakespeare, constantly.
  • Shown Their Work: Those lengthy discussions of possible decisions for the staging, direction, and acting of the plays reference loads of critical theory and scholarship, though they're so conversationally written that you don't need to know that to be interested.
  • Show Within a Show: Much of the action revolves around the production of plays in the New Burbage Theater.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Two of the interns in Season Two.
  • Silly Will: Oliver, who asked to have his head severed upon his death so it can be stripped of flesh and used in a production of Hamlet. Oddly enough, this is Truth in Television, since Polish pianist André Tchaikowsky (1935-1982) was able to fulfill his dream of posthumously playing Yorick in the Royal Shakespeare Company's 2008 production of Hamlet with David Tennant.
  • Skewed Priorities: Kate shows up for a performance half an hour late only to find out that Oliver's dead and the performance has been canceled. Her first reaction is, "You mean I'm not fired?" To her credit, she immediately realizes how insensitive this is.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: In season 2, Ellen does this twice within three episodes of each other: the first time with Geoffrey, the second with her brother-in-law.
  • Smug Snake: Henry Breedlove, a complete and utter asshole of a pretentious actor who absolutely refuses to take direction.
  • Spirit Advisor: Oliver.
  • Spoiler Opening: An actor who was a regular in season 1 is credited as a guest star in the opening credits of the first episode of season 2. This kind of gives away the result of her character's plotline that episode, which is her deciding whether or not to stay in New Burbage.
  • Stereotype Reaction Gag: Anna tries to score some pot off Maria. Maria initially thinks Anna is hitting on her; after that's cleared up, Maria's reaction is:
    So, you assume I'm a pothead, as well as a lesbian? Because all stage managers are pot-smoking lesbians, right? ... Well, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I'm all out. This process has been hard on my stash, and my guy is out of town till Tuesday.
  • Stylistic Suck:
    • The East Hastings musical produced during the third season comes across as a sub-par RENT knock-off.
    • The TV series that Ellen stars in is a Cliché Storm Space Opera (which also includes a caveman for some reason).
  • Talking in Your Dreams: Probably averted: When they're out of contact Geoffrey sees Oliver in dreams which are probably normal ones (i.e., nonsense) and not actual communication; the rest of the time Oliver wakes Geoffrey up to talk to him.
  • Talking to the Dead: Zig-zagged like crazy. Geoffrey's therapist prompts him to engage in this as role play during a session, guessing (correctly) that he still has a serious beef with Oliver. He then perceives a fantastic one-sided argument, admittedly carried out by a former actor of notable talent. Of course, it is actually Geoffrey holding a Dead Person Conversation with Oliver as per usual.
  • Technician Versus Performer: A recurring motif.
  • Tempting Fate: Brian is extremely guilty of this in Episode 1 of Season 2. After the final performance of Hamlet, Brian venomously tells Geoffrey (the ARTISTIC DIRECTOR of the Festival and his boss) that he is ruining the theatre, and is dragging Oliver's name through the dirt.Needless to say, insulting your boss directly to his face is not a very smart thing to so. Geoffrey promptly fires Brian, who seems oddly SURPRISED at this outcome. What exactly did he think we going to happen?
  • Thematic Theme Tune: The openings are drinking songs about whatever play is being performed that season.
  • Those Two Guys: Frank and Cyril. Also, the undertakers at Oliver's funeral in episode 2.
  • Troubled Production: Rife with In-Universe examples — probably the most troubled is the Season 3 and its production of King Lear.
  • Undeath Always Ends
  • Unfinished Business: Oliver and Geoffrey both believe Oliver is present for a reason, but to their mutual despair, they can't figure out what it is so that he can take care of it and move on.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Almost everyone in the main cast, particularly Richard.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: You can watch this show knowing nothing about Shakespeare or theater, but you'll miss a hell of a lot.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Frequent.
    • Kate's old drama teacher gets extremely drunk and throws up on Oliver in the first episode.
    • Both Jack and Jerry throw up out of nervousness, right before going onstage as Hamlet and Macbeth respectively.
  • Wham Episode: The Season 3 opener, with Charles shooting up heroin alone in his room.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Or the Theatre sans Argent? After resigning from the company, Geoffrey mentions in his final "talk with Oliver" that he planned on starting it up again.
    • What happens to May? Is she dead or still in a coma or what?
  • White-Dwarf Starlet: Ellen is a downplayed example. Although her golden age has clearly ended, she is still a talented actress who performs well, and this is still admitted openly by everyone.
  • Whoopi Epiphany Speech: Sloan delivers a very odd example of this speech to Geoffrey and Ellen in the Season 2 finale:
    Sloan: You guys are so obviously meant to be together. So obvious it pisses me off, all right? What the fuck, just deal with it. You fucking broke my heart, Ellen, all right? But I knew you were right. I mean, come on. (walks off)
    Geoffrey: Wow. Out of the mouths of babes.
  • Willing Suspension of Disbelief: Discussed in the first season. Geoffrey quotes the Coleridge line about this, and then goes on to comment, "Of course, it all falls apart if one of the actors isn't very good at pretending."
  • The Worst Seat in the House: There's nothing wrong in theory with the Minister of Culture's seat for the opening night of Macbeth, but she has the misfortune of being behind a very tall goth.
  • Your Tomcat Is Pregnant: Ellen's chameleon Sibyl turns out to be a male. She only learns this by happenstance a year after she gets him.