Follow TV Tropes


YMMV / Jekyll & Hyde

Go To

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Hyde still looks like Jekyll, just with loose hair and an evil grin. He brutally murders the people that pissed Jekyll off, and he rapes the woman Jekyll was attracted to but didn't dare become involved with because of the engagement to Emma, whom he later assaults at the wedding. This show makes it easier than almost any other version of the story to interpret Hyde as simply a name Jekyll gives his repressed depravity. In the source story, Jekyll straight up explains that that freedom is why he makes the potion, and it's why he continues to imbibe it. Even in the musical, Jekyll states that the potion makes him feel "twice as alive and tenfold more wicked, which intoxicates and delights me like wine." He's addicted to the freedom, and keeps up with it, not attempting to stop until his actions have gone well past the point of being unforgivable. The cut song "Reflections" directly quotes and paraphrases the novel as Jekyll comes to terms with being Hyde even after people are murdered.
  • Awesome Music:
    • Both Jekyll and Hyde get a ton of them, with "This is the Moment", "Confrontation" (in which Jekyll and Hyde duet), "I Need To Know", and "Alive" being the stand-outs.
    • Lucy does get a handful of really good numbers as well, though since her original actress was dating the writer it should be no surprise.
    • Many of Jekyll's songs are just pure awesome.
    • The Leit Motif of the show, Facade, pops up multiple times, in which the Ensemble comment on the evils of human nature, with each reprise gaining a much more sinister connotation.
  • Breakaway Pop Hit: "This is the Moment" in the 90s.
  • Broken Base: Later versions of the musical included a subplot about Jekyll's terminally ill father who becomes the catalyst for the creation of the potion. The base is fairly evenly split between those who like the addition and feel it creates more sympathy for Jekyll, and those who despise the addition for that very reason as they feel it undermines the intentional moral ambiguity of the character. The fact that the subplot has absolutely no basis in the source material just adds more fuel to the fire.
  • Advertisement:
  • Catharsis Factor: Playing Hyde lets actors let loose, sing about, and act on their basest urges without having to actually do them.
  • Evil Is Cool: Hyde represents everything Jekyll enters his experiments seeking to isolate and destroy, but his decision to use himself as the subject of the experiment proves a fatal error when this trope comes into play. Rather than being repulsed by Hyde's monstrous nature, Jekyll is initially fascinated by his darker side and envies his ability to act without morals or inhibition to enjoy life to the fullest. Unfortunately, Jekyll dramatically underestimates what Hyde is capable of with nothing holding his impulses in check while overestimating his ability to control him; once Hyde realizes suicide from the success-obsessed Jekyll is an empty threat, and that Henry is no longer strong enough to contain him even with altered drugs, he begins to rampage with impunity, alerting Jekyll to the danger he has placed himself and everyone he knows in only when it's far too late to regain control of the experiment.
  • Advertisement:
  • Fridge Horror: In the script, Jekyll is hiding in the darkness in Lucy's room. After he calls out to her, Hyde takes control, leading to Lucy's murder. Jekyll was so close to bidding Lucy goodbye without incident. Hyde even says, to Lucy's "For a moment I thought it was someone else," "For a moment, it almost was."
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The surreal imagery and lyrics in "The World Has Gone Insane" call to mind the infamous NES game.
  • Narm: "Confrontation" consists of Jekyll and Hyde in a heated argument. Since both are portrayed by the same actor, one half of the actor has hair and makeup to look like Hyde, and the other made up normally to look like Jekyll. When they switch parts of the song, the actor turns so that either his left or right side is exposed to the audience - complete with lighting cues. The concept is already flawed - but in the hands of a bad actor, it is absolutely hilarious.
    • The ending comes up so abruptly and melodramatically it can be hard to take seriously, let alone process what the heck just happened. The original ending was a bit more drawn-out, but ended on an extremely dramatic violin flourish.
    • The entirety of the infamous filmed version with David Hasselhoff is either this or Narm Charm, but everyone agrees that Hyde's expressions during 'Dangerous Game' are pure narm.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: A lot of the songs and scenes in the musical, especially early on, are about Jekyll, Emma, or Lucy singing about love and being in love. It takes about 45 minutes for Hyde to show up.
  • Signature Scene: The most famous scene/song in the musical is either Hyde's "Alive," where he gleefully rampages through London, or "Confrontation," where Jekyll and Hyde duet as they struggle for control of the body.
  • Strangled by the Red String: While we at least have a pretty good idea why Lucy loves Henry as he was the only one to treat her with any kindness, Emma and Henry are more generically in love and they rarely express any qualities or personality about why they do. A cut song showed how they met and fell in love, but not why.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • The board members' unwillingness to sanction Jekyll's work is actually understandable. Although they're all portrayed as close-minded hypocrites, and if they had said yes he might have been able to better control the experiment, it's completely unethical to perform an experimental, possibly dangerous, treatment on an asylum patient, as he requested—such a subject, among other things, would be unable to provide informed consent.
    • There's also the matter of the Bishop of Basingstoke's question to Jekyll when he finishes pitching his idea: "And what if you're right, Jekyll, and you do manage to separate good from evil? What happens to the evil!?". While he asks it in an extremely confrontational and over-the-top way and he's leagues away from being a wise or decent human being, it doesn't change the fact that, as anyone remotely familiar with the story will know, that question was an extremely important one. The fact that Jekyll refused to even answer it and instead deflected it with emotional appeals should have been grounds for dismissal of the proposition right then and there.
  • Villain Ball: Of all the times for Hyde to reappear, he ends up doing it at Jekyll's wedding where he's endangering all the people (still alive) who are important to Jekyll. Even the embodiment of The Unfettered should have enough self-awareness to know that wasn't going to end well for him.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Lisa/Emma contributes little to the story aside from singing several love songs. Lucy does much the same, but they contribute to her characterization of abuse and feeling alone, while Emma just loves Henry and little else. In the concept albums Lisa admits as much, saying her world revolves around Henry and his dreams.
  • The Woobie: The DVD release features Colleen Sexton as Lucy and she sure looks like someone killed her puppy. Lucy's character in general is this, as she idolizes Jekyll purely because he was nice to her.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • Among the castings are theatre royalty Colm Wilkinson and Steve Barton, weird additions like David Hasselhoff and Sebastian Bach, and perhaps most infamously Takashi Kaga. And that's just for the character of Henry Jekyll/Edward Hyde.
    • David Hasselhoff was the final Jekyll/Hyde in the show's Broadway run. One of the performances was videotaped and released on DVD. Some consider his performance to be Narm Charm of the purest kind, though it's clear that, skills aside, he certainly put his all into the role.
    • Takeshi Kaga was actually quite well-known for starring in musicals in Japan prior to his Iron Chef days — he had also played Jean Valjean and Jesus, among other roles.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: