Friday, 10 February 2006

Shakespeare

The other day I was chatting with a very, very, very clever lady from America (I usually chat with people far cleverer than I will ever be but she is stellar). We were discussing cultural exchanges at the level of McDonalds Vs Magna Carta and Dick van Dyke Vs Olivier - you know the kind of thing. She offered Scott Fitzgerald Vs Shakespeare but I think she missed a trick.

When I had access to Sky I used to watch The West Wing, I now only have PMT (Poor man's TV - four channels) but I'm now watching the sixth series on DVD and I'm still in awe at the way Sorkin has crafted these characters and the language they use and the way they use it. Of course they use a language to which Shakespeare is credited with adding thousands of words and phrases but Sorking is working in the modern age using modern techniques to deliver carefully crafted and timed playlets within the play. He delivers homilies wrapped up in entertainment. I'd suggest that Sorkin is up there with the best.

4 careful considerations:

Rob Spence said...

...so of course, they've now cancelled the show...

Nogbad said...

Sad but inevitable I think. There are only so many ideas and the cast is moving on - it's hard to imagine that it would follow the Coronation Street model and last for thirty years isn't it?

Rob Spence said...

Yes, but why not have a new president, and associated cast, but continue with the writers and the style of the show? Except, I suppose, that would be a different show. BTW, I think the lack of an ending is the fatal flaw in soaps. Because they are open-ended the writers have to continually invent new storylines, resulting in ever more unlikely life stories. You'll remember Brookside, the unluckiest street in Britain - sieges, bombs, viruses, murders, rapes etc. Mind you, it *was* in Liverpool...
WV: yhump - to which the only answer is y not?

Nogbad said...

I don't know how far on you are with watching Rob so I'm loathe to comment on the series I've just watched (and I'll go bonkers if anyone spoils it for me!) but I think a large part of how well it worked was the strength of the casting and acting. While some characters have been replaced without causing too much damage I think there are others who are central to carrying the whole thing and even the small vignettes by Martin Sheen would be a terrible loss whe he reaches the end of his term.


I agree about soap operas but isn't that also what gives them the appearance of real life? Okay Brookside is a poor example and Corrie has to be bigger than reality but real life is about srands that don't close and unreconciled conflicts isn't it? The early Coronation Street, when it was far less spectacular, was far truer to the way many lived.

wv: xyzyg - Latest signing at Portsmouth?