Okay, so I’ve watched only the first episode of the new television series, Will, airing on the cable channel TNT (the second episode is waiting for me on the DVR). So this is only a quick first impression.
I expected very little. In fact, I expected to hate this “Moulin Rouge Shakespeare” (the show’s creator is Moulin Rouge writer Craig Pearce). But I mostly liked it.
Sure, I hate when movies and shows get the historical details glaringly wrong–as Will does by putting female actors on the Elizabethan stage (but also male actors as women, so make up your mind). But I was nonetheless delighted by the insertion of Shakespeare’s words into the script (including a cute riposte surrounding his invention of the word “bedazzled” and a fun onstage twist about holding “a mirror up to nature,” a Hamlet reference). And even the “rap battle” between Will and the newly-met Robert Greene delighted more than frustrated me.
All in all, the story stayed fairly close to the few things we know and had some nice takes on the rest, making me want to watch more, hoping that all’s well that ends well.