Having thoroughly enjoyed the debut season of the BBC Two comedy series, Upstart Crow (which I blogged about here), I couldn’t wait for Season 2 to begin, which it did just two weeks ago–and I wasn’t disappointed.
The period-piece sitcom with the Bard as the main character started Season 2 with ample helpings of Shakespearey insults and wordplay, inside jokes (such as a reference to Will’s fondness for appropriating others’ words as his own), a jab at Scots, and a reference to reality television, as Will says, “If fame itself be more important than the means by which it be got, then will there dawn a day in Albion where we simply watch a gaggle of inadequates sitting about in a house and call them famous?”
The opening episode, “The Green-Eyed Monster,” revolves around the visit of an African prince, “Otello,” amid Will’s efforts to convince Robert Greene to grant his family a coat of arms, making gentlemen of him and his vulgarian father. Greene’s “asides” as the Iago figure, “which by strict convention cannot be heard,” were hilarious, as was Will’s presentation of historical context to Kate, the landlady’s daughter:
WILL: Kate, the ancient world played by different rules. Christ Himself hailed from Judea, and yet as everybody knows, He was blond with blue eyes.
KATE: The only blond and blue-eyed man in the whole of the middle east?
WILL: Don’t be ridiculous, of course not. His disciples were blond and blue-eyed, too. Except Judas, who was dark and swarthy. Look at any painting.
So much fun. I loved every minute, though (as with Season 1) I hated the laugh track. But I look forward to future episodes, which can’t come soon enough.