This What to Watch Wednesday as many celebrate the sun, I thought I’d take a moment for the other star of this season, William Shakespeare.
Yes, while not quite as widely recognized as the sun, sand, and other “usual summer fare” (a tragedy, if you ask me), Shakespeare Festivals are a summer tradition all their own the world over.
Yes, this season, some of them have proven to be more controversial than others but I’m not here to talk about that. The mere fact that we’re still exploring these plays centuries after they were written, is a testament to the timelessness of these Elizabethan works.
And this summer, William Shakespeare is moving beyond his usual summer stock rounds to the small screen in not one, but two television debuts.
Of course, the Bard is no stranger to television. “Sons of Anarchy” reimagined “Hamlet” in a modern-day motorcycle club, Frank Underwood of “House of Cards” is more than loosely based on “Richard III,” and (brace yourselves millennials) the Disney Channel original movie “Motocrossed” brought a loose interpretation of “Twelfth Night” to a whole generation.
So, what delights will the summer of 2017 bring from the Bard?
First up, we join a show already in progress, “Still Star-Crossed” on ABC. I will admit, when I heard there was a “Romeo and Juliet” sequel series happening, I rolled my eyes. But I’m also a Shakespeare nut, so I couldn’t help but watch. Spoiler Alert: It’s fantastic in the truest sense of the word.
And a shoutout to Shondaland (Ms. Rhimes is a producer), this is everything you’d expect from the creator of “Scandal” (maybe not “Grey’s” so much), with all of the political intrigues (with period costumes!) and bad-ass leading ladies you know and love. Plus, this is Shakespeare, so you get all of that plus a strong possibility of sonnets, soliloquies, and maybe a haunting or two.
Finally, a show which will not make it’s premiere for another couple weeks, but I have high hopes for. With plot points that I’m sure will be somewhat familiar to those who have seen “Shakespeare in Love,” TNT’s “Will” the scandal, danger, and excitement of Shakespeare off the stage (at times) and into the life of Shakespeare himself.
And in conclusion, whether it’s on the stage or screen, there are no shortage of cultural opportunities for you this summer, so get out there and enjoy the season and all of its wonders.