February 9th, 2017

roman holiday: things are escalating

leading men

Hi, everybody!

I know I owe a million things to a million people, but let's put all of that aside just for a moment, shall we? Let's talk about some (unconventional) leading men instead.

First, like everyone who enjoys smart, interesting, adorable TV shows that are female-centric and have a primarily non-white cast, I'm watching Jane the Virgin. And this week's episode made some very big moves - so please only Collapse ) if you've already seen it. You can bet I'll be rehashing some of these queries around Yuletide.

Second, who else is watching/has watched Victoria on PBS/ITV? I DVR'd the early episodes simply because I used to teach Victorian literature and am fairly incapable of passing up anything to do with that particular era, and got the pleasantest shock I'd had in a long time to see my darling Rufus Sewell, dashing and lovely as ever, playing Lord Melbourne, the young queen's first and favorite Prime Minister. Man, he has aged well - his face is still as interesting and haunted as ever, which really suits his character's backstory (he's always been turned on by, and loved by, brilliant women - the one he married wrecked him utterly). Still, I couldn't help feeling like I'd seen him do this type of thing before, and it finally hit me that this must be very much like what he was like - nimbly finding that balance between the paternal and the romantic - when he originated the role of Septimus in one of my all-time favorite plays, Tom Stoppard's Arcadia. How I wish I could have seen that production (or at least some recording of it)! Septimus and Thomasina grow up to be Lord Melbourne and Queen Victoria - the parallel's not exact, but it's pretty close. (He's on stage in London right now, and I wish he'd come back to New York.)

Third, I saw Dear Evan Hansen again last night, and I came to the conclusion that the creators of this show might have written something perfect that only works in these particular circumstances, by which I mean with this leading man: Ben Platt (yes, Benji from the Pitch Perfect movies). He is extraordinarily talented. His acting was non-stop; there was not a single moment in which he checked out of all of the anxieties and horrors his character faces, and he had all of the gestures and coping mechanisms down. That probably sounds exhausting to watch, but it wasn't - it just felt real. (Though I'll admit that I was tense the whole way through and had to prevent myself from saying, "oh, honey" more than once.) And he has an astonishingly lovely singing voice that really suits the style of the songs. If you are in New York and/or visiting this year, make every effort to see this show.

This same entry also appears on Dreamwidth, at http://innie-darling.dreamwidth.org/461671.html.