"Upstart Crow" - has anyone seen this?

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RathDarkblade

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#1
By complete accident, I got to see an episode of this last night ('twas the episode about the first staging of "Romeo and Juliet"). As I am already a fan of Shakespeare (plus I like David Mitchell), I thought I'd give this a go. ;)

It was amusing and very good fun. :) Alas, it was also the last episode (or so the announcer said afterwards). :(

Has anyone else seen this? What did you think? 8)
 

Quatermass

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#2
I haven't really seen it. I saw part of the Christmas special, and while some parts appealed to me (it was very Blackadder-like, and I know it's written by Ben Elton, who wrote Blackadder), it didn't quite do it for me. It may be because my taste in humour has changed over the years (these days, my humour needs are mostly filled by Abridged Series), but I'm considering giving it another go.
 

RathDarkblade

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#3
Hmm ... yes, it struck me as quite a bit like "Blackadder", and I wasn't surprised to see that it was written by Ben Elton. ;)

I did like "Blackadder" very much, and even more so when I started reading history and realised how "realistic" (or not) it was - or wasn't. ;) The first series, perhaps moreso than the others; the others were just good fun. :)

So to cut a long story short (too late), has anyone else seen this? If so, what did you think? ;)
 

Molokov

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#4
I saw a handful of episodes on a recent plane flight - I think from S3? It was fine, but relies a little too much of the use of archaic English to replace modern swear words (e.g. 'futtock') and a little knowledge of Shakespeare's works is also important. It was good to see the plots of the episodes revolve around "inspiring" the plays, but it just didn't seem quite as clever as Blackadder or Black Books, which are more of its spiritual predecessors. The characters also didn't seem to be quite as quirky/amusing as the side characters in Blackadder (Baldrick, George, Queenie etc).

David Mitchell is, of course, good, but from what I saw, Upstart Crow didn't really grab me. That being said, it's been quite some time since I've found a really great British sitcom.
 

RathDarkblade

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#5
Yes... sigh. It's a great pity. I can't remember any really good British sitcoms that were made after the 80s. =( Or maybe that's just me, 'cos I was growing up in the 80s so I'm only a wee bit slightly biased towards that era. ;)

Having said that - well. "Porridge", "Two Ronnies", "Blackadder", "Are You Being Served?", "Yes Minister", "Keeping Up Appearances", "Last of the Summer Wine", "Yes, Prime Minister", "'Allo 'Allo", "Fawlty Towers", "The Thin Blue Line"... need I say more? ;)
 

Quatermass

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#6
Let's see...I can name a few made from or during the 90s onwards. Red Dwarf, Bottom, The League of Gentlemen...
 

Quatermass

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#8
Nah, that was purely from the 80s, though Bottom was a sort of pseudo-sequel to it, given that it shared writers and cast (particularly Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson, doing their thing of beating the crap out of each other). I like The Young Ones, though, as well as Blackadder, Monty Python's Flying Circus, some of Fawlty Towers...most of the other pre-90s ones you mentioned, I don't like.
 

Dotsie

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#9
If you can get access to 'Bill', it's worth watching. Another tale of the 'true origins' of Shakespeare, by the people who brought you Horrible Histories. A low-brow but funny film. I watched Upstart Crow and was a bit meh, but I might give it another go.
 

RathDarkblade

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#10
Hmm. Well, I got the "Upstart Crow" box-set (which was fairly inexpensive) and started watching it. I know quite a lot about Shakespeare, and fortunately, I like it very much. :)

Molokov, I can see what you mean about the use of archaic English to replace modern swear words (e.g. 'futtock', 'bollingbrokes', 'sluttage' etc.) - but I'm pretty sure these are just made up. ;) I've read a few histories of slang, and they're not at all as clear as these. For instance (from "The Vulgar Tongue" by Francis Grose, 1788):

"Why picketh thou at thy hair, puff guts?"

"Why picketh I? 'Cos I got the creepers, kinchin. Now, here's a pig-widgeon - go get me some brandy, will you?"

"Cor, a sixpence! Thanks, mister - you ain't such a Captain Hackum as you seem!"

"Heh. Little does he know, I told him a Canterbury story about me creepers."

(Puff guts = a fat man; creepers = lice; kinchin = little boy; pig-widgeon = sixpence; Captain Hackum = a blustering bully; Canterbury story = a long, winding tale. All genuine slang from the Regency period) ;)
 

Dotsie

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#11
They’re not made up terms, but they are archaic. They’ve just been used to get around the no swearing rules, because they sound quite rude.
 

RathDarkblade

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#12
Oops! :oops: My mistake. I just looked up those words, and yes - there are several places called "Bolingbrokes" (both in the UK and Canada), and several people (including a king or two) were Viscounts of Bolingbrokes.

A "futtock" is part of the frame of a sailing ship. "Futtock frames" are ropes, wires or chain links in the ship's rigging. I had no idea about this - it's neat. :)

I'm not sure what a "sluttage" is, though (other than the obvious, of course). Any ideas? I'm just curious. English is my second language, so I'm always happy to learn. :)
 

Dotsie

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#13
A slut was an untidy woman, although now it does service as a rude word as it's meaning has changed to tart.
 

RathDarkblade

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#14
Hum. I'm aware of the current (and previous) meaning of the word "slut" - not a nice word at all. I'm just wondering if the word "sluttage" ever existed in its own right, like "futtock" and "Bolingbrokes". ;)
 

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