Slings and Arrows courtesy Acorn Media
This dramedy, about the foibles and follies of a Canadian theater troupe, is one of my all-time favorite television series. Filled with irreverent, hilarious dialogue and heart-felt performances that can't help but ring true, Slings & Arrows was the kind of show that comes around far too rarely. In addition to the on-stage antics and the backstage romances of the actors, the show deals with the uproarious struggles of Richard (series co-creator Mark McKinney of Kids in the Hall) to keep the fictional New Burbage Theatre Festival afloat. If this all sounds dauntingly intellectual OK, it was uncommonly smart, but the laughs come often and sometimes with such force that you'll be rolling on the ground. Each of the three season centered on one of Shakespeare's great tragedies (Hamlet, Macbeth and King Lear), which made room for guest-stars like Rachel McAdams and Sarah Polley, as well as veteran stage actor William Hutt, whose turn as a man fulfilling his dying wish of playin...
Question: This past fall, I saw a performance of King Lear at the Goodman Theater in Chicago, and I really didn't understand the play. These past six weeks, I have actually learned what King Lear is about while watching Slings & Arrows. The last 15 minutes of this series had me in tears. Please don't forget about Slings & Arrows when referencing season/series finales, and this year's finest shows.
Answer: Mea culpa for not bringing up Slings & Arrows in my recent roundup of last Sunday's season/series finales. A pure oversight, since I'd watched all six episodes in a single sitting several months ago and hadn't done the math to realize the finale was airing the same night as Rome, BSG, Grease!, etc. If it's any consolation, it is on my (current) short list of "best of 2007" shows, right up there with Friday Night Lights, Battlestar Galactica, 30 Rock, post-hiatus Lost and Planet Earth ...
Question: We both agree that Slings & Arrows is a brilliant show and deserves to receive accolades and awards from peers and the TV industry. I just read in TV Guide that the third season (which hasn't aired in the U.S. yet) is its last. Is this true? If so, why? Is it being canceled, or have the producers and creators decided to call it quits? I need to know whom I need to write to! I want them to know that they shouldn't end it now! This show means so much to me, more than any other show ever has. I am an actor and a director, I work in community theater and this show speaks to me as an artist! I can't face the possibility of it ending. What can I do?
Answer: Enjoy it while you can. (The third season of this Canadian gem is currently airing on Sundance Channel on Sundays; do yourself a favor and check it out.) When you get to the end of the current season, you'll see that Slings & Arrows bows out gracefully, tying up a number of threads with satisfying closure. I hated seeing it end
Slings & Arrows' Sarah Polley
To watch, or not to watch? That is the question. The answer should actually be fairly obvious since Sundance Channel's Canadian import, Slings & Arrows, is so deliciously written, with its wry sense of humor and its incredibly stylized dialogue filled with juicy layered meanings. TVGuide.com recently had a chance to speak with the show's head writer, Bob Martin — who just so happens to have won a Tony for his narration of the Broadway musical The Drowsy Chaperone and is busying himself for the London staging — about Slings' third season, which premieres Sunday at 8 pm/ET.
TVGuide.com: I walk past your smiling face on a huge Drowsy billboard every morning. Is that a bit surreal for you, because usually you're behind the scenes as a writer?Bob