Upstart Crow

TV Review: Upstart Crow, Episode 6, The Quality Of Mercy

For those armchair critics that have been constantly comparing Ben Elton’s Upstart Crow to Blackadder there was a delicious surprise in the final episode featuring Gabrielle Glaister from his old series which made it clear that Elton knew the similarities were there when he first put quill to paper to write this comic celebration of the bard.

TV Review: Upstart Crow, Episode 5, What Bloody Man Is That?

I couldn't see a co-writing credit alongside Ben Elton's name* for William Shakespeare, but as anyone with a basic grasp of English literature will spot this week's episode is a comical rewrite of Macbeth. And a pretty nifty one, with David Mitchell as the bard convinced that he has committed murder at the behest of his scheming wife so that they can move to the big house in Stratford before prices rise out of reach.

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TV Review: Upstart Crow, BBC2, Episode 3 – The Apparel Proclaims The Man

There was a bit of chat on Twitter recently about how Upstart Crow is a refreshing real sitcom, contrasting it with the trend for non-sidesplitting studio comedies, which I guess means things like Going Forward and Mum. I think there is room for both. I like the more subtle comedies and while there is nothing subtle about Ben Elton’s Shakespearen send-up I can certainly see the attraction of Upstart Crow if you just want stupid, painless laughs and smutty innuendo.  

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