After Twitch City, another outstanding TV show from Canada. Set at a provincial theater, Slings & Arrows is populated with all the stock types: the borderline-mad artistic director, the sell-out manager, the nosy American board member eager to put on Mamma Mia!, the aging diva, the budding ingénue (Rachel McAdams). Don McKellar makes an appearance as a hilarious conceptual artiste. Imbued by a snappy script with growing complexity and a rich back story, the characters are both hilarious and lovable at the same time. The Hamlet theme is elegantly woven through the entire season–director Geoffrey Tenant (Paul Gross) regularly chats with his predecessor’s ghost–and by the time opening night rolls around, all the actor jokes are redeemed by an honest-to-god glimpse at the magic of making theater. Remarkable.
Slings and Arrows, Season 1. Peter Wellington, 2003. ****
YouTube has what looks like entire seasons, cut up into ten-minute pieces. Here’s the opening of episode one: