FHubs and I watch The Bachelor(ette) and mock it mercilessly. The producer’s pick for this season is just ridiculous. Immediately after the latest episode, ABC aired a new melodrama, Still Star-Crossed. It’s about what happens after Romeo and Juliet die.
There was definitely some inevitable creative license. The nurse is now Juliet’s cousin, Rosaline, set into servitude along with her sister by a bitchy AF Lady Capulet. In case we had any doubts about what kind of character Lady Capulet is, we first meet her when she’s arguing with her husband about what a saint she is for letting her nieces stay and serve them. Both Livia want escape but in different ways. Rosaline dreams of being her own master and joining a nunnery while her sister Livia desperately wants to marry for love.
Another bit of creative license is Prince Escalus, who is roughly the same age as our protagonists having just succeeded his dead father. Our dear leader now must rule over people who have been playing politics longer than he’s been alive.
Because the actions of the Capulets (old money) and Montagues (new money), Verona is poised to fall to the Medici army, advancing Papal states, or any number of other outside forces. To encourage peace, a law is passed that anyone who commits murder shall be put to death without trial. This helps the new version of events dovetail with the original ending where the sole heirs to both houses die.
In an effort to force peace, Escalus degrees that Rosaline will marry Bevolio, an established womanizer. This is an interesting choice since Escalus is not impartial on the matter. We get a teaser of the inevitable drama to come.
This show feels like it will devolve into a poor man’s Game of Thrones by episode four. The sets and costumes won’t be as elaborate, the sex barely there or unrealistic, and the consequences won’t be as dire. The city may fall into new hands but the world isn’t doomed by magical ice zombies. It could be interesting but I suspect it will just be a vaguely literary variant on any standard melodrama. Check it out if you’re curious but don’t set your hopes too high.