Upstart Crow, Season One

Do you have a soft spot for Shakespeare? This show is for you.

Do you like David Mitchell? This show is for you.

Were you a Black Adder fan? This show is for you.

First things first: That's not a laugh track. Like Black Adder—and no surprise, because same writer—it is filmed in front of a live audience.

 Upstart Crow, Season One

Upstart Crow, Season One

Beyond that! We blew through the first season over the course of two nights—and, despite having pretty different backgrounds/interest levels in Shakespeare's works and the man himself, we both really enjoyed it. 

There are a million jokes about the plays and about the historical figures and about the era and about OUR era—those were often the jokes that really, REALLY hit for me—and appropriately enough, the humor ranges from highbrow to lowbrow to no brow at all. ALSO, even beyond the references to the plays, there are moments in which they full-on perform short bits—sometimes slightly altered—from the actual plays. 

And sometimes it definitely feels like the sort of show that a high school English teacher would use to try to show less-than-enthusiastic students that SHAKESPEARE IS FUN, but... I don't know, Shakespeare IS fun. 

Anyway, at the moment, my favorites—beyond David Mitchell, who pretty much kills me in everything he's in—are Mark Heap as Robert Greene, Tim Downie at Kit Marlowe, and Helen Monks as Susanna Shakespeare. AND. According to this article, Emma Thompson and Noel Fielding both show up in the second season, so that'll be fun, WOOOOOOOOOOOO!