Let me say publicly that DonBoy’s answer exudes a combination of intuitive genius and confidence that make me think DonBoy is going to do big things in his life. -- Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics blog)
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Some Stuff About Jekyll

I was going to do some proper writing about the BBC version of Jekyll, which starts on BBC America this Saturday having just finished its 6-episode run last week in the UK, but the usual laziness got the better of me, with the result that I can link to Alan Sepinwall for the facts of the matter, and move directly on to some extra thoughts:

-- there was a point or two where I began to entertain the possibility that Steven Moffat is Alan Moore in disguise. More than one episode of Coupling is structured around games with form, such as a split-screen sequence that takes up 2/3 of an episode, or (more than once) seeing the same events more than once from various characters' points of view. Furthermore, there are moments in Jekyll where the dialogue is so clever that it draws attention to itself, which I've always found to be a danger with Moore. Which is my excuse for quoting my favorite line, from the scene where Mrs. Tom Jackman learns about Mr. Hyde:

Claire: What are you? I thought I married a man!
Hyde: You miscounted.

As a counter to this theory, two points. One: My favorite episode of Coupling -- in fact, one of my favorite sitcom episodes ever -- "The Cupboard of Patrick's Love", is not one of those formalistic exercises. Two: Alan Moore isn't funny. When he is, he's funny like a very smart robot, or he's stealing from National Lampoon stories and/or the film made from them.

--when it comes down to it, Jekyll is oddly constructed. Alan mentions this in his review, but I'm not sure it's totally successful. By the time we get to the end, we're dealing with very different situations from the beginning, to the extent that certain characters from the earlier, more expository episodes are left wandering around, attempting to exposit on a question that never particularly held my interest, which is the precise connection between not-quite-fictional Henry Jekyll, and our hero, Dr. Tom Jackman. Ultimately, this question is resolved with at least 3 revelations, one of which earns a "was that supposed to be a surprise?", and the other two of which earn a "well, if that's the case, then why did this or that character...." -- I imagine Moffat has answers in his head, but they're not obviously on the screen.

Really, though, you wanna see James Nesbitt do some Hyde. It's a riot.

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