From the recently released teaser trailer for and descriptions of TNT’s upcoming drama about a young William Shakespeare, Will doesn’t quite look like a good show, but rather another period piece desperately striving towards a contemporary sensibility in the least inventive ways possible: heaping weird sex, cheap grotesquerie, and “punk rock” onto a historical figure. And if that indeed turns out to be the case, sign me up.
Yes, back in February of last year, an official description of the show was released, summarizing it as depicting Shakespeare’s landing on “the punk rock theater scene that was 16th century London – the seductive, violent world where his raw talent faced rioting audiences, religious fanatics and raucous side-shows.” There was an emphasis in that early description on it being set to a modern soundtrack, the better to “expos[e] all his recklessness, lustful temptations and brilliance.” Pandering Period Piece should be its own official genre — it’s undeniably a fun one.
In the trailer, there’s suggestions of a love story (between Shakespeare, played by Laurie Davidson, and Alice Burbage, played by Olivia DeJonge) sex, gore, that infamous rivalry with Christopher Marlowe, some quills, and apparently some theater as well. “They say in London people cry the names of plays as if they were kings,” young Shakespeare concludes.
The series will air sometime this summer. Watch the trailer: