In Fair Verona, Where We Lay Our Scene
Original Air Date: May 29, 2017
Brianna – Managing Editor
Still Star-Crossed’s kicks off a glimpse past the classic Shakespearian drama.
Still Star-Crossed takes the story of Romeo & Juliet a step further and tells the story of what happens after the iconic pair die and throws the city of Verona into chaos.
The Montagues and the Capulets’ contentious relationship only gets more fraught as what is meant to be a gift to the Capulets during the funeral gets defaced, and both sides engage in an all-out sword fight.
The story looks into the lives of other members of the families, specifically protagonist Rosaline Capulet. Rosaline is Juliet’s cousin and lived with her aunt, uncle, and cousin after her parents were murdered years before. Throughout the hour, we find out through flashbacks that her father was murdered out on the street, presumably by a Montague. But she doesn’t feel the family love as she and her sister are left to deal with her envious aunt, Guiliana, who already makes it clear that she is not willing to make her niece feel comfortable at all and her goal is to make her niece’s life miserable.
The hour also introduces a few other members of the Capulet family: Rosaline’s stubborn sister Livia and her uncle Silvestro. We also meet Rosaline’s lost love in Prince Escalus who returned to Verona to say goodbye to his father before he died, and Benvolio Montague.
With tensions at an all-time high, it’s revealed that the original plan was to unite the families through Romeo and Juliet’s marriage. With Prince Escalus and his sister, Princess Isabella, they have to find a way to bring order back to Verona to prepare for what may come from beyond the city walls. By the end of the hour, it looks like Escalus and both the Montagues and the Capulets come to an agreement to unite the families…through the marriage of Rosaline and Benvolio.
The pilot took a little bit more time than I would have thought to move through the end of the Shakespeare play before going beyond the original story and attempted to lay the foundation for what could make for an entertaining story, from the political aspect to the romantic aspect (and a combination of the two). In terms of character, there were a few that came off as tiresome by the end of the hour while others set their stories up nicely.
The set up for Rosaline, Escalus, and Benvolio definitely checked off a few of the trope-y boxes and had me curious as to how it plays out. Ultimately, it feels like this may work well as a summer drama, but it’ll take me another episode.
So, what did you think of Shondaland’s first period drama? Will you be tuning in next week?