I happened to catch the BBC? PBS segment (it was 2H4) of the second tetralogy today. It was okay. I found it hard to understand some of the dialog, but that may have to do with my television set up. And certainly, I'm not as good with British accents as most British folks probably are.
But then, there was the few minutes of director and actors talking about the production.
It was like they actually believed all the propaganda about how wonderful H5 was, and didn't notice any of the critical/questioning Shakespeare brings in. Seriously, the glory of H5 is that it makes you squirm about H5, and thus about political speech and propaganda.
Did you not notice that Henry doesn't remember or care about any of the "unnamed" people who died at Agincourt? Or that despite that speech, no one that I know of celebrates St. Crispin's Day in honor of the battle today? (Okay, a few crazy Shakespeare folks, but really? No one in Shakespeare's day did, either.)
Did you not notice that final epilogue, which acknowledges that all those deaths weren't even successful at garnering French territory for England for very long, and that, indeed, Henry screwed up as king in the most fundamental way by dying before his son was old enough to be an effective ruler?
And finally, Jeremy Irons dissing non-professional live performances? Sir, you're wrong! (I declare it on the intertubes!) Live performance is absolutely superior to introduce people to Shakespeare.
Okay, I'm done.
Did any of you see it?
And did you think the whole thing felt really dark? (I have a less than big screen TV, so that may be part of my perception about darkness.)