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Slings & Arrows - Season 3 (2006)

Paul Gross , Mark McKinney  |  NR |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Gross, Mark McKinney
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: July 3, 2007
  • Run Time: 285 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000P2A2X8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,047 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Slings & Arrows - Season 3" on IMDb

Special Features

  • All six episodes from the 2006 season
  • Interviews with Paul Gross and Susan Coyne
  • Extended scenes of King Lear
  • Bloopers
  • Deleted and extra scenes
  • Trailer
  • Production notes
  • Photo gallery
  • Song lyrics
  • Cast filmographies

Editorial Reviews

It's a shame that there aren't more shows this good on TV, and now it's gone. Well, Slings and Arrows always was conceived by its creators to be a set of three seasons, and so after two tremendous offerings it comes to its third and final set of episodes about the backstage drama, onstage embarrassments, and personal trials and tribulations of the staff and actors of the fictional New Burbage Theatre Festival. Following the show's conceit of using plotlines that parallel the Shakespeare play being performed--Hamlet in season one and Macbeth in season two—this season sees artistic director Geoffrey Tenant (Paul Gross) mounting an ambitious production of King Lear with a lead actor (William Hutt as the aptly named Charles Kingman) who begins to literally live the role. Meanwhile the festival's general manager, Richard (Mark McKinney), deals with the unexpected burdens brought by the critical and financial success of their last production, continuing the show's structure of dual plotlines that focus on the artistic and financial aspects of theatre, detailing how inextricably the two are linked. Richard joins forces with flamboyant director Darren Nichols (Don McKellar) tries to top it with East Hastings, a contemporary musical about a heroin-addicted hooker with a heart of gold. As the musical becomes a big hit, Lear turns into a train wreck, and Geoffrey and Richard are both forced to make big decisions that have huge consequences for the Festival staff and actors. Such is the nature of outrageous fortune. It's bittersweet to see a show this well done come to an end. On the one hand, three seasons seems like such a short run for such a good program. On the other hand, it's good to see it go out on a high note, and the addition of extra features on this set, including extended interviews, deleted scenes, production notes, and more, should help serious fans through their withdrawal. --Daniel Vancini

Product Description

"Pitch-perfect drama and comedy" -- San Francisco Chronicle
"Sweet, smart and seriously addictive" -- Philadelphia Inquirer
"The most fully satisfying slice of entertainment in ages" -- Newsday

As seen on the Sundance Channel

In its third season, this universally acclaimed series continues to mine dramatic and comic gold from the trials and tribulations of a dysfunctional Canadian theatre troupe, both on- and offstage.

Struggling with the unfamiliar burdens of success, the New Burbage theatre festival mounts two ambitious productions: King Lear, Shakespeare’s epic tragedy, and East Hastings, a debut musical about a heroin-addicted hooker with a heart of gold. Emotionally fragile artistic director Geoffrey Tennant (Paul Gross) coaxes legendary actor Charles Kingman out of semi-retirement to play Lear. But with plenty of personal baggage, Kingman doesn’t so much play the part as live it. Meanwhile, the festival’s resident bean-counter (Mark McKinney) joins forces with the musical’s flamboyant director (Don McKellar) to create the unlikeliest hit in theatre history. Special guest stars include award-winning actor William Hutt of Canada’s Stratford Festival and indie-film sensation Sarah Polley (My Life Without Me, The Sweet Hereafter).

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE interviews with Paul Gross and Susan Coyne; extended scenes of King Lear; bloopers; deleted and extra scenes; trailer; production notes; photo gallery, song lyrics, and cast filmographies.

Contains strong coarse language

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
78 of 81 people found the following review helpful
Warning: Spoilers!

Season Three was the final act in one of the remarkable small format series in the history of television. The Canadian series is unlike anything that could ever have been produced in the United States. American TV is focused on long-running series that can be taken into syndication. This doesn't mean that some great television doesn't result, but it does mean that smaller series such as SLINGS AND ARROWS, with its three six-episode seasons, has no place. This is a tragedy on a number of levels, not least because some series are simply better served by shorter formats.

Season Three of the series was far and away the most controversial of the three. Many fans of the first two seasons found the collapse of all the successes of the first two seasons to be off putting. They liked the way that HAMLET in Season One was an unexpected success while the daring MACBETH of Season Two became not only a festival success but made its way to Broadway. The final season was, however, a far more subdued and somber affair. Like the first two seasons, it focused on a central play in the Shakespearean corpus: KING LEAR. And like the first two seasons there is a difficulty with the lead actor. In this case, however, the actor is dying.

I personally think the final season is a tremendous artistic success. And much of the reason for that is the amazing performance by William Hutt as Charles Kingman, the dying Lear. Hutt has, very much like Ellen in the series, spent very little time in television and film. He is in fact one of the most distinguished Shakespearean actors of his day. Some great stage actors' transition to the silver screen as they age, finding the less grueling film schedule's physical demands easier to meet.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
When life takes its toll
When fate treats you bad
You used to be king
And now you've been had
Alone with you're fool
You think you'll go made
It's nice to take a walk in the rain

A stomp through a storm
Is what I'd advise
When people you trust
Tell nothing but lies
And kidnap your friend
And gouge out his eyes
It's nice to take a walk in the rain

In Season 1 of "Slings & Arrows," when the reasonably insane Geoffrey Tennant (Paul Gross) returned to the New Burbage Theater as artistic director it was to put on a production of "Hamlet" that features a young American heartthrob as the melancholy Dane and the then unknown Rachel McAdams as the production's Ophelia. Season 2 saw Geoffrey forced to put on a production of "MacBeth" as a tribute to the late Oliver Welles (Stephen Ouimette), an honor made painfully ironic by the fact that the spirit of Geoffrey's predecessor and former mentor is still around bedeviling our hero. The second season was not quite on the level of the first, and so I was concerned that the third and final season would not be a charm, but continue the decline. However, by the time I watched the six episodes in which the New Burbage Theater puts on a new production of "King Lear," I had to try and decide if this last season was the best of all for this Canadian production that is a must see for anybody who has been involved in the theater, even if they have never been in a production of one of the Bard's works.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hit - a palpable hit June 27, 2007
Slings and Arrows, a title taken from the infamous Hamlet speech - but I didn't have to tell you that did I? - returns to the screen (and now to DVD) with a third season. Like the theatre world that the show is based around, Slings and Arrows intertwines equal parts comedy and tragedy to create a moving and funny third season.

Unlike the majority of episodic television shows, Slings and Arrows focuses on the whole picture rather than making sure each episode has a gimmick to focus itself around. Luckily, this doesn't have the effect of making the show feel soap operatic or boring; instead, it allows the audience to become familiar with each character in the show and to enjoy the arc of the story as if they were watching a six segments of a super-long film.

This is the first season that I have seen, and I had no difficulty picking up the story line and relating to each character and their specific struggles and relationships. I can't speak to the relationship between seasons, though, since I haven't seen them myself, but it seems that the first two were more comedic and uplifting, while this final season, based around a production of King Lear, is a bit more solemn, dealing with a leading actor who is dying of cancer. The lead actor is played by the respected Canadian Shakespearean actor William Hutt, although "played" is not the best word for such a performance. Watching Hutt in this heartbreakingly powerful portrayal is the epitome of witnessing a master craftsman at work.

Series regulars Mark McKinney (of Kids in the Hall fame) as uptight number-cruncher Richard Smith-Jones and Paul Gross as artistic director Geoffrey Tennant each face new challenges and life-altering experiences in this third season.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 16 days ago by Glenda Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Paul Gross does a wonderful job in this series
Fabulous. Paul Gross does a wonderful job in this series, so different from his character in Due South. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Carolyn Severance
5.0 out of 5 stars Great series!
I'm not a theater devotee but this series is very compelling. The part about the ghost is not particularly plausible but the acting and plot lines are solid. I loved it!
Published 4 months ago by GEC122
5.0 out of 5 stars Slings and Arrows - Season 3
Not quite as good as season 2, but still well worth the watch. Good ensemble piece. Sad to see it end.
Published 6 months ago by Joni Resce
5.0 out of 5 stars A gift
…that reminds me of the power of drama and art and the struggle for the highest truth in our emotions, no matter how challenging. And all with good humour. And love.
Published 9 months ago by Mina Samuels
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy the whole Run.
As an analytic critic of shows and theatre, this is one of the few shows I've ever watched where I forget that the people I'm watching are actors. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Nick Fasini
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE THIS SHOW!
This is such an amazing show! I can't believe it's over. I would love to see it come back for a fourth season!
Published 12 months ago by Kameron Stambaugh
5.0 out of 5 stars loved all 3 seasons
each one as good as the previous....treating us, the audience, as if we have intelligence and a sense of humor. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Pearl Pureheart
5.0 out of 5 stars No finer show
Hands down the very best TV I have ever seen. Nothing like it, funny, eccentric, lovely. HIghly recommend it, for sure
Published 13 months ago by Endicott Archer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great show
Well done. Good writing and acting. Too bad there are only the 3 seasons. There is a lot more Shakespeare they could have fun with.
Published 13 months ago by Martin W. Hatcher
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