Breaking Down ‘Still Star-Crossed’ Premiere Episode: Tropes, Tropes, Tropes

By

I love Shakespeare. I was one of the ones in school that never fought the Shakespeare lessons and yearned to understand instead. I was captivated by the time of yore, and wondering just what it must have been like to live back then. The gorgeous dresses, the beautiful paintings, the nobility of it all. I was entranced and to a point I still am.

Though I won’t be taking on doing Still Star-Crossed every week, this week I am doing it while Lizzie is in Paris. So let me preface this review to say that I don’t know what her stance will be on it. I just know that I wish that I had been drunk to watch it, because I felt like the transitions were too fast, that I was stuck in a wanna be Baz Luhrman Romeo and Juliet at times, and that somewhere along the way, Will Shakespeare was wondering what the fuck happened.

I say all this and I must tell you that it’s not that the show is bad. It’s settings are stunning, the costumes are amazing and the actors are fantastic. But that being said, there was something missing. What was it? I don’t know. Maybe during the breakdown of this episode I will figure out just why I thought that Romeo and Juliet were the smartest ones in the bunch, even though they were dumb AF and killed themselves. Like… ugh.

I will be watching the show – I have to admit it. Cause overall it’s fun. It’s just predictable.

Let’s start – since it’s a new show, by breaking down the cast of characters. Cause God knows I was confused by them all and wondering who the fuck everyone was.


(ABC/Bob D’Amico)

Benvolio Montague

So who is this dude? Well he’s a Montague. He’s also got the biggest need to have his ego stroked. Like seriously, he doesn’t know how to do anything that doesn’t require showing that he’s all man. Ummm… we get it. Benvolio has a penis.

But you kinda feel sorry for him too, because his Uncle is a dick and puts him down. Benvolio may be a little promiscuous, but he wants to marry for love. He doesn’t want to marry to strengthen his families name. Nope there is more in store for him in this life than that.

But he sure as hell is pretty on the eyes.

We’ll call him the Dylan McKay of Verona. Yes, I am making 90210 references here.





(ABC/Bob D’Amico)

Rosaline Capulet

So Rosaline and her sister were taken in by their Aunt and Uncle when their parents died. See the war between the Capulets and the Montagues, resulted in their father getting stabbed in the streets, and I may have been rolling my eyes at the tropes that were playing out in the episode to pay attention to how her mother died.

Rosaline wants to be a nun. See, when her Aunt and Uncle took her in, they made her a servant. So naturally, lets go to the convent, where you don’t have to serve anyone and can sleep in your own bed? Umm, last I checked, being a nun, you still served and helped people. But what do I know.

She’s a strong character. Very much a feminist for her time, and I applaud that shit. Like go you Rosaline. Set a tone. Feminism had to start somewhere.

But I have to say that this actress is PERFECTION.

We’ll call her the Andrea Zuckerman of Verona.


(ABC/Bob D’Amico)

Prince Escalus

Not gonna lie, I kept thinking that they were saying Prince Escalade, and I was applauding. Like way to have a taste for the finer things in life.

Now, I love this character. He wants to be his own man, to stand apart from the ideals that his father stood for. He wants a world of peace, even if he’s sacrificing all of the stuff that he wants for it.

He’s a little – okay, well a whole lot passionate though. Even when he thinks he’s hiding it well, it’s like no dude, we all see what you want. He’s like a lost puppy half the time and you just want to make sure to save him.

We’ll call him the Brandon Walsh of Verona.


(ABC/Bob D’Amico)

Count Paris

Okay, so you identify yourself by your families wealth, your hair has entirely way too much volume (though props to whomever made that gel back then) and looks like it got a really good blow out, and your clothes are stunning, though the look like they copied a Vera Bradley bags design? We’ve got the cocky son of a B, known as Count Paris.

Or as I like to call him – man in need of a personality.

He’s the guy that Juliet’s parents arranged for her to marry. He’s cool, rich, and he knows what the Capulet name will get him. He’s not in this episode much, but I’ve developed an opinion.

We’ll call him the Steve Sanders of Verona.


(ABC/Bob D’Amico)

Princess Isabella

Everyone meet the Donna Martin of fair Verona.

Wanting nothing more than to be noticed by her father – cause you know she’s a girl and who really gave a shit about them back then. So I commend her – she’s trying to get her voice to be hear and to be seen by everyone. But when her Dad dies, she is reminded why she is there – her marriage will strengthen their reign.

She’s always trying to remind her brother what their father would want and to be honest, I am a little annoyed by that. Like girl, let your brother rule. And if you are going to remind him of something – VOICE YOUR OWN DAMN OPINION.

Yes, she is gonna be a lot to handle, cause I am gonna want her to woman up.


(ABC/Bob D’Amico)

Livia Capulet

What 90210 character can I make this one? Well, even though she’s a girl, she’s got the David Silver complex. Wants to be loved and adored, but no one notices that she is there.

Livia needs to stop wanting to settle for just being a wife and figure out what she wants to do with her life beyond that. I get that for that time, being a wife and a mother was the thing to do. BUT, if I have to hear her wine on about it anymore – I will want to bash my head into a wall.

WANT FOR BETTER.

She’s settling. She can be what she wants, but want more. And stop letting people treat you like shit.


(ABC/Bob D’Amico)

Lady Capulet

I don’t even have a 90210 character for her. Look up Satan in the dictionary and you will see this character.

WHAT A BITCH.

Sorry, if you can’t tell, I hate her and I wouldn’t be opposed to her choking on a fungus filled toe nail. I can’t stand her.

She rude.

She has taken her nieces in and made them servants because she is jealous of their mother. She was in love with their father, but chose to marry the brother that would give her a title. But the way that she treats her nieces, someone ought to make her the servant. God, I hate her.

That my friends, is a C U Next Tuesday.


(ABC/Bob D’Amico)

Lord Montague

We’re getting down the Dads – AKA the dumb ass perpetuators of this stupid feud. But Lord Montague, he’s what we call a first class dumb ass. He’s a douche.

He uses his stature and place in society to be cruel to others. What he doesn’t realize is it just makes people think less of him. He can yell, sure.

But other people can yell louder.

He’s a douche. He’s rude.

But he’s also a sly, sneaky mutha effer.


(ABC/Bob D’Amico)

Lord Capulet

Well, let’s see. I am sorry, I have a hard time looking at Anthony Head and not thinking that Sara Michele Gellar is going to run in, hoping to save him from the hell mouth.

Lord Capulet is a weak, weak man. He doesn’t know how to stand up to anyone – his wife included. If you are looking for his testicles, the receded, because they were embarrassed at what a pushover he is.

He knows his place and his stature. He knows what the name Capulet brings.

He just has a hard time finding his man card.


Now that I have broken down the characters, let’s break down the episode.

ROMEO AND JULIET

So as we all know, this show is a what happens after Romeo and Juliet died thing. And guys, the one thing that I can say without a doubt that I loved was seeing that they included Romeo and Juliet in this story.

So young Romeo and Juliet get married – which you know, they probably shouldn’t be doing, as their houses hate each other. Montagues and Capulets have been fighting for decades. They don’t know what to do with themselves besides draw a sword and tell the other team that they hate each other.

But Romeo and Juliet want to stop that. So they get married and they are so, so in love. It’s actually that nauseating because you’re left with the knowledge that you don’t have that kind of love in your life.

So anyhow, they go back to their own houses, riding high on life, saying that they will tell their parents that they got married. But each one of them doesn’t tell their parents that night. Nope.

See the Prince has called a ball, which to me seems the oddest thing to do after your father dies, but what do I know? Juliet tells her parents that she is not feeling good and that she is going to stay home. News flash Juliet, if you are tired and not feeling well, you need to like fake it a little better. You look like you just won a million dollars.

But she does it so that she can stay home and see Romeo. Oh to be young and have to sneak your husband into your room.

The thing you need to know about them – it’s the same old story. They die. Romeo thinks that Juliet is dead, so he kills himself. She wakes up and see’s him dead so she takes the potion and kills herself.

The thing that was different – is that Juliet wanted to fake her death, because she didn’t want to have to marry Count Paris.

One of the two times we see Count Paris is when he is at her side (when people think that Juliet is dead) and Romeo comes in. Romeo is like that’s my wife, and Paris is like that’s my fiancé. Sword fight breaks out and Romeo stabs his ass.

Romeo really likes to pull out his sword.

WHY DOES EVERYONE HAVE TO PULL OUT THEIR SWORD

Look, I am all for fighting for what you believe in, but like not everything needs to be a sword fight. Yet, don’t tell the Montagues and the Capulets that, because these people don’t know what things are without a fight. Someone says something wrong, someone steps out of line – lets slit their throat. Like someone please tell me what kind of sense any of this makes.

But those were different times.

Okay – so the big turning point in this – Tibault raises his sword to Romeo and Benvolio. Romeo is like “Dude, I am not going to fight my blood” and Tibault’s like, “Bitch please.” So there is a round and round dance, but I will say that Romeo is standing his ground. He’s not about to give in and fight, until Tibault crosses a line and kills Mercutio. Romeo lost his shit, though he did it so casually. He was like “Yo, I changed my mind.”

Well, that is all well and good, but murder is a crime. It’s a pretty serious crime at that and so the palace is chasing down Romeo.

Fast forward a little bit (cause Romeo and Juliet die) and we’re at Romeo and Juliet’s funeral. The Prince is trying to tell everyone that the need to lay down their arms and that they all need to get along. He tells that Lord Montague has gone ahead and commissioned a statue that will serve as a sign of peace.

The take the sheet off the statue and there is a the word HARLOT written in red. Well, damn shit’s about to start. Lady Capulet curses the House of Montague.

You know that shit ain’t gonna fly.

VERONA IS BURNING

Revert back to above with everyone having to draw their swords, cause WOAH. Put a curse on someone and their whole line is going to come for blood. So sword fight breaks out and Rosaline and her sister get separated in the chaos. The Prince comes for Rosaline, he ain’t gonna let shit happen to her. He pulls her into a room and asks her to stay. She is like no.

Which who can blame her? She needs to find that her sister is okay.

So she leaves to find Livia. We next find them at their house and Rosaline is like we have to leave. She knows that Lady Capulet is going to make their lives miserable, and Livia is preaching that same old song and dance. She wants to get married. She wants to be a wife. Oh Lord.

Aim higher.

So, in the midst, there is a knock at the door and their is a letter from the Prince. She is summoned to the castle right away. But you know, men still haven’t stopped pulling out their swords and acting all supreme.

So they come after the carriage that she is in and a man comes to the side and tells her that he will bring her to safety. Girl, don’t trust anyone. Cause that man tries to assault her. Luckily, as she’s fighting to protect herself someone comes up to help her. We see some ass kicking and we wonder who it is.

It’s a Montague. That’s right, it’s Benvolio. He wants her appreciation. She tells him off, that this is all her fault.

Guys – some serious foreshadowing here.

But then we know that from the beginning cause they are in the opening together.

THE FUCK SHE WILL MARRY HIM

So we get to the castle and Rosaline is kinda ambushed. She’s told that she must marry a Montague. On top of that she is told that she must marry Benvolio.

And the Prince decrees that it must be done.

Dude, Prince – you need to put your shit in order. It’s so obvious that you want to be all up on Rosaline and you are like marry someone else? Oh Jesus, Rosaline doesn’t take it well. When she runs out and says that she won’t do it – it’s of no shock to me.

What I am shocked for is that the Prince followed her. He tells her that he is trying to help her, but he will give her anything that she wants. He’s dumb AF if he thinks she doesn’t want him. But she lets her body do the talking, moves a little closer and then they kiss. Only to see that Benvolio is watching them.

OVERALL THOUGHTS 

  1. The transitions from place to place make me feel kinda sick.
  2. The locations are absolutely stunning.
  3. The costumes are beautiful .
  4. I am actually going to miss Romeo and Juliet – I loved them.
  5. The actors are great. I will have to say that they are what makes me want to suffer through the predictability.

Still Star-Crossed airs on ABC.



We also recommend