Sunday, June 23, 2024

Benioff and Weiss Adapt Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing

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After reading Wendy’s “How the Nineties took Shakespeare from the Globe to the Grind House (and Also Involved More Keanu Than You’d Expect),” listening to the Fanwankers’ podcast about adaptation, and reading Kylie’s amusing “Benioff and Weiss adapt” series, I got inspired to think about how the two Game of Thrones showrunners, David Benioff and Dan Weiss, could butcher adapt my favorite of Bill’s plays:

  • The movie opens with a gory, pitched battle, filled to bursting with mediocre CGI.
  • The rest of the movie has amazing period costumes, but terrible lighting.
  • We get back to Beatrice, who demeans and insults everyone. No reason, her wit is not funny, she’s just mean. She’s also Not Like Other Girls™
  • We learn from the exchange between Leonato and the Messenger that Beatrice was spurned by a lover, so that is why she hates everyone.
  • Benedick is the Nice Guy™, and acts very nice to Beatrice, even though she is nasty as hell.
  • Hero falls in love with Don John because she is a stupid young woman and has no foresight.
  • Leonato tries to warn her, but Hero is just too twitterpated to care
  • Claudio is a Nice Guy ™ too, and is concerned for Hero’s wellbeing after seeing her affections for John.
  • At the masquerade ball, Claudio confronts John about his relationship with Hero. They have a fight, and Claudio emerges victorious, since fighting is more cinematic than a conversation between two adults. Might is right, after all.
  • Hero falls madly in love with Claudio, and John plots his revenge.
  • Beatrice flashes her boobs at the party to show what an Empowered Woman™ she is.
  • The plot to get Beatrice and Benedick together is almost entirely one-sided. Benedick is always nice to Beatrice, so when he “overhears” Beatrice’ feelings for him he just keeps on being a Nice Guy™.
  • Beatrice takes it up to 11, calling Hero stupid for falling in love and maybe even sexually manipulating a servant to prove to herself that she is Not Like Other Girls™.
  • Don John rapes Hero for a double purpose. 1: to make her a Hardened Woman™. 2: it sets up Hero as unfaithful, as some bogus circumstance obscures what is actually happening in the bed chamber.
  • Don Pedro vows to publicly humiliate Hero instead of Claudio, since Claudio is too broken hearted to bear it.
  • Dogberry is such a sex god that prostitutes will not pay him for his services.
  • All Dogberry’s malapropisms are converted to bawdy sex jokes
  • Things go awry at the wedding; several guests are killed and Hero is fatally wounded. Don Pedro and Claudio flee.
  • Beatrice and Benedick bone.
  • When Beatrice asks Benedick to kill Claudio, he straight-up refuses, and convinces the emotional and irrational Beatrice that he is right.
  • When Don John’s treachery is revealed, Claudio goes berserk and hunts John down, dragging him back to Leonato’s home and beheading him with extreme prejudice.
  • After the dust has settled, Claudio hangs himself in regret for his part in Hero’s death.
  • Don Pedro abdicates and lives his life in exile, leaving Aragon to Benedick.
  • Beatrice and Benedick get married, and rule Aragon together.


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