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  • Writer's pictureKara Chatham

WebSeries: Jules & Monty

This webseries is absolutely beautiful and if you have not watched this, you should go watch it now (click here)! A warning… there may be some spoilers but I’ll do my best to keep those to that which is true to the play and not that special to the series. (Side Note: You can check out my iNR video here)

Jules and Monty is a modernized retelling of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. It was written by the two actors who play Jules Caine and Romeo Montgomery, Imogen Browder and Edward Rosini, directed by Evey Reidy (who plays Nancy Mills) and Andy De Leon, and was produced by Tufts University TV.

I loved the way that the writers weaved in some of Shakespeare’s beautiful language. I think having the language placed in the moments of being “in love” or when the characters were inebriated worked quite well and definitely makes the original text accessible to those who do not understand it initially. It also makes it sound a bit more natural in the sense of today’s society. The frat feud was well played as representation of the Capulets (Kappa Alpha Psi) and the Montagues (Mu Tau Gamma).

Notes on the Characters (In Order of Meeting Them in the Series)… Romeo “Monty” Montgomery - In comparison to Shakespeare’s Romeo, I like Monty better. Monty is goofier and nowhere near as whiney as Shakespeare’s. I liked the fact that in the beginning Monty was trying to be true to whom he was dating instead of whining about how she isn’t interested in him. I like this less hopeless of a romantic version of Romeo.

Rose - I liked how the writers gave the character of Rosaline a shot at being a character instead of someone who seems more like a figment of the imagination.

Mercutio “Mark” Matthews - Definitely just as amusing, if not more than Shakespeare’s Mercutio. When he first appeared on screen, before his name was mentioned, I thought he was going to be Benvolio. I like having Romeo and Mercutio as roommates though. I think it adds to the bond between the characters.

Nancy Mills - I loved Nancy’s sass factor! It made her a character of comic relief and I always found myself cracking up at her super sassy moments. Having this character be a nursing major helps establish that she is meant to be “The Nurse”. I really liked the bond between this character and Jules and how well it was established from the beginning.

Juliet “Jules” Caine - It was really cool seeing Jules grow throughout the series. In the first episode that we meet her (Episode 2) you see how sweet natured she is and how uncomfortable she is in front of the camera - which is normal for most who are starting to vlog. By the end she is very comfortable in front of the camera and is determined to finish what she started.

Tybalt “Ty” Johnson - We don’t see a whole lot of this character, but what we do see I’d say that it is very similar to what is shown of the character in the play. Ty is cocky and confident, but he still had that sense of family responsibility that Tybalt is meant to have. I also like the connection between Ty and Nancy. I think it adds to the story.

Cliff Caines, The Lord of Kappa - Again, a character we do not see very much of. I feel like there was a lot of foreshadowing to what this character does in the end. I know I felt like he was bad news once he truly had screen time. Definitely an interesting take on Lord Capulet.

Pierre - I know this character’s purpose was to fill the Paris slot. Making him from Paris was a clever way to do that. I just don’t remember Shakespeare’s Paris being so much of a creeper. I don’t know if that was the writers’ intent, but I found the character to be a bit of a creeper in the series. Especially towards the end of the series.

I know I left out a few characters, but I didn’t really have anything to say about them, so that’s why.

The Music… I loved all of the songs that they included in each episode. I think it fit each one well and added to the experience.

Camera Notes… The way that they created the vlog style appearance was well done. It definitely had the feel of one who has never vlogged and walked before and the framing got better as the series progressed as you would expect to see as someone is learning the art of vlogging.

To sum all of this up, this beautiful webseries has stolen my heart! It was a perfect balance of literature and modernization. If there was absolutely no cursing (or at least significantly less) I would say that they should show this in high schools when they teach the play. It might actually interest the students a lot more than any movie adaptation or even reading it themselves and they might actually understand it. Anyway, everyone should go check it out! Go! It’s good, I promise!

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