We all have those moments, we have all seen events where we attend, take notice and basically after 5 seconds we are in the stage of ‘What else is new?‘, that was the stage when I got my fingers on ‘The Name of the Rose review’ by Lucy Mangan. I am not judging her review, the article (at https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2019/oct/11/the-name-of-the-rose-review-john-turturro-umberto-eco) seems decent enough, yet the very first part where we could relate to the movie (also based on the book), released in 1986, where Sean Connery is the monk, Christian Slater is his apprentice and the prosecutor is seen in the shape of F. Murray Abraham. It is a wonderful movie and we get the story in less than 2 hours. In addition we see the rise of Ron Perlman as ‘La Idiota di stupido‘ (aka Salvatore) is not to be missed; he really puts his print there. In the movie the entire stage makes sense, the people, the interactions and the squabble (Gui versus William), we see that pride lives on many planes.
So when I see the review missing out on that reflection I wonder how much Lucy knew (perhaps the omission was intentional), yet I believe that when we look at stars the size of Sean Connery and John Turturro, both with very distinguished careers that comparison makes sense. When I see ‘Monk Soup’ (according to the reviewer) it is important to see the cast as it is. In that same stage, the shaping of Adso under William first by Christian Slater and now by Damian Hardung is also important, the movie makes that clear, whether the series will is presently unknown to me. It gives us how knowledge is seen and how some is optionally is wisdom but a lot is not, the presentation of evidence that gives rise to Bernardo Gui as the evil tool, first by F. Murray Abraham and now by Rupert Everett is equally important. And it is interesting that both sides have actors and stars that would be on equal footing. So why is the BBC version seen as ‘Monk Soup’? If I were to judge going by: ‘Episode 1: The Name of the Rose Series 1‘ then it would be that the Name of the Rose would be a great movie, optionally a great mini-series, but a TV series with seasons? Let’s not forget that the entire story plays over the time of around a week, so how are you setting that in multiple seasons? As I did not watch it I would speculate that we would be watching paint dry, making Monk soup a nice change of pace for the viewers.
In the end, I am not reflecting on the BBC series (not until I have seen them and I am curious), especially with this cast. My issue will become, where was the wisdom to do this story in series? Why not a mini-series of 3-4 episodes of 1-2 hours per episode, perhaps even merely one season all 8 episodes, the fact that the entire matter played over a week makes that an option, yet to set the stage of 60-90 minutes to cover a day at an abbey might make it long, slow and optionally dry. Abbeys were famous for an absence of wine and hookers, so whilst pharmacies and scrolls will not get the same result, it might have an impact on the people in the now (opposing those who were around in 1327).
In the end, I did not dislike the view of Lucy Mangan, yet the absence of any mention of the movie, the radio play and so on gives an incomplete view, a view absent of comparison, it was her choice and as such automatically a valid one, I merely would have taken a different look, hoping to give an optional clear view for all those curious to see it.