ABC’s Still Star Crossed based on the book by Melinda Taub puts a spin on the feud between the Capulets and Montagues from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
In this television series from Shondaland (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder), several key roles have been cast with African American actors. Two of these actors, Lashana Lynch and Ebonee Reigne play Capulet sisters Rosaline and Livia, cousins to the famed Juliet. In this piece, we take a look at these girls and offer theories on how their story will play out as Still Star Crossed continues.
Writer’s note: The opinions expressed here are that of the author’s and may differ from those of The Nerdy Girl Express and other viewers.
In the series premiere titled “In Fair Verona, We Lay Our Scene,” we meet Livia and Rosaline Capulet and learn that they are the nieces and wards of Lord Silvestro (Anthony Head) and Lady Guiliana (Zuleikha Robinson) Capulet. Upon the death of their father (who was Lord Capulet’s brother), he took the girls in. Viewers see that these girls are basically treated like servants in the Capulet estate and learn that Lady Capulet really doesn’t want them there (Guiliana Capulet shared a past with Livia and Rosaline’s father and their existence is probably a painful reminder that she chose older brother Silvestro for the title instead of marrying the man she really loved). Both Livia and Rosaline want to get out of their circumstance.
When an elegant ball is announced celebrating Prince Escalus'(Sterling Sulieman) taking over the throne upon the death of his father the king, the Capulet sisters want to attend. Livia is the more idealistic of the sisters. She dreams of marrying a rich and influential man and being a powerful lady. I think she wants love but has a fairy tale view of it: “Someday my prince will come, someday he’ll take me from..” seems to be the tune Livia sings about her life. I feel that Livia sees happiness as having a powerful husband to love and take care of you. She believes that all she needs to do is find her ‘Mr. Right’ and her life will be perfect. She has a chance meeting (though he is aware of her presence because he is injured) with the wounded Count Paris (Torrance Coombs) and offers Lady Capulet to nurse him back to health. Lady Capulet swears her to secrecy. But I think playing Florence Nightingale to the handsome Count Paris will cause Livia to develop feelings for him. But will he reciprocate those feelings?
Then we have Rosaline. She is strong willed, sassy and outspoken. Very different from the women of her time. Rosaline Capulet refuses to let a man, any man, tell her what to do. She’d rather enter a nunnery than answer to a man. We learn that she does share a romantic history with Prince Escalus though.
When Rosaline is told by her uncle Lord Capulet and Lord Montague that she and Benvolio Montague (Wade Briggs) are to wed in order to strengthen the houses of the Capulets and Montague with a marriage alliance, she is furious and refuses. No one will tell her who she is to marry! I believe that Rosaline will develop feelings for Benvolio and a romantic triangle will form between she, Benvolio and Escalus.
I enjoyed the premiere of Still Star Crossed and felt this series shows a lot of promise. I read Romeo and Juliet and many of William Shakespeare’s work in high school. Period drama with history and literary influences has always been my favorite. I feel Still Star Cross offers a cornucopia of viewing treasures for the audience. You have the Shakespeare Capulet/Montague saga, you have the Shonda Rhimes connection, which fans of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder know is high, intense must see drama and finally, the diversity of the cast. For viewers who chose shows to watch based on actors that represent who they are, Still Star Crossed is worth checking out.
Still Star Crossed airs Mondays at 10/9c on ABC.
Comments? Sound off below. Or tweet @thenerdygirlexp and @stacyamiller85 .