Monday, July 2, 2007

HYDE!!! (and Tyler)

As in Dr. Jekyll's alter-ego. The show is actually called "Jekyll" and it's a new series airing on the BBC. I must confess to always being fascinated with the Jekyll and Hyde story. It was an old BBC dramatization of the original book that made me a fan. I think Jack Palance played the titular character. The most frightening part of it (for me) was that you never fully saw Hyde until the end. And when you did, the revelation was that he looked EXACTLY like Jekyll! Well almost; Hyde was smirky-faced, with slicked hair, and hunched over, etc. Certainly not the completely different person he is described as in the book, and far from the monster that he evolved into with creative retellings ala the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. It's a rebut to anyone who ever says, "well, he didn't *look* like a killer". Although nearly identical to the mild-mannered Jekyll, Hyde was capable of doing things that Jekyll's conscience would never allow the good scientist to do. But in the end, they were just opposite sides of the same person.

This show is a fusion of both book and legend. Jekyll and Hyde look similar enough to be mistaken for each other, but there are differences that put Hyde squarely in the supernatural realm. Like his fangs, taste for human flesh, and ability to scale walls. Uh, yeah. Scale walls. So far, the pilot episode has piqued my interest. Hyde is a bit over-the-top, but still watchable. Also, their assistant is a babe-a-licious, and if the BBC is true to form we might well see some boobage in a future episode. Hey, I can hope! Even better is that this Jekyll has a family which he tries to hide from ..... Hyde. But not for long...



The core story is timeless, and that's part of why I like it. And at the end of the book, it is a caustic reminder of the personal cost of refusing to be true to oneself. Even as Jekyll tried to convince himself that his experiments were an effort to drive the evil part of himself away, it was the lure of BEING Hyde that drove him to repeatedly take the potion that would ruin both his lives. It was his refusal to embrace both sides of himself as a whole that killed him. And that brings me full-circle to Tyler Durden. (Most movies lead back to Fight Club, by the way.) For those who don't know, go read about it. GREAT book and movie. Anyway, Jack as the classic 21st Century "30-year-old boy" constantly feels incomplete, but can't bring himself to really change anything about the life he hates. Thus Tyler, the alter-ego, is born.

"F*ck off with your sofa units and strine green stripe patterns, I say never be complete, I say stop being perfect, I say let... lets evolve, let the chips fall where they may."

Tyler is everything Jack secretly wants to be. "All the ways you wish you could be, that's me. I look like you wanna look, I f*ck like you wanna f*ck, I am smart, capable, and most importantly, I am free in all the ways that you are not."

And that's the essence, or rather the *core* of Jekyll and Hyde. A kind of freedom that's been stripped naked and laid bare. As Tyler said, "It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything."

Here is a couple of my favorite scenes:



As an aside, there's a scene in the movie where Jack dreams that he is watching himself screw Marla. Later, he sees Tyler screwing Marla. He loves her, but somehow he's totally 3rd person whenever he's intimate with her.

Jack: You're f*cking Marla, Tyler.
Tyler Durden: Uh, technically, you're f*cking Marla, but it's all the same to her.

The dream scene is awesome and alone is worth the price of the DVD. VERY surreal. Very David Fincher...

Any other Jekyll/Hyde movies or shows out there worth watching? Let me know!
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