The new season of “Slings and Arrows” starts tonight on Sundance, 5pm PT/8pm ET (and repeated). I caught some of season one by chance yesterday. Having never seen the series, or heard of it, I was bowled over. It was so funny, all about a quirky cast of professional actors and all their trials – well, their slings and arrows, along with their often exquisite delivery of Shakespeare’s great lines. Season One centered around a production of Hamlet; I think Season Two is anchored by a production of MacBeth.

I just got a notice from Frontline PBS: “The Insurgency” airs on Tuesday night. The blurb about this new Frontline is below the fold. OPEN THREAD!


– This Week: “The Insurgency” (1 hour),

Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 9pm on PBS (check local listings)

– Inside FRONTLINE: Rare access to the enemy

– Live Discussion: Chat with producer Matt Haan Wed. Feb. 22 at 11 am ET

Anyone wanting to report on the insurgency in Iraq faces an obvious
obstacle: it is very dangerous. FRONTLINE asked veteran producer Tom
Roberts (“A Company of Soldiers”) how he would go about it. As a matter
of policy, we did not want Tom or co-producer Matt Haan and the team to
try and meet the insurgents, but as Tom and Matt discovered when they
went to Iraq, there are a small number of journalists who have
interviewed some of the insurgent leaders. One of them in particular,
Michael Ware, Baghdad bureau chief for Time magazine, has done some
superb reporting on the insurgency. His access is rare. But there is
more. Ware has his own personal videos, and he made some of his footage
available to FRONTLINE.

In “The Insurgency,” airing this Tuesday, you will meet Ware and see his
footage for the first time. And, listening to the insurgents in their
own words, you will get a sense of who they are – from the foot soldiers
of Al Qaeda to the strategists directing the fight; you will meet an
intrepid Iraqi photojournalist who has risked his life to report on the
foreign fighters pouring into Iraq to give up their lives in the battles
for Fallujah; and you will hear from officers in the U.S. Army who are
seen in action against the insurgents and who give their perspective on
the counterinsurgency battle.

Co-producer Matt Haan remembers a particular incident from their time in
Iraq: “Filming was finished. We were traveling aboard a Blackhawk back
to Baghdad to connect with our flight out when we heard that the Al
Hamra Hotel had been hit by a car bomb. We had left the hotel – our main
base during our time in Iraq – less than 48 hours before. We had been

We hope you will join us next Tuesday for “The Insurgency” and after,
explore FRONTLINE’s Web site for more about this war and analysis of
the U.S. strategy and whether it can work. And, take the opportunity
to watch our report again online and express your opinion about it at

Louis Wiley Jr.

Executive Editor

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