Ciara Renée as Esmeralda and Andrew Samonsky as Phoebus performing Someday, La Jolla cast of The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Ciara Renée as Esmeralda and Andrew Samonsky as Phoebus performing Someday, La Jolla Cast of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

In a Place of Miracles – Technically this song is not new to this incarnation of the musical. It was originally written for the Disney movie along side As Long as there is a Moon which more or less did the whole wedding thing of Esmeralda and Gringoire but with Phoebus. Both Songs were scrapped for pacing and time. In the German version there was a song called Out of Love that was reprised here and was sung earlier by Phoebus with the Gargoyles to convince Quasimodo to help Esmeralda.

Before I get the song itself I want to point the choice to use this song instead of As Long of there is a a Moon. Some of the purpose of this musical was to reconcile the Disney movie with the book. In some ways the two kind of muddle each other a bit. If they had picked As Long of there is a Moon they would have gotten a book scene in there but it would have made no sense as the Gypsies where trying to leave their homes quickly, which is one reason it was scrapped from the movie. I respect that they went with the logical choice instead of trying to get a book scene in the show.

That being said this version of the song is different than the deleted song from the Disney movie. Most of the lyrics are there in parts as well as the melody but it does borrow somethings from Out of Love reprised where Quasimodo sings a reprised of Heaven’s Light but wait because it also does it own thing too. Admist the confessions of love and heartbreak, the Gypsies and Clopin sing about leaving their homes and hope for a better and kinder place.

The structure of this song is a little weird. The second verse is basically Esmeralda, Phoebus and Quasimodo singing over each other. This makes it somewhat dissociate but the song is doing a lot for three minutes. We have a love song, sad song and a bittersweet moving song, so not a bad thing but it’s a style that I’m not that crazy about though they do mesh together.

I don’t really love the melody either, it’s pretty enough but I’m not crazy for the notes on “Place” but that is a preference. I do prefer the Out of Love Reprise but this song is fine.

Also who else heard the the melody of the Tavern Song at the end?

Justice in Paris – There is much to this song, it under a minute to set up Esmeralda’s burring. It’s to the melody of The Bells of Notre Dame so I like the melody.  So there is no trial it seems this song is just a bridge song to get the audience from the “love” song to the burning of Esmeralda.

SomedaySomeday was originally written for the Esmeralda Prayer segment in the Disney movie. They had written God Help the Outcasts first but felt they wanted something more intimate for the scene but changed their minds and placed Someday as a credit song. It was put into the German version which Esmeralda and Phoebus song right after Frollo’s proposition and it continues till Esmeralda reaches the pyre. This means it is not sung directly after Made of Stone in this version. This annoys me a little bit since it’s a nice converse to Made of Stone but I will hold off judgement till I get that song.

As it stands, this song is gorgeous. It’s left unchanged from it’s purpose of being a  bittersweet hope for the world, which sadly is still not true. Comparing it to the German version which is called Einmal, there is a  build-up to a big swell at the end as Esmeralda is about to be burned. In this version it keeps its intimacy  as it’s just Esmeralda and Phoebus. Apples and Oranges both are great despite the different tones.

Also while on the subject Einmal has very different lyrics than Someday. Einmal speaks of people learning to respect each other after thousands of battle and bloodshed while Someday is softer in the lyrics. Still I have no issues with the song it’s beautiful and  Ciara Renée  and Andrew Samonsky sing it very well.

Second Act and we’re back to three songs.

Michael Arden as Quasimodo with Saint Aphrodisius, Musical Production of Hunchback of Notre Dame  picture image

Michael Arden as Quasimodo with Saint Aphrodisius, Musical Production of Hunchback of Notre Dame

Entr’acte – There isn’t much to say on this on a contextual level as it just a the choir singing a melody of the songs as while as music in latin. That being said, it’s gorgeous. I really love Out There in latin. It’s the prefect capsule of the Disney score of the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Flight into Egypt – Another New Song for the production. This song differs between the La Jolla version and the cast album i.e. the Papermills version as the remove a verse from the La Jolla cast and replace it with a verse about the Amulet map. In the La Jolla version Esmeralda gives him the map after the song.

In a way this song replaces A Guy Like you, in that Quasimodo’s friends offer him encouragement by way of a song. There is also the little matter of both song give Quasimodo the idea that Esmeralda Like-likes him. As much as I don’t want to defend A Guy Like you, I’m going to. In a A Guy Like you the Gargoyles plant that idea into Quasimodo’s head, whether they are Quasimodo imaginary friends or not is a mute point. In this song Quasimodo likens protecting Esmeralda to being like a bride. I think the propping up of Quasimodo’s hope by his pals and then the having his hope dashed is more heart-breaking than a mild thought across his mind especially where Quasimodo has inability to believe anyone could love him, it hard to take in that he would reach that conclusion. Unless it really was just a passing fantasy but that makes the heartbreak and the pain less believable.  I mean the song is just encouraging Quasimodo to save her like a beheaded Saint. That being said Flight into Egypt is better than A Guy Like you. A Guy Like you is really mean-spited.

One thing that weird is that Quasimodo doesn’t know the name of Saint Aphrodisius. I mean it’s played for a laugh but for  a guy whose life was Notre Dame and studied the religion it’s just weird. Though maybe Quasimodo was friends with the Stained Glass windows. I will say that way they did  Saint Aphrodisius in the La Jolla show with the singer’s head going off and on was the best bit of stage craft so far.

As the Song goes, it’s pretty good. It’s a nice melody and ties into Notre Dame well.

The Court of Miracles –  The tempo on this song has been slowed down. This makes it creepier but far less fun than the Disney version.  They also have replaced a lot of lyrics from the movie. For instance the line from the movie “We find you totally innocent, which is the worst crime of all.” with “We have to protect at all costs our secret; it’s our lives or yours, so you’re going to hang.” From mu understanding this could be because any reference to Frollo being a judge has been taken out and in that line Clopin was mocking Frollo, so they replaced it. I also miss the line where Clopin asked if Phoebus and Quasimodo have any last words and they being gag muff something and Clopin says “That’s what they all say.” Now it’s “Didn’t think so.” Again they removed Clopin mocking judges and such.

Beat for beat the song is the same I just didn’t care for this rendition.

One Song this week!

Hunchback of Notre Dame Musical performing Esmeralda picture image

Ensemble performing Esmeralda

Esmeralda –  Before I start, can I just say that watching the La Jolla performance of this song was bat-shit stupid.  It was dumb to  have Frollo stab Phoebus, then blames Esmeralda for it and yet he just condemned Phoebus to die and Esmeralda is already wanted. It like what the hell? What is the point of Frollo stabbing Phoebus? Musical, I respect what you’re doing but you can’t just insert the stabbing scene from the book  into your show like that. You just seem like you want to add things even though they don’t make sense with the narrative you’re telling. And while I’m mentioning the La Jolla recording, there are a lot of differences from the La Jolla version of this song vs the cast album. Do you have any idea how tasking these reviews are? I have to deal with the Disney Movie Version, the book, the German version, and two versions of the English musical version.

As you may know, Esmeralda is the Act 1 closer from the German version. This is where Frollo is on a man-hunt for Esmeralda and is burning Paris because he is super  obsessed. It’s also where Phoebus says No to Frollo for not burning  a Family in a Mill, though in this musical version it’s a brothel that harbors Gypsies. I think the change is so they could make some sexual connotations about Phoebus visiting and that Frollo shouldn’t be there.

Esmeralda was my favorite song from the German version as it’s both very dramatic and speaks to the basic theme of the story, the differences of the hearts of three men. I will say that it’s not my favorite song in this version as the I slightly prefer the Tavern song but it’s on point with the German. I do however have some issues with it though.

For starters, I hate the lyric “He held the Torch that Crackled like the Gypsy’s Voice.”   Even if Esmeralda in these Disnye-ish versions has a smokey quality, crackled is a terrible word choice. I understand Phoebus is supposed to be reminded of her in this instant and in the German version he hears her singing in his head but really Menken? Crackled?  A Crackling voice is indicative of an old person or someone with a cold.

And there is another issue I have. When Phoebus hears Esmeralda sing in his head in the German version, she sings a few lines from a song she sang to him in Notre Dame. This is the case in La Jolla performance though it’s a chorus and not Esmeralda herself. He then throws the Torch and say I’m just a fool though the line in German is I think I rather be Good than right.  In the cast album it’s FREAKING God Help the Outcasts, which yes is pretty BUT Phoebus never heard that song! It’s wouldn’t be important to him as the other song was because Esmeralda sung it directly to Phoebus. They just replaced  because the audience knew it better. That choice annoys. It also annoys that they just didn’t have Esmeralda sing it because she even reveals herself to Frollo and crew while in the German version she stays out of sight like in the Disney movie. This choices are really ill-conceived.

Weird choices asides, this still a great song that is much like German version in term of its powerful grand scale and is a great song to end Act I.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patrick Page as Frollo singing Hellfire, Papermills Hunchback of Notre Dame, Picture image

Patrick Page as Frollo singing Hellfire, Papermills

Heaven’s Light – There isn’t much to say on this version of the song. Arden performs it very well and is a better singer that Hulce in the movie. Though I would say, at least in the cast album, it seems like Arden is fighting the impulse to sing in that broadway nasal style, which doesn’t work with the soft, light quality of stye song. Not saying he doesn’t capture the song because he does.  Anyway solid version of the song and the last note Arden holds is lovely.  I can understand if people prefer Arden’s version to the movie version, he puts passion into it and not that school boy crush of the movie.

Hellfire –  The Disney movie’s Hellfire is a hard act to replicate as it one of the highlights of the movie and is one of best songs in the Disney Pantheon. I would say the musical should have made this song more of its own instead of trying to emulate the movie. In stage show they did, to a point, I mean they striped it down to just Frollo and a red lighting effect but the song is just Hellfire with Patrick Page singing instead of Tony Jay. Jay’s version is just so perfect that this version feels lukewarm at its hottest. No disrespect to Page, he is a great singer but much like Norbert Lamla in the German version of the musical, he is channeling too much of Tony Jay.  Though to be fair, people want  Hellfire and that is what the musical gave them. It’s a damn if they don’t and damn if they do since the animation and Tony Jay made Hellfire.

However there is another issue with Hellfire in this version that bridges the movie and the book. In the Disney movie, Frollo is a more in touch with his anger and how it relates to his control over the city, so it makes sense that his lust is channeled through his anger IE Hellfire. In the book, Frollo valves his purity as means to keeping his control over himself and his lust is channeled out through self-loathing till it explodes with stabbing Phoebus.

As it is in the  musical there is a disconnect between Frollo’s personality and Hellfire. Yes, he does get mad when Esmeralda calls him out on the way he looks at her but then he goes out searching for her and his part in Tavern Song sounds more desperate than mad which makes Hellfire seem more out of place in the scheme of things.  I think the idea is that Hellfire at first showcases his desperation for control and he gets more consumed as the song goes on. Though in the book Frollo wasn’t that mad that Esmeralda was dragging him off to Hell, he rather welcome it, sure it made him go crazy to the point where he wanted to kill her but he was more mad that she going to give her virginity to someone who didn’t deserve her and that she didn’t want him. I don’t think book Frollo would sing this song. I will say that it’s a tough task merging Book Frollo with Disney Frollo since they are very different from each other but the causality of it seems to be Hellfire.

Or this could all be my head and I’m seeing an issue that isn’t there, or I didn’t explain my point very well. Both are possible. As it stand this a very tepid version of the song though the chorus is great.

 

 

One thing before I start the songs, I will discuss the La Jolla performance a little when I’m done with the album because the scene prior to this was so much of a combo of the 1939 version and the Disney version plus the scene after Top of the World is such a massive change from the movie that I have to talk about the show itself even if the show was changed from the La Jolla version and the Papermill version.  Also there are one two songs this week for dramatic reasons like Heaven’s Light and Hellfire are meant as a set.

Ciara Renee and Micheal Arden in the Jolla Production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Ciara Renee and Micheal Arden in the La Jolla Production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

Top of the World – This song is from the original German version. It’s a very nice little song about viewing things from a different preceptive and Quasimodo and Esmeralda bonding. In the German version, the Gargoyles sing the part where the Chrous of Quasismodo’s imaginary nameless pals sing. There is a fundamental difference between this version and the German version, this version is a lot slower paced and seems more serious. The German version had a more upbeat, faster and light take on this song. This could because the Gargoyles were the comic relief and this version has distanced itself from the silliness of the movie to be more serious like the book. Though the book did have some funny parts.

I mean the song is pretty enough but I do prefer the German version even with the Gargoyles.

Tavern Song (Thai Mol Piyas) – This song is another original song to this musical and can I just say in listening to the album first I was very confused of how this song came after Top of the World but it makes some sense with the show. Anyway this song takes place at the Pomme d’Eve* which is from the book where Esmeralda and Phoebus have their meeting which Frollo ruined with his stabbing Phoebus. Instead of all that it just seems like Frollo was stalking her   for a few months**,  hears her in bar dancing and flirting, in the show she kisses Phoebus, and Frollo gets more hot and bothered than he already was.

This song is very fun. It has a very distinct sound from the rest of the songs (so far) though Frollo’s part is sounds more like Out There rather the Sanctuary leitmotif, which is ironic since he is looking inside a buidling.

Oddly I really like the whisper singing of this song.  It’s a fun upbeat songs, I really enjoyed it.

One Source said that Thai Mol Piyas it means “And we Drink wine” in Romani.

 

Side of Note – This is the 130oth Blog Post!

*Correction, Pomme d’Eve was not where Esmeralda and Phoesbus met. They met at a Falourdel’s. Pomme d’Ever is a a better name though.

**Frollo first saw Esmeralda on January 6th and the song mentions “Winter is dying” which means it has to be mid March at the earliest. But also this is a very subtle nod to the book. In Book 7 Chapter 4 of the novel, Hugo makes mention of the date, March 29th. And this chapter occurs about the time of the Pomme d’Eve scene.  So kudos Musical.

 

So many side notes on this post.

Ciara Renee as Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcasts, production of Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Ciara Renee as Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcasts, production of Hunchback of Notre Dame

Topsy Turvy Part 2 –  And Now Part 2 of Topsy Turvy. This part is the King of Fools segment and Quasimodo’s crowning. It has a few differences from the movie version most notably Esmeralda has a few spoken lines and they there is the tune from Sanctuary in there. I probably should mention that  Sanctuary was a song from the German version that occurred right before Out There. In this musical it is more of a Frollo Leitmotif piece than a full song. It’s also heard in Bells of Notre Dame and the next song Into Notre Dame.

As for this song, it’s fine if you like it in the movie you should like it here. I’m not a huge fan of Erik Liberman’s voice on this song but that is a personal preference more than a criticism.

Into Notre Dame –  This song is a bit of a Frankenstein song, I mean that nicely as it just a combo of three songs, well really two. The first part of this is Frollo telling Quasimodo that he was right, that people  suck and he should stay in his Sanctuary. So for this part we get Out there reprise and the shadows of Sanctuary or as I will just call it Frollo’s Leitmotif.

The second part of this song is Esmeralda entering Notre Dame to the tune of the Bells of Notre Dame. This part is quite lovely. I especially love Ciara’ voice on her line ” The Light of Notre Dame.” I must say so far that is my favorite part so far. Also it’s nice to speak of another aspect of Notre Dame than just the bells.

This song is really just a segue song to get from the festival to Notre Dame so that explains why it doesn’t have its own melody but the pieces of the other song work to move the plot and they make sense with the subject matter.

God Help the Outcasts –  For the big songs of Hunchback they are going to perform they near exact to the movie because that one thing the people want, they want to hear their favorite songs along with new songs and no gargoyles and that is pretty much it. So God Help the Outcasts is just that, identical to the movie which is better than Glockner which gave a change that I hated. They made it a duet with Quasimodo which meant Esmeralda didn’t have her own song though Phoebus did. That still bothers me.

All and all aside from some key shifts and singing a bit lower it’s the same song. I do love the chorus on the “bless me part” ironically it sounded very ethereal. Ciara Renee definitely has similar voice quality to the original singer Heidi Mollenhauer whose has very tender warm slightly smoky quality to her voice. It’s a very nice version of the song I just don’t love the song as much other people but again that is a personal thing and not a criticism. I was hoping that this version would sway me into liking more but it didn’t. Not the song fault I’m a hard sell.

Ciara Renee as Esmeralda, Papermill production of Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Ciara Renee as Esmeralda, Papermill production of Hunchback of Notre Dame

Topsy Turvy Part 1–  Topsy Turvy  is broken up  into two parts to allow two songs to happen as a mean to introduce Phoebus and Esmeralda. Though technically Phoebus makes his first appearance in this song where we learn that last name of his. More on that soon.

The first 30 second is pretty much identical to the movie. However then Quasimodo sings a bit along with some new lyrics sung by the Chorus. His part has a slight reprise to Out There to it. Also the whole of Quasimodo part  feels very musical-y  and also rhyming Now with Now? You guys could have done better.

The Clopin’s a part start and it’s again it’s identical to the movie, though I do admit I prefer Paul Kandel’s sining. The song again shifts to Phoebus appearing in the crowd after The sixth of January line or “Januervy.” And he pretty much announces himself to everyone, Frollo and Jehan did the same thing In Bells so I guess it just a thing the musical does though I don’t really care for people narrating themselves, though the chorus joins in to tells us that “he has a haunted look in his eyes.”  Anyway this part leads in to the next song…

Rest and Recreation – This song was in the German version and now it’s back. It uses Phoebus’ march from the movie.  Much like in the movie Phoebus is back from the Front.   But you know I have to ask what war? What Front? Phoebus says that he has been gone four years and seems a bit shaken up from it as they  mention cannon fodder.  I’m no expert on European Wars but France wasn’t in wars in 1482. The wars that France was in that were the closest to 1482 were The War of Castilian Succession  of 1475 to 1479 and The Burgundian War of 1474 to 1477. It could be a simple matter that the musical doesn’t take place in 1482 except they say it did. Song mentions a siege and bodies in a trench which are probably more like hot words than actually referring to a war or battle. I can deal with unnamed War in the Disney movie but here it’s a harder pill to swallow since the musical is truing to be more like the book. I mean did the say which war it was in musical?  But this backstory takes me out of the song.

So back to the song. Phoebus also mentions that he’s on furlough but then he gets his new promotion as Captain of the Cathedral Guard. I’m going to real with you guys, that is the stupidest thing. I get what they are doing. Phoebus has to be Frollo’s minion for his character arc and Frollo is now a Priest so the tidiest way to handle this is to make Phoebus the Captain of the Cathedral Guard. BUT Cathedrals didn’t have private guards. This even goes against the book where the Sanity of the Church was respected, even Disney movie Frollo respected it.

Anyway  the I haven’t really discussed the song yet. Much like in German version Rest and Recreation tries to amalgamate book Phoebus with movie Phoebus. Book Phoebus was womanizer and movie Phoebus is nobel and gallant. Since Phoebus is described as having “a dashing manner and bold swagger” we know he got those personality down but the song gives us a reason why Phoebus wants the ladies, because he been away at the unnamed Fantasy war. Despite the war and Notre Dame guard the song is successful at give the blending of Phoebus’s characterization and setting up his character in this version.

Rhythm of the Tambourine – This song is Esmeralda’s introduction song which is also her dance number during the festival. It is also the first new song of this musical version. Judging from the lines Phoebus, Frollo and Quasimodo sing about “who is she” I’m going to guess Esmeralda and Quasimodo didn’t have their little moment where Quasimodo crashes into dressing room, but I could wrong, I’m probably wrong.

Rhythm of the Tambourine is very staccato which I would guess is for said tambourine but it does nothing for me. Also is just me or is this song reminiscent  of Carol of the Bells? Wonder if that was one purpose?   I do like her attitude on dance that it just for fun as she ask “What can it hurt?” Such delightful irony. We also get a Belle moment as like I said Phoebus, Frollo and Quasimodo sing about her. Frollo likens her to a devil, classic him. Phoebus and Quasimodo liken her to an angel but Phoebus goes on to say that she dances with Fire.

It’s decent song and clearly gets across Esmeralda’s love for dance which she REALLY didn’t have in the Disney movie as well as the guys views on her.

 

So this series of review is really just based on the Cast Album and not so much the show itself, that is not say I won’t say anything about the stage production if there is video of it available. Also at this point I haven’t heard the whole album in its entirety.

Olim – Olim is the  actually the first bit of music heard in the Disney movie version and honestly I’m not sure why it’s a separate track. It seems unnecessary to me. Maybe it’s because of the dramatic tone of the opening to what is now The Bells of Notre Dame is different.

All in All it’s the same of the film counterpart, Georgian chanting in Latin. And if your curious the lyrics are; “Once, long ago, God arrived, In this age of brightness, He will come again.” It’s not “Here comes a lion, Father, Oh yes, it’s a lion” but it’s okay.

Michael Arden as Quasimodo, Musical Production of Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Michael Arden as Quasimodo, Musical Production of Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Bells of Notre Dame – A part of me wants to like this song more than I do since I love the movie version. Like in the movie we’re given the backstory of Quasimodo and Frollo but it’s very different as it tries to amalgamate the movie with the book. So first difference we are introduced to Frollo’s younger brother Jehan which is like book. Also like the book Jehan is a wild child. Jehan is sent away from Notre Dame for sneaking a Gyspy Girl into the Chruch so Frollo could get some.  Unlike the book Jehan is the father of Quasimodo. The mother was Gypsy girl, the same one who Jehan brought into the church. As Jehan is dying he begs Frollo to look after the child and he does and give him the cruel name, unlike the book where it was Quasimodo sunday.

I do like that they brought Jehan into the picture and they’re right that  reason why Frollo took in little Quasimodo was out love for his brother but it’s sort of trite here. Book Frollo did it out empathy for a child that had no one because his brother had been in almost same position and here in this musical he does it as a cross to bear out a sense of guilt. Also I don’t like that they have that familial connect of uncle and nephew. It takes away something from their relationship at least for me.

But wait there is more. In the movie when Frollo is chasing down Quasimodo’s mother there is this swell of dramatic music that fits that part perfectly. They have that same music in this version as Frollo is walking with baby Quasimodo but so out place. I really couldn’t tell if Frollo was thinking killing baby Quasimodo or what. It’s jarring and should not have been there despite that fact that it’s awesome music.

The Chorus singing the parts instead of Clopin was interesting not bad just different. BUT one thing I can not and I mean CAN NOT forgive is how they pronounce Jehan. They say like Jay-AN. It’s not inherently wrong but they over emphasis the sounds. They could have just said John. I mean they didn’t keep Phoebus’ last name so what difference does it really make? They call him Phoebus de Martin not sure why since he had a last in the book and plus they missed a great pun by adding that R. He could have been Sun of Morning, Phoebus de Matin. And yet they get Clopin’s last name correct.

Anyway, it’s a good opening that does tries to be a good blend of movie and book it just missed it a bit for me.

 

Out There –  Out There isn’t at all different than its movie counterpart, they play it straight. One thing I did like is the difference of Arden’s voice when he singing the part with Frollo vs his solo. Where he sound more deaf and unsure in Frollo’s presence and then more refined one his own. The movie did this too to a degree but Quasimodo was just meek and timid.  It’s a fine version. I will say that song is a little weird considering Quasimodo didn’t seem that interested earlier in the scene. Like he wasn’t the type to really care to remember  the town’s people’s faces. Still a nice version it’s just a disconnect between the book and the movie.

Hunchback of Notre Dame Cast Recording Album picture image

Hunchback of Notre Dame Cast Recording Album

In 1999 there a German musical version of Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame. It was always the desire of Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz that the production should come to the States. It wasn’t till 2013 when The King’s Academy did a production of it which was a collaboration with Disney. This paved the way for two profession versions to be performed as a pre-Broadway try-out at La Jolla Playhouse in last 2014 and at the Papermill Playhouse in early 2015. Ultimately the show did not go to Broadway and is being played around the Country at smaller Professional venues. However on January 22 there was a Studio Cast Album released. It has gotten some critical acclaim and was the number one for Cast Album sales, as well as 17 in album sales and made Billboard  200 at 47. So it has done well.

 

For the next couple of weeks, because that is how I do things, we’re going to look a few songs at a time. I’ll give my impressions, thoughts etc. And we’ll see if this  really is the critical darling of people’s dream or is just pale comparison to the German version. My guess is that is somewhere in the middle.

On the record label website it’s as wait list status. I’m not sure if this the same as pre-order not. Could be a difference of language style like how in the Uk a season of tv show is a series.