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Hamilton Is Fine

Giphy Images.


I've wanted to see "Hamilton" for quite some time. Any time something is so hyped, so universally loved, I want to see it and be a part of the conversation. And the thing is, usually when something is as hyped as Hamilton, it's really fucking good. I don't believe in "over-hyped". Over-hyped just means it's literally fucking awesome and everyone agrees. So for the last 5 years, I've avoided basically EVERYTHING about Hamilton. The songs, the plot, the actors besides Lin-Manuel Miranda because obviously he's been unavoidable. I wanted nothing to be given away until I was fortunate enough to see this masterpiece, live on Broadway, once and for all.

Well, that never happened.

I never thought there was a good time to spend $1,000 for a ticket to see a show, and then Broadway shut down because of this pesky coronavirus, so the fine folks over at Disney, who paid $75 million for the rights to it, released the show on Disney+ this last weekend. "Good enough for me", I thought. It's the original cast, theatrically shot, perfect sound, closed-captions ON so you don't miss a thing, this might be better than going to the theatre. (Always spell it "theatre", makes you look smarter, old journalism trick). 

So I did what any adult male does on a Sunday night- bought a pint of ice cream, lit a candle, pulled up Hamilton on Disney+, and settled in for the greatest night of my life. And let me tell you. After all the hype, all the excitement, the Tony Awards, the world-wide acclaim, the 110% rating across the board, Hamilton was....fine. It was fine.

Honestly, I'm mad at myself for not loving it. It was 2 hours and 40 minutes and during the first 30-40 minutes I was like "alright, can't wait for this baby to kick into the next gear and melt my face off"...and it just never did. It's not like it's bad, I'm not a derelict, but I was never like "holy shit this is the greatest thing I've ever seen".

Back to the over-hyped thing: There is a show in Vegas called "Absinthe". It is hyped as the greatest show in Vegas. And it was not only the greatest show in Vegas, it was the greatest thing I've ever seen. I don't think anything will ever top Absinthe, especially if Hamilton fell so short of expectations for me.

It's possible you need to see Hamilton live and in person to fully appreciate it. And I will buy a part of that that argument, as a live show is not going to 100% translate to the screen. But the idea of it should. The general idea that what I'm watching is the most influential show in Broadway history should permeate through my screen, and it simply did not do that for me. Had there been zero hype and it was just a show I pulled up on Disney+ to watch, I would never have guessed THAT was going to be the most talked about show for half a decade. 

I was going to say "maybe I'll watch it again and see if it resonates more the second time", but honestly, I'm fine. I get it. I wish I loved it. I wish I thought it was the greatest piece of art these eyes have ever seen. But it wasn't. Mean Girls was better.