Miniseries Marathon
The miniseries and I were made for each other, long-winded and going on forever!

ESSENTIAL TELEMOVIES: Mayflower Madam (1987)

All but forgotten 30 years later, one of the most delicious of the 1980s scandals was that of Sidney Biddle Barrows, the old old old old money socialite who ran a high-class prostitution service.  American TV loves to knock down celebrities, but old old old old money rarely does anything newsworthy until a murder or […]

FLASH FORWARD: The People v. O.J. Simpson Episode 3: The Dream Team

So the Bronco chase is over and O.J. Simpson (Cuba Gooding, Jr., still not looking like he could take out a moth, let alone two people) has surrendered.  We know that Marcia Clark (Sarah Paulson) is heading up the prosecution, but when it comes to the defense, we know three things: there is an older […]

FLASH FORWARD: The People v. O.J. Simpson Episode 2: The Run of His Life

  “Last time on…”  Remember that?  It was a miniseries staple (and a nighttime soap staple as well).  No doubt these were the first word of thousands born between the mid-70s and mid-90s. We left off with Robert Shapiro (John Travolta) failing to produce O.J. Simpson (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) for arrest.  St. Robert Kardashian (David […]

FLASH FORWARD: The People v. O.J. Simpson Episode 1: From the Ashes of Tragedy

A few housekeeping details first: The Miniseries Marathon and ensuing publications deal with the American network miniseries genre of approximately 1975-1995.  “The People v. O.J. Simpson” is American, but on cable in 2016.  There are a few reasons I’m including it. I refuse to use the “American Crime Story” part of the title.  Nice try, making […]

To Be The Best (1992)

“Don’t go far, there’s a third coming soon.” I wrote that on August 12, 2012, having finished our discussion of Barbara Taylor Bradford’s “Hold The Dream.”  Before that, we had Barbara Taylor Bradford’s “A Woman of Substance.”  Now we have Barbara Taylor Bradford’s “To Be the Best.”  Is it?  Compared to what? Don’t answer that, […]

World War III (1982)

Well who didn’t love the Cold War?  Fifty years of scare tactics and on-purpose misunderstandings, not to mention bunkers and gender-undefinable East German Olympians, what’s not to love?  It was a loony period in world history.  To quote Mr. Sondheim, “everything was possible and nothing made sense.” And that brings us to “World War III.” […]

The Dain Curse (1978)–Part 3

We’re back!  Again!  Let’s continue exactly where we left off in “The Dain Curse,” based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett, a gripping miniseries for sure, even after two tense airings. Once again, trouble has followed Gabrielle Leggett (Nancy Addison).  After a pile of bodies started stacking, including her parents and an assorted menagerie of […]

The Dain Curse (1978)–Part 2

We’re back!  Let’s continue exactly where we left off in “The Dain Curse,” based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett, a gripping miniseries for sure!   That would be the Temple of the Holy Grail, run by Aaronia Haldorn (Jean Simmons) and her husband Joseph (Ellis Raab), which scary henchman Tom Fink (Brent Spiner).  There […]

The Dain Curse (1978)–Part 1

Since “The Dain Curse” is a good old-fashioned mystery, I’m going to chop the information up as if we were watching it night by night as it aired in 1978.  I’m not cheating, I assure you.  The first segment of “The Dain Curse” has more plot, characters, red herrings, crimes and outstanding performances than a […]

Harold Robbins’ 79 Park Avenue (1977)

  This one is for my mother, who can still rattle off the names of Harold Robbins’ novels she hasn’t read in decades. The fact that Harold Robbins, who led a rather crazy life, but was a terrible author, became THE model for a whole generation of ensuing trashy roman a clef wanna-bees, is perplexing. […]