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

Archive for February, 2011

An Inconvenient Woman (1991)

The master of the roman a clef, Dominick Dunne, was not always well-represented via the miniseries.  “People Like Us” is an awful chore, but “The Two Mrs. Grenvilles” is spot-on perfect. “An Inconvenient Woman” is in the middle.  It has some of the latter’s class and the former’s trash.  The story, roughly based on Reagan […]

North and South, Book 2 (1986)

I am purposely avoiding miniseries sequels at the time I write about the originals because the comparisons are not fair, in most cases.  “Rich Man, Poor Man Book 2” is so unbelievably boring and “Lace II” completely lacks the cheesy charms of its predecessor.  However, “North and South Book 2” might as well be done alongside the […]

North and South, Book 1 (1985)

What Herman Wouk is to World War II miniseries, John Jakes is to Civil War miniseries, and that would be the inspiration to make the heftiest movies devoted to the subject.  Herman Wouk managed about 40 hours out of two novels, but John Jakes had three novels and got less time (let’s be fair–World War II went […]

Helter Skelter (1976)

In 1976, television was awfully brave to tackle Vincent Bugliosi’s “Helter Skelter,” the towering and authoritative book about the law and order side of the Manson murders (Bugliosi is the main character, not Manson).  A book is one thing, because though it often reads like the most outlandish of fictional murder stories, a book gives the […]

Elvis (1979)

Only a handful of years after Elvis Presley’s death, director John Carpenter and star Kurt Russell gave TV “Elvis,” their first of many collaborations together.  This is a very loving tribute to Elvis, apparently with the approval of his family, ending in 1969, rather than taking us to the bitter end.  We’ll leave that for […]

ESSENTIAL TELEMOVIES: Bella Mafia (1997)

“Bella Mafia” really is not a miniseries, clocking in at under two hours and it’s also a bit beyond the 20-year span of the Great American Miniseries, but it’s so much fun, I can’t allow it to be ignored.  It plays like a miniseries, is cast like a miniseries and if it had been produced […]

Lonsesome Dove (1989)

I remember watching the 1989 Emmy Awards and when the winner for “Outstanding Miniseries” was announced, not only did I register shock, but it seemed so did everyone in the audience.  “War and Remembrance” was the winner, but who was expecting that?  It’s certainly one of the biggest and most expansive, but 1989 was the […]

Stephen King’s It (1990)

Alex Haley isn’t the only author whose name can help sell a miniseries.  Stephen King, a worldwide favorite, had a slew of miniseries made from his books, though “It” is the best of the lot, appropriately scary and definitely creepy, but with King’s unique sense of humor intact.  And an evil clown.  You can’t top […]

The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982)

I admit it, I’ve been going through Jane Seymour withdrawal.  It’s been weeks since we last caught up with our Muse of the Miniseries. This time, she’s once again ideally cast in a grand spectacle.  By 1982, we probably did not need yet another retelling of Baroness Orczy’s splendid “The Scarlet Pimpernel,” (with elements of her […]

ESSENTIAL TELEMOVIES: Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (1981)

Folks, we cannot avoid the Kennedys forever.  The miniseries all but created a subgenre out of them and in 2011, there is a new one (if it ever airs).  I know, I know, Bj, you’re saying, you did “Onassis: The Richest Man in the World.”  Yes I did.  But, Jackie didn’t enter that one until […]