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

Archive for 'Essential Telemovies'

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 […]


It is entirely possible that “An Early Frost” may be the greatest telemovie ever aired by the networks.  Whoever made the decision to keep it to a one-night affair instead of stretching it longer was a genius.  It’s 1985 and this is the first time AIDS is discussed, so it’s better to grab people once […]

ESSENTIAL TELEMOVIES: The Count of Monte-Cristo (975)

There are a lot of filmed versions of Dumas’ “The Count of Monte Cristo,” which is one of the world’s greatest novels, for my money, perhaps the best French novel (no offense to Proust or Balzac, but this one is, a mon avis, so absolutely perfect that even translations of it keep it fully intact […]


In the period being discussed, roughly 1975-1995, the American miniseries took on some enormous topics, historical pageants and outrageous stories.  But, not everything deserved a multi-episode miniseries.  Some movies only needed one night and one sitting.  They are what we will call “Essential Telemovies.”  I’ve used two previously (“The Woman He Love” to show off […]


“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 […]

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 […]

ESSENTIAL TELEMOVIES: The Woman He Loved (1988)

Technically, “The Woman He Loved” is not a miniseries by my definition because it was a one-night movie that only ran about two hours with commercials (100 minutes, but different VHS and DVD versions have different cuts).  But, because Jane Seymour is the defining actress of the genre being discussed, taking a detour to watch […]