What TV Miniseries Stands Out For You?

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cinemalover
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What TV Miniseries Stands Out For You?

Post by cinemalover »

In the 70's and 80's the miniseries really took off in populariity in the United States. Everything from Roots to Shogun to Rich Man, Poor Man.

There were too many for me to even begin to remember. But I think my favorite was The Winds of War from 1983. It was based on the novel by Herman Wouk and clocked in at an impressive 883 minutes total run time.

It featured one of my favorites in big, bad Bob Mitchum, as well as Ali MacGraw, John Houseman and Jan-Michael Vincent. The story involves Mitchum's family in the events which lead up to the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Outstanding stuff. It was directed by Dan Curtis of Dark Shadows fame.

Which ones stand out in your memories?
Chris

The only bad movie is no movie at all.
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movieman1957
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Post by movieman1957 »

Well, since I mentioned this in the TV movie thread after "Lonesome Dove" was brought up I'll throw it in here.

"Centennial" was an exciting and well done series. It was mammoth at 26 hours but I thought it held up really well until the last three of four hours where it only lost a little steam. Everyone in TV at the time seemed to be in it. TBS showed it ten or twelve years ago (although based on my quickly advancing age itmay have been longer) I was able to enjoy the whole thing. My wife would even love to have a copy but you need a loan to buy a used VHS copy.
Chris

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MissGoddess
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Post by MissGoddess »

The Thorn Birds is by far my favorite. I have the dvd and before that I had the series on VHS. Love it! I also have the cd soundtrack! The follow-up series was a dud, though.
bradtexasranger
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Post by bradtexasranger »

Roots has to be the king of the epic miniseries. Very moving. Rich Man, Poor Man is another favorite, for a guilty pleasure.

I've always wondered why miniseries, and made-for-TV movies in general, gradually stopped being produced. My guess would be it's just easier and cheaper to crank out all these reality shows. It's a shame, really.
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Post by movieman1957 »

Brad:

I think you are right. It was money. You look at some of those series and they were BIG. They had great casts, usually pretty good locations and good production values. It seems to me not too many people qualify as big TV stars anymore.

I think most of these are found on cable now. Look at HBO's "Rome" and "Elizabeth" and the few things Showtime has done. Even TNT did "Into The West" (which I haven't seen) some years ago. I think network TV has mostly given up on them. Even the hour drama costs are so much that anything more than a proven product seems prohibitive.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."
feaito

Post by feaito »

The last miniseries that really impressed me were "Taken". I also enjoyed HBO's "Rome", in spite of the historical inaccuracies; I liked it much more than "The Tudors", because I feel it was better set and performed.

I do not know if it fits the category of Miniseries, but I like very much "The 4400".

As for older miniseries I did not see many as a kid or youngster. I watched more films & sitcoms. When I was kid most miniseries were scheduled in the night & my parents did not allow me to watch some of them, since they were adult-themed and I had to get up early for school. I remember a couple of miniseries starring Richard Jordan that I wanted to see & they did not permit it ("Captains and the Kings" & "Fifth Avenue" I believe they were titled). Could neither watch "Roots" nor "Centennial".
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Post by mrsl »

Feaito:

I don't mention Taken very much because you are the first person to ever acknowledge it. I thought it was absolutely fabulous. Every week I watched it twice. First, just to see it, but the second time was to tape it, and catch anything I missed the first time around. I have four tapes, three with 6 hours on them, and the fourth with the final 2 hour finale. I have watched the whole twenty hour series on many weekends non-stop, and am thrilled each time I do.

You are right in saying although it's not a mini-series, The 4400 plays like one. I wasn't crazy about the last seasons direction, and I kind of hope they change back to the new person each week again.

Anne
Anne


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feaito

Post by feaito »

mrsl wrote:Feaito:

I don't mention Taken very much because you are the first person to ever acknowledge it. I thought it was absolutely fabulous. Every week I watched it twice. First, just to see it, but the second time was to tape it, and catch anything I missed the first time around. I have four tapes, three with 6 hours on them, and the fourth with the final 2 hour finale. I have watched the whole twenty hour series on many weekends non-stop, and am thrilled each time I do.

You are right in saying although it's not a mini-series, The 4400 plays like one. I wasn't crazy about the last seasons direction, and I kind of hope they change back to the new person each week again.

Anne
Anne, I was mesmerized by its subject and the very fine treatment Spielberg gave to the series. I just could not stop watching it. My wife, a brother (he bought the DVD Collection) & my mother loved it too.

I agree in that 4400's first three seasons (especially) were better than the last. Still, I'm looking forward to the next season.

BTW, Joel Gretsch stars in both -in one he's the villain and in the other the hero. He's William Shatner's son-in-law, so maybe the "Sci-Fi" skills run in the family :wink:
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Post by mrsl »

I didn't know that about Joel, I really like him. I saw him in a small part on a re-run of JAG the other day, so he's been around longer than I thought.

Wouldn't that be fun to say, "Captain Kirk is my father in law". Ha-ha.

Anne
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benwhowell
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Marathon viewing...

Post by benwhowell »

You really had to make a major commitment to those (pre-VCR) '70's mini-series. Didn't they air on consecutive nights?
I remember tuning in a coupla nights for "Roots-"including the first night-which featured a lot of nudity! That was pretty exciting for a teenage boy to see all those bare breasts on TV....of course, it was embarassing to watch it with your parents. I even won the soundtrack (on vinyl, of course) on a radio call-in contest. Terrific Quincy Jones score.
I totally missed "Rich Man, Poor Man," but I'd love to check it out. Is it on DVD?
Both of those had amazing casts-especially "Roots."
Another mini-series I didn't miss a minute of is "Brideshead Revisited" with Jeremy Irons. It was on PBS.
Another one that I missed was "An American Family-"the documentary mini-series about the Loud family. Probably one of the first "reality" shows. Did anyone watch that?
As for today-I'd love for Oprah Winfrey to do a mini-series adaptation of "The Poisonwood Bible." I think that would be the only way it would receive a faithful screen adaptation.
Handsome Johnny Eck
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Post by MikeBSG »

If "I, Claudius" fits this category, I would have to say it was my favorite. I think I've watched it every time PBS showed it. The performances are terrific, not just the showy parts of Claudius, Livia and Caligula, but the other parts as well.

One of the funnier experiences I had was in 1991 when PBS re-ran it. I had to go to Abilene Kansas for two weeks, and so I watched "I Claudius" there, and the eastern Kansas PBS station cut parts of the episode.
feaito

Post by feaito »

Mike,

Thanks for mentioning "I Claudius". It is really a masterpiece. It was aired in my country on a public TV station, when I was still at school and since it was scheduled late at night I could only watch bits & pieces. I bought the European DVD Collection in 2006, which was said to be superior than the American edition, especially concerning sound quality and enjoyed in its entirety (for the first time) in one whole week!
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