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Thread: Television mini-series

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Television mini-series

    It may be owing only to the fact that I’ve not watched tv with much regularity since high school, but I have the impression that the television mini-series had its’ heyday in the late 70’s/early 80’s. There may even be some evidence to support this notion because I actually recall reading at the time about how shows like ‘Roots’ garnered record ratings. Here’s a wiki (evidently partial) listing of some of the better known mini-series that ran on American television:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Categor...ion_miniseries

    The networks used to run mini-series a couple of hours every evening (except weekends) for a period of about two weeks. Cable may have tweaked the concept of a mini-series a bit, but the essence of the thing is unchanged. Memorable ones I actually saw include: Roots, Shogun, Winds of War, Rich Man Poor Man, "V", and one years later called Arabian Nights. Seems like ‘Roots’ was something of a cultural phenomenon (could it have been the first tv mini-series?) Does anyone else recall watching it? I saw an episode not too long ago and was actually a little disappointed with a young Levar Burton’s (Geordi LaForge to you Trekkies) portrayal of young Kunte Kinte - not as good as I recalled thinking it was as a teen.

    Any memorable mini-series you enjoyed watching?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    The only one I vividly recall, is Roots

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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    "Shogun" and "Centennial" were my two favorites. Can't see those kinds of mini-series being done on commercial tv again. Too expensive and too few people willing to make that kind of time commitment to watch them. The various Ken Burns series on PBS are the closest equivalent that survives.
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    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    Lonesome Dove

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    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Didn't "Thornbirds" get a lot of hype?
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

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    Cyburbian Plus Salmissra's avatar
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    Fresno - Carol Burnett and Dabney Coleman

    Lonesome Dove - awesome!

    Ken Burns seems to have mastered the art of the mini-series. Too bad not a lot of people watch PBS.
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

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    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    Yeah, V. Those lizard people were awesome to me back in the day!
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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Coragus View post
    Yeah, V. Those lizard people were awesome to me back in the day!
    Anyone see the new 'V'? I haven't, but admit to being a little curious based on having seen the original miniseries. I'm sure the producers of the new series were hoping to tap into those recollections.

    I bet if I saw the original series now the sfx would be about convincing as Godzilla
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
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    The new V is actually pretty good. High production values and the story doesn't suck. I just hate the way they've been releasing episodes in installments (3-4 episodes, a 6 month break, then 3-4 more) rather than on a consistent schedule. That's a good way to kill off the show before it even gets going.

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    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    I saw the first episode of the new "V" series. For some reason it gave me a wicked nightmare. I wasn't frightened watching it, but I haven't watched it since.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

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    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    For some reason lost to time, I never watched "Roots," though I wish I had. I guess I could always borrow the series from the library.

    I thought the production of Stephen King's "The Stand" was quite good. I made sense as a mini-series - a two-hour movie would not have done justice to the lengthy novel.

    Do you count documentaries as a mini-series? I want to see "The Pacific," but I don't have HBO, so I'll have to wait until it comes out on DVD.

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    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    This Bear has some favorites, in the TV mini-series genre.....

    Holocaust
    Winds Of War
    War & Remembrance
    Roots

    But my all-time favorite is.....

    I, Claudius

    Not really a mini-series, because it was originally broadcast on Masterpiece Theater but it played like a mini-series.
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    Band of Brothers
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    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
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    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    The new "V" is really great!

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