July 21, 2014

Maximum Mini-Series

I love mini-series.

Not the short season series that you can watch on HBO, Showtime, Encore or Netflix, but those mini-series that you can watch for one week on a particular channel. However, I'm not a big fan of today's mini-series, simply because I've read/seen as much as humanly possible about whatever topic/person that's being covered, so for me, it's basically been there seen that.

Now yesterday's mini-series, those I like. Why? Because most of those series were based on fictional novels, and not real life. And because I really enjoyed those mini-series, it made me want to search out more works by the author of the book in question (i.e. Larry McMurtry, James Clavell). And even search out the book that was used to begin with.

So in no particular order of favoritism, here is my short selection of what I like to call Maximum Mini-Series.

1} Horatio Hornblower. A series of t.v. films that starred Ioan Gruffudd as Hornblower. About as realistic a series covering the Napoleonic Wars that I've ever seen.

2} Shogun. Featuring Richard Chamberlain (who I'm not overly thrilled of as an actor), the US version is what kicks ass, and not the abbreviated version that was released internationally. Actually searched out this book and read the monstrosity from cover to cover.

3} The Awakening Land. A very good period piece covering the turn of the 19th century, I first caught this on TBS in the early 90's one dull Saturday afternoon/evening. To me, this one really destroyed my perception of Elizabeth Montgomery being a one dimesional actress.

4} Lonesome Dove. I watched this one also in the mid 90's and loved it so much that I made it a point to read almost all the books connected with that series.

5} Roots. Yes, I made it a point to watch that mini-series. Not one of my faves, but it worked better as a mini-series than as a book.

Agree? Disagree? Feel free to add your own in the comments.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.


  1. I've not heard of any of the others, but agree on Lonesome Dove. I too loved the series and was compelled to read the books, which is saying a lot considering I don't normally care for westerns.

  2. I remember watching most of those.
    The one good thing about mini-series now is that if you miss one, you can catch it elsewhere. That was practically impossible back in the day.

  3. Love Shogun too.

    One of my faves has to be North & South. That one was REALLY good. Plus, Patrick Swayze was incredible in that.

  4. I LOVE the Hornblower series! I've read all the novels it was based on a couple of times over the years. I'm sure there will be more films in the series eventually. They just have to wait for Ioan Griffud to age into the part because the next few novels (from where the series left off) take place in middle age.

  5. ABFtS: The strange thing about Lonesome Dove is that I won it playing an instant lottery game. Back in the early 90's, the lottery had a game in which one of the consolation prizes was a free movie (VHS). So I scraped together the required tickets, and viola! Free movie!

    Alex: This is very true. Nowadays, if you can't find it at the library, you can find it on Netflix or cable movie channels.

    Jay: I think I tried watching North & South a few times but never really could get into it. Perhaps I'll give it a shot yet again.

    Debra: I thought The Hornblower series by far was one of the best period pieces that I've seen to date.

  6. G.A.: I saw that Fargo was picked up for a 2nd series. Might be worth checking out, if anything to compare it to the movie.

  7. I've actually wanted to read and watch Roots for quite awhile, thanks for the reminder. We're getting into BBC miniseries lately - some good stuff.

  8. M: That reminds me that I used to catch some very good mini-series on PBS that were UK originals, like "I, Claudius".

  9. I saw Shogun, Roots and Lonesome Dove. All great, but I loved Lonesome Dove the most - that one has stayed with me.

  10. Lynn: I thought Lonesome Dove was pretty cool. Thought the books were better though.


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