Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Series for the Summer

Summertime is almost upon us. Already the summertime blockbusters are being released in the theaters. I assume many of you (at least the women) have seen the Sex and the City movie to see what’s new in the life of Carrie and “Big”. Want to reminisce about the early days of the series?? The complete series of Sex and the City is just one of the series that is available from the HBPL media collection. I might suggest a few more of the older but worthy miniseries collections that are also available:

I, Claudius: I, Claudius is a thirteen part BBC adaptation of Robert Graves' books I, Claudius and Claudius, the God. This is a marvelous miniseries that is historically pretty accurate. It stars the talented Derek Jacobi as Claudius as well as Sian Phillips, Brian Blessed, Patrick Stewart, John Hurt, John Rhys Davies and Bernard Hill. The tale is told in flashbacks as the aging roman emperor Claudius writes the memoirs of his life. The debauchery of Caligula (John Hurt) and the scheming of Livia (Sian Phillips) are but two reasons to spend some time with ancient Rome. (DVD)

Jewel in the Crown: This miniseries was adapted from a series of novels known as The Raj Quartet written by Paul Scott. It takes place in India in the twilight of the British Raj and the start of the Indian independence movement. The story follows a young Indian man who has been educated in England and feels more British than Indian. He returns to India to work as a journalist and the British there certainly do not consider him a peer. This miniseries made a household name of Charles Dance and Tim Pigott-Smith (at least in the UK). (DVD)

Roots: Before VCR and tevo’s became a way of life, some television compelled people to actually stay home and watch it. Such was Roots. The twelve-hour mini-series aired on ABC in January 1977 and for eight consecutive nights it riveted the country. I can remember watching it and then talking to friends about it and then hardly being able to wait for the next night’s episode. The story follows the life of Kunte Kinte played as a boy by LeVar Burton (Star Trek: TNG’s Geordi) and then by John Amos as an adult. If you haven’t seen this (or read the book), it is historical television and more than worthy of your time. (DVD)

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