March 30, 2012 at 1:27 pm #241909
Miniseries’ don’t really get much recognition around here. What would you say is the greatest miniseries of the past 15-20 years?
I haven’t seen many miniseries in the last decade, but I really loved John Adams. Got me hooked even though I’m not a history nut. The technical elements were excellent, the direction/writing was tight, and the performances were fantastic. Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney, and Tom Wilkinson deserved their Emmy wins, and Stephen Dillane and David Morse deserved their Emmy noms. The miniseries also didn’t feel like a history lecture and refused to pander, and instead portrayed the conflict and characters three-dimensionally. Only major criticism was that it was a little too gory at times. The tar and feather scene in particular made me sick, and some of the blood was a little too much. Other than that, John Adams was excellent, and deserved its 13 Emmys.March 30, 2012 at 4:30 pm #241912
I personally think that Band of Brothers is a masterpiece.
Angels in America.March 30, 2012 at 4:59 pm #241914
I don’t know if this qualifies, but I would also mention Torchwood: Children of Earth (5 episodes, so I guess it counts). It is one of the greatest pieces of science fiction drama I’ve seen, on TV or film. Bold, provocative, and unflinching, it tells on the surface a classic science fiction tale of humans vs. aliens, and yet portrays dilemmas about how mankind responds to threats and the lengths we to go for self-preservation over doing what is morally right. Children of Earth contains many times the thrills of a modern sci-fi blockbuster film, and packs many times the gutpunches and heartbreak of normal drama films. All of this accomplished on a low budget, and the “less is more” mantra is in effect, from how the miniseries chooses to portray problems (showing rather than telling) to not beating people over the head and over-simplifying the issues, instead showing them in gray colors and that there are no easy answers. The ensemble is uniformly wonderful, especially Eve Myles as lead heroine Gwen Cooper and Peter Capaldi as civil servant/middleman John Frobisher. And the direction/writing is top-notch. The final 2 episodes in particular left me shocked and heartbroken, and this is coming from someone who had not seen the 1st 2 seasons. The risks taken in this miniseries are those that few would ever take, especially in the science fiction genre.March 30, 2012 at 5:35 pm #241915
Also, The Corner, Generation Kill, and The Pacific.March 30, 2012 at 6:29 pm #241916
Band of Brothers and Rome will be in my memory forever.March 30, 2012 at 7:06 pm #241917
Nuremberg which won Brian Cox an Emmy. Joan of Arc was excellent. The 4400 before it was a series. George Wallace with Gary Sinise,
I agree with Angels in America.
ABC had two good ones with Anne Frank and then Judy Garland .
Blonde with Poppy Montgomery.
The Mists of Avalon was good for Joan Allen and Anjelica Huston.March 30, 2012 at 9:24 pm #241918
It’s good we have this thread. With the recent fraudulent moves Emmy has been doing (AHS, Downton, Abbey, and Thief in Miniseries when they’re really Drama Series), it’s hard to go by these categories. Further annoying is the combining of Best TV Movie and Best Miniseries.
Sigh, I love the Emmys, but they need some major reform: This Miniseries/Drama series debacle, the Supporting/Guest performer debacle, the adding of Reality Host while omitting Variety Host…C’mon, Emmys. Get your sh!t together.
-MorganMarch 30, 2012 at 9:35 pm #241919
Well the Supporting/Guest distinction is easily solved. All series regulars must go lead or supporting, which is the rule now and I would keep it. As for guest stars, this is what I would propose: if the actor appears in 50% of the season or more, he/she must go supporting. If the actor in less than 50%, he/she must go guest. Actors who appear in most, if not all, of the season are clearly no longer guests.
Variety Host needs to be brought back in so we can get the SNL actors out of the Comedy Guest categories. I’d also rename the category Variety Host/Peformer, so the SNL regulars can get out of the Comedy Supporting categories. As for mini-series, only one-off miniseries DESIGNED to be one-offs should be allowed in. This means most continuing British series (Downton Abbey, Luther, Sherlock etc.), anthology series (American Horror Story), and cancelled series (Luck) must stay in drama series.March 31, 2012 at 11:39 am #241920
Angels in AmericaMarch 31, 2012 at 11:56 am #241921
Band of Brothers was probably the last truly great miniseries. Generation Kill was okay. Angels in America…