Our pop-culture guide to what’s in, what’s fading, and what’s definitely out.
Tag: Miniseries (1-3 of 3)
You can be forgiven for rolling your eyes upon hearing that Encore — a movie channel best known as “the one that isn’t HBO, or Showtime, or Starz, or Cinemax” — is trying to get into the original programming game with a miniseries called Titanic: Blood and Steel. The 12-hour program premieres at 8 p.m.Monday and will air for two hours each night through Saturday, when it concludes with the legendary ship setting sail on its maiden voyage. (Everyone knows nothing interesting happens after that point.)
But though Titanic: Blood and Steel‘s very existence may seem unnecessary — especially so soon after Julian Fellowes’ ill-fated Titanic miniseries — the series itself doesn’t really invite a predictable, unflattering comparison to James Cameron’s canonical take on the Unsinkable Ship. Instead, Blood and Steel reminded me more of the drama that made Fellowes famous: Downton Abbey.
Tonight, the miniseries Hatfields & McCoys, starring Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton as the patriarchs at the center of the great American family feud, premieres on History (9 p.m. ET). Here’s what awaits you:
1. A bullet-riddled history lesson. Most people have heard of “the Hatfields and the McCoys,” but if you don’t know their story, this three-night event will fix that. The basics: The Hatfields are from West Virginia and the McCoys are from Kentucky, separated by the Tug Fork River. At least according to the miniseries, Devil Anse Hatfield (Costner) and Randall McCoy (Paxton) fought side-by-side in the Confederate army until Anse believed the Civil War was lost and deserted. While Randall went through further hell, Devil Anse’s timber business flourished. In January 1865, Randall’s brother Asa Harmon McCoy, who’d fought for the Union army, was killed — by Devil Anse’s uncle Jim Vance (Tom Berenger). In 1878, the families went to court over the ownership of a pig and a relative of both families whose testimony swayed the jury in favor of the Hatfields was killed by two McCoys. In 1880, Devil Anse’s son Johnson “Johnse” Hatfield (Matt Barr) began courting Randall’s daughter Roseanna McCoy (Lindsay Pulsipher) and eventually got her pregnant. Needless to say, by the time Devil Anse’s brother Ellison Hatfield (Damian O’Hare) was killed by three of Roseanna’s brothers in 1882, the feud was officially on. Devil Anse retaliated by having the McCoy boys tied to pawpaw trees for a firing squad execution. (The location is one of the stops on the official Hatfield-McCoy Feud Driving Tour.) And that, by the way, only takes you to the midpoint of the miniseries. READ FULL STORY »
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