Category Archives: Mini Series

This category is for a short series. Strictly cable.

SECRETS AND LIES – My rating: 8/10

SecretAndLiesJuliette Lewis has come a long way from a wild, cold blooded killer in Natural Born Killers to conservative detective in charge of a murder investigation of a little boy, Tom Murphy (Aiden Malik) bludgeoned to death and left dead in the woods.  I couldn’t understand how Ben Crawford (Ryan Phillippe) could be blamed for the killing so I watched several episodes to determine if Secrets and Lies would end up in the 1013 file or go full steam ahead.  After 4 episodes, it’s beginning to wiggle it’s way out of harms way and into potential-ville.

A man (Ben) running his routine morning jog, discovers a little boys dead body in the woods.  He turns the body over, sees that his neighbor’s child, they call little Tommy, is dead.  He then runs home and calls 911.  Ben has 2 daughters Natalie and Abby Crawford played by Indiana Evans and Belle Shouse, respectively) and a wife, Christy Crawford (Kadee Strickland).  Eventually, Ben is suspected of the murder and soon learns someone is setting him up.  The investigation has a Columbo (Peter Falk) flavor as Detective Andrea Cornell (Juliette Lewis) makes an extraordinary amount of visits to Ben and Christy’s home.  I’m anxious to see this mini series move on.  A few profound secrets have already been revealed but if there are too many secrets, the audience will lose credibility with Secrets and Lies.  In my opinion, less is more!  The 5th and 6th episodes should be a real challenge.

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THE SLAP – My rating: 7/10

TheSlapThe Slap has an impressive cast but doesn’t appear to have the potential for a long story line.  In fact, it’s an American mini series, based on an Australian adaptation of the same name.  So far, only the pilot has aired so there’s not a whole lot to report on, regarding the quality of the series.  I found some parts of this story quite repulsive.  An unruly 5 year old brat at a family, birthday barbeque is pulling up the hostess’s garden, destroying classic vinyl records, refusing to acknowledge he’s been called out after the 3rd strike in a softball game and the worst of all, being breast fed by his mom Rosie (Melissa George) every time he gets out of order.  Hugo’s father, Gary (Thomas Sadoski) observes but does nothing.  The slap was caused when Hugo repeatedly kicked an adult, Harry (Zachary Quinto) in the shins because Harry was trying to discipline Hugo as he swung a bat at the other children.  I must say, the whole scene brought up plenty emotions.  It’s hard to sit there and not have any input however, it’s only a TV series.  In the meanwhile, the star couple, 39 year old Hector Apostolou (Peter Sarsgaard) and Aisha Apostolou (Thandie Newton) are having a 40th birthday for Hector and Hector is obsessing over his under aged children’s baby sitter, Connie (Makenzie Leigh).  In pops Anouk (Uma Thurman), with a very young date and observes Hector having a private moment with Connie.  There’s lots going on in this series, including the fact that Harry is a cocky hot head.  I have mixed feelings about The Slap — I hope it’s gets better because other than the slap, I found it a tad boring with a lot of the same old scenarios, like Hector’s mid life crisis.  Dylan Schombing brilliantly plays Hugo, the 5 year old, undisciplined child.  The Slap airs on NBC and is a tolerable mini series that will run for 8 episodes.

GALAVANT – My rating: 8.5/10

GalavantI just love this star studded mini series. It’s a musical but a good musical. The music is great, not corny and each production sounds different, not like some musicals that are thrown together hastily. Galavant is a period piece and comedy that tells the story of a prince who’s true love named Madalena, played by Mallory Jansen, was stolen by the evil King Richard, played by Timothy Omundson. As Prince Galavant, played by Joshua Sasse goes on a quest to seek revenge and reclaim his one true love, he teams up with a squire named Sid, played by Luke Youngblood and Princess Isabella Maria Lucia Elizabetta of Valencia, played by Karen David. Together they encounter some very funny situations. It’s been a complete joy to watch this series each week. My only con is that it’s only 8 weeks long. Expect stars like John Stamos as Sir Jean Hamm, Hugh Bonneville as Peter the Pillager, Sophie McShera as Gwynne, “Weird Al” Yankovic as a Confessional Monk, Ricky Gervais as Xanax the wizard, Anthony Stewart Head as Galavant’s Father and Rutger Hauer as Kingsley to grace the story in the coming weeks. There are some wicked jokes thrown around and some wicked situations that is sure to get a many laughs. If you don’t like musicals, Galavant is not for you but if you like a clean, wholesome comedy with a few twist, Galavant is just what the doctor ordered. Check it out on ABC.

THE MISSING – My rating: 8.5/10

TheMissingWhen I first encountered this series I thought the Missing would be about the Rapture like “Left Behind” or “The Leftovers”.  To my surprise, The Missing is about a 5 year old boy they call Oliver (Oliver Hunt), who suddenly disappears from his father’s sight.  The entire set up is done so well it caught and held my attention immediately.  A couple on vacation with their 5 year old son in Paris were having the time of their lives when Tony Hughes played by James Nesbitt took his son swimming in a local pool.  After drying off, Tony and his son Oliver went to get something to drink from the local, semi-quasi out-door pub.  Because the soccer championship playoffs were in full swing, massive crowds were gathered anywhere a TV was on.  Europeans are very passionate about soccer.  There was barely standing room in the pub.  The moment Tony let go of his son’s hand, Oliver disappeared.  It happened so quickly, I couldn’t reconcile the boy’s complete disappearance with the time line.  Frantic, Tony tried to find his son to no avail.  This mini series picks up 8 years later with Tony and Emily divorced but Tony is still looking for his son.  After finding new clues, the case was reopened.   By the second episode, foul play is revealed to us and wella, a mystery is born.   The Missing is a thriller and is very entertaining.  Frances O’Connor plays the x-wife Emily Hughes and mother of the missing boy.  She remarried to one of the detectives on her son’s case, Mark Welsh (Jason Flemyng).  In the end, all is revealed with the help of the lead detective Julien Baptiste (Tcheky Karyo) and Khald Ziane (Said Taghmaoui.  The Missing airs on STARZ and is only 8 episodes.  Check the whole season out on “On Demand”.  I understand a teaser trailer was revealed entitled “A New Case”.  No date has been set, but this limited series looks like it may go into a 2nd season.

ROSEMARY’S BABY 1968 9/10 vs 2014 8.5/10

2RosemarysBaby1968

1968

I saw the original Rosemary’s baby when it came out in 1968 and again in May of 2014, a couple of days after the new Rosemary’s Baby mini series ended.  The original starring Mia Farrow, was in the movies but the remake, starring Zoe Saldana as Rosemary Woodhouse, was on TV (NBC) as a 2 part mini series.  I am happy to see a modernize version of this classic tale of evil remade.  However, because it was remade for TV, Rosemary’s Baby was swarming with commercials.  The original was dark, mysterious and scary.  The remake definitely  lacked some of the mystery although most of the elements were there.  The scary and mysterious aura were not.  In all fairness, this could also be because I already knew what to expect.  I found a few small problems with the remake.  I think it should have been produced for and aired on a premium channel like HBO, Showtime or Starz.  The

2014

2014

commercials were a huge turnoff.  Another really tiny thing that annoyed me was  Zoi’s long straight hair wig.  It looked artificial.  Over all, Rosemary’s Baby was excellently done the first time (a 9/10).   I would give the remake a 8.5/10 because of the obvious updates and how they fit it all in the story without compromising the plot.  In the original, Rosemary didn’t have the luxury of a cell phone or internet so she relied on using pay phones as well as books from the library.    I liked the way Rosemary and her husband interacted with one another.  They definitely seemed closer in the remake.  Now that the mini series has aired, I suspect you can catch it ON DEMAND then after a while on Netflix.  I think Roman Polanski did a very good job on the original and  Agnieszka Holland did equally as well on the remake.  The story was slightly changed to accommodate modern times without compromising the film.  I loved Patrick J. Adams (Suites) as Guy Woodhouse.   BTW:  I really am not into Devil movies but this one was an eye opener in it’s hay day.  You can learn a thing or two and keep your eyes open, you never know what so folks are up to.  Overall, check this one out especially if you’ve never seen the original.  I don’t think it will scare you as much as intrigue you.

DANCING ON THE EDGE – (2013) – My rating: 8/10

DancingOnTheEdgeThis mini series takes place in the 1930s in London, England.  Blacks were still not accepted in the mainstream and many laws were still in place to keep them separated from Whites.  This story is about a jazz band and it’s leader Louis Lester (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) who became entangled with England’s upper class resulting in deceit, murder and love.  Most of this is brought on my one character who wasn’t going for a racial incident but who was a mentally disturbed person who performed out of sickness.  Dancing on the Edge has great entertainment through it’s music and divine singing.  John Goodman has a significant role as an extremely rich businessman who has an unusual obsession.  I thought this series ended leaving the viewer with a taste for more.  I really liked the series but I felt it should have given us more information at the end.  There’s a bevy of actors and actresses who make Dancing on the Edge a success.  It’s currently playing on HBO and is considered a mini series.  It’s aired in 6 parts.