This is a wonderful, wonderful miniseries. I love
miniseries, anyway, especially the great epic ones they had
in the 70's and 80's, but even the ones today, like "The
Hatfields and McCoys". Somehow I missed this one in
1993. Probably because it was on PBS. I didn't hear
about it much. This was my loss because this is so great.
The story takes place in San Francisco and was originally
written for the newspaper there. All of the actors are
wonderful. If you only know Thomas Gibson from "Criminal
Minds", you will be really surprised at his performance here
as a young, sexy, unhappy gay husband. Laura Linney,
who's always great anyway, stars as the young, naive Mary
Ann. We see her progress into a more sophisticated girl of
the city during the series. Donald Moffat and Olympia
Dukakis play these older people that we watch fall in love.
Chloe Webb plays another young woman, Mona. Barbara Garrick
does a wonderful job as an unhappy wife. (Soap opera fans
will recognize her as the crazy Allison Perkins from "One
Life to Live"!) Billy Campbell plays a small role. There are
many others. It's a large ensemble cast. The city itself is
also a character, in a way.
If you've ever watched "Queer As Folk", then this
miniseries will remind you a bit of that. I think that the
creators of that show probably watched this miniseries. It's
a bit of a soap opera, but that's okay. It's more like
literature combined with soap opera. It's a great drama but
also has lots of comedy (and a little tragedy). If you grew
up in the 70's, you will no doubt love it like I do. It has
great music and it captures the time brilliantly. I was in
high school during this time period, but in Southern
California. Yet I still can relate to it a bit.
This 20th Anniversary Edition is a great DVD to have,
too. There are lots of audio commentaries by some of the
actors, as well as with author Armistead Maupin and Director
Alastair Reid. There are some behind the scenes clips as
well and a nice insert that's worth reading. It tells all
about how the movie came about. I wish there were more
extras, actually. But it's still worth getting.
How much do I love this? It's like a great book that you
never want to end. It is a book, too, and I've definitely
got to read it.
Here's an even better review!
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