"TALES OF THE CITY" ON NETFLIX

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"TALES OF THE CITY" ON NETFLIX#1
Posted: 5/22/19 at 6:35pm

I know that Netflix will be airing next month a brand new, non-book related edition of "Tales of the City" for Pride Month. Does anyone on here think that it would be a good idea for Netflix to film all of the books and air them as an extended series. Seeing Olympia Dukakis again as Anna Madrigal again brought tears to my eyes. I think that the casting for the original series was excellent and feel that for as long as we have these actors available to use them.

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"TALES OF THE CITY" ON NETFLIX#2
Posted: 5/24/19 at 4:30pm

ChgoTheatreGuy said: "I know that Netflix will be airing next month a brand new, non-book related edition of "Tales of the City" for Pride Month.  Does anyone on here think that it would be a good idea for Netflix to film all of the books and air them as an extended series.  Seeing Olympia Dukakis again as Anna Madrigal again brought tears to my eyes.  I think that the casting for the original series was excellent and feel that for as long as we have these actors available to use them."

 

Lets just hope it retains some of the magic of the original. Part of it had to do with the era. I am somewhat encouraged by the fact that  Dukakis and Linney are returning. I loved the original actor who played Mouse.

 

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"TALES OF THE CITY" ON NETFLIX#3
Posted: 6/6/19 at 3:06am

The NY Times gave it a very tepid review which is disappointing. But I think it was a tall order to try and update something that was so magnificent. 

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"TALES OF THE CITY" ON NETFLIX#4
Posted: 6/6/19 at 2:59pm
I have read maybe the first three books but I cannot for the life of me remember if I’ve actually seen the original mini-series or not.
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"TALES OF THE CITY" ON NETFLIX#5
Posted: 6/6/19 at 10:10pm

The original Tales miniseries is a classic. Gay programming is a dime a dozen now, so if you are going to tamper with classics, they better be above reproach. Back when the original series aired, we had so very little to enjoy and it was groundbreaking. 

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"TALES OF THE CITY" ON NETFLIX#6
Posted: 6/6/19 at 10:23pm

When the first "Tales" movie aired on PBS, HBO aired "And The Band Played On".  I thought at the time that TV was finally acknowledging the Gay community.  Boy was I disappointed!

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"TALES OF THE CITY" ON NETFLIX#7
Posted: 6/7/19 at 2:51am

The original Tales of The City more or less made Laura Linney a star. She was so wonderful in the role. I knew her when she was working in the box office at The New London Barn Summer Playhouse. Nobody knew she had any aspirations to act.

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"TALES OF THE CITY" ON NETFLIX#8
Posted: 6/9/19 at 1:54am

It is good to see Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis together again. I do not think the script is  strong and some of the scene work is slow. It has some strong themes attached to it, the old verses the new, gender identity, but the production does not feel as authentic as older installments were and I think they are missing the boat by not recognizing the current political climate. Ellen Page is very good..

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"TALES OF THE CITY" ON NETFLIX#9
Posted: 6/10/19 at 12:01pm

I was rather taken aback when a character gets so upset over what seemed (to me at least) an utterly harmless question about whether or not they have children.  The rest of what I managed to endure just seemed very stuffy and lifeless, and the forced halo of righteousness they insist on putting around St. Anna Madrigal got really annoying.  Laura Linney and Paul Gross managed some fine moments, but what on earth possessed them to put that hideous haircut on Gross?  

There just wasn't any of the spice and fun of the original series -- it seemed very relentlessly PC, making damn sure that every single letter in LGBTQI+ was represented, but not doing much to make me interested in them as people.

"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." Thomas Pynchon, GRAVITY'S RAINBOW "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Philip K. Dick My blog: http://www.roscoewrites.blogspot.com/
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"TALES OF THE CITY" ON NETFLIX#10
Posted: 6/10/19 at 5:03pm

Stephen Spinella  shows up in about episode 5 or 6 with a very strong monologue that adds some well needed spice to the proceedings. It pounces on one of the main themes of the show and adds some needed tension. Maupin is working with some thoughtful themes I just think this current version is not as authentic nor as strong as the originals. The actors are fine, but some of the scene work is slow and I find the characters of the twins rather silly although I understand why they have been included. If I were Maupin I would have not added as many minor characters and focused on the leads and Ellen Page. Ellen Page could actually carry on with the series if Netflix wanted to do so and some of the leads wanted to leave.

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"TALES OF THE CITY" ON NETFLIX#11
Posted: 6/10/19 at 6:47pm
I have very little memory of the originals. Will I be utterly lost without revisiting them first before watching the new episodes?
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"TALES OF THE CITY" ON NETFLIX#12
Posted: 6/11/19 at 4:10pm

I must say I did not care for the secret when it was revealed, the person behind the mystery and I was very saddened by the ending.

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"TALES OF THE CITY" ON NETFLIX#13
Posted: 6/14/19 at 3:54pm
This was absolutely dreadful.
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"TALES OF THE CITY" ON NETFLIX#14
Posted: 6/15/19 at 5:05pm

I did not think it was dreadful. I felt it was not fully conceptualized. The themes and ideas were there it just needed some reconfiguring and less emphasis on some of the newer supporting characters. As I said in previous posts it felt less authentic than previous installments. The scene work  at times was slow and some of the acing was not up to par.

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"TALES OF THE CITY" ON NETFLIX#15
Posted: 6/15/19 at 6:18pm
It was fine up to a point until it all unraveled with that terrible flashback episode with the confusing, contrived morally bankrupt star crossed lovers plot they placed at the scene of Compton’s Riot. And then the twist villain was equally contrived. I felt bad for the actor having to find any truth in their final scene. The character’s evil plan made no sense and turned an interesting character into a flat, one dimensional villain. I thought it was really, really bad. I wonder, as I have not read Maupin’s later books in the series, how much of that plot was his invention and how much was the show’s writers? I’m also confused by the show’s timeline. Did the previous miniseries update the show to the 90’s? Because this series takes place contemporaneously, and does not match up with the novels.

I went hoping for the best, but I ended up absolutely hating it. And I’m saddened by that.
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"TALES OF THE CITY" ON NETFLIX#16
Posted: 6/16/19 at 7:36pm

Gorlois said: "It was fine up to a point until it all unraveled with that terrible flashback episode with the confusing, contrived morally bankrupt star crossed lovers plot they placed at the scene of Compton’s Riot. And then the twist villain was equally contrived. I felt bad for the actor having to find any truth in their final scene. The character’s evil plan made no sense and turned an interesting character into a flat, one dimensional villain. I thought it was really, really bad. I wonder, as I have not read Maupin’s later books in the series, how much of that plot was his invention and how much was the show’s writers? I’m also confused by the show’s timeline. Did the previous miniseries update the show to the 90’s? Because this series takes place contemporaneously, and does not match up with the novels.

I went hoping for the best, but I ended up absolutely hating it. And I’m saddened by that.
"

 

The previous incarnations were based on the books which were originally running columns in the SF Chronicle. The stories took place in the 1070's. You should go back and watch the original initial series from PBS. It was enchanting. I imagine if one were introduced to the series with this latest version I could see where one might wonder what the fuss is all about. This latest version was not based on his books but I think he was involved in the writing.

 

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#17
Posted: 6/17/19 at 4:58pm
I recommend a look at the work of the late queer theorist Eve Kosofsky Sedwick, especially her consideration of the differences between "paranoid" reading vs. "reparative" reading.

Having said that, I thought the series was beautiful. For me, the flashback episode was a major triumph. I could watch those two actors do their thing for many more hours. I love that once that episode was complete there were further elements of magical realism (as well as the word "magic" being used again and again) until the final frame.

Given that Tales of the City has always been a serial, I could live with serial tropes, including those borrowed from daytime drama: retroactive continuity, replacement actors, fuzzy timelines, and most frustrating for me, a major plot point resolved off-screen. That final point is one that has been consistent with each of the few original series I have watched on Netflix. There's always *something* that gets dropped or shrugged off to move the plot along.

Murray Bartlett may have been way too young to be the Mouse in the books, but to me he embodied more of that character than either of his predecessors in the role. Going by the timeline in the last three books, he was supposed to be heavy enough to have a "front butt" ... something Bartlett does not have. ("Magic!")

I was especially happy for the extended sequences after the climax that gave the core characters time to look at where they've been, to praise the younger generation for being more open than they were (which is *really* saying something when you think about it; except for Ben, who was a nightmare) and for reaffirming their love.

For me, the existence of this series was in fact, "reparative." Those characters were important to me when they were new, when they had been around for a while, and when they returned for a final bow. It made me, as a human, feel sort of like Harper Pitt's final hopeful monologue at the end of "Angels in America," where the souls of the departed rise up like skydivers in reverse, repairing the holes in the ozone layer. Because in this world there *is* a kind of painful progress. And it only spins forward.


Miscellaneous: The gay dinner party featuring so many out gay actors, giving us an A.R.T. "Warhol/Capote" reunion with Dan Butler and Stephen Spinella I had no idea I needed! Seeing such a resemblance between Ellen Page and Parker Posey that I never noticed before. The recreation of the Tenderloin. Molly Ringwald cussing like a sailor. Armistead at the wedding. Also, only the first three books in the series consisted of newspaper serial columns.

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Updated On: 6/17/19 at 04:58 PM
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#18
Posted: 6/18/19 at 9:10am

Miles2Go2 said: "I have very little memory of the originals. Will I be utterly lost without revisiting them first before watching the new episodes?"

Netflix just announced that the original series will be up on Netflix on June 28th. I didn't all of the original so I am going to watch the original first.

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'TALES OF THE CITY' ON NETFLIX#19
Posted: 6/18/19 at 12:00pm

I loved every minute of it. It was a pleasure and a privilege to spend time with these characters again.

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'TALES OF THE CITY' ON NETFLIX#20
Posted: 6/18/19 at 12:00pm

Even the new ones, like the twins.

And I thought the flashback episode was genius.

Updated On: 6/18/19 at 12:00 PM
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'TALES OF THE CITY' ON NETFLIX#21
Posted: 6/18/19 at 3:24pm

Loved and savored every minute of it! I always wanted to live at 28 Barbary Lane, and I still do! Delighted that Netflix has acquired the rights to the original series! Although I own the DVDs, it's been hard to find on a streaming platform. Hope it's been remastered to some degree. Now they should try to acquire the rights to the two sequels from Showtime. I hope that one day, all 4 series will be remastered and repackaged into a single Blu-ray box set.

In regard to the timeline, don't knock yourself out. If you can disregard the original Will & Grace series finale, and still enjoy the current incarnation, you should also be able to forgive the timeline inconsistencies in Tales.

 

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Updated On: 6/19/19 at 03:24 PM
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'TALES OF THE CITY' ON NETFLIX#22
Posted: 6/18/19 at 5:26pm

I lived in SF for 10 years. I used to live by the Safeway on Market Street that Mary Ann pointed out in the cab where she says she met Mouse. It made me sentimental for SF.

Bartlett grew on me. He had kind of a bouncy gym bunny energy that made sense when his boyfriend called him out around episode 7.His character also seemed a tad immature for his age.

I liked what FindingNamo had to say.

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'TALES OF THE CITY' ON NETFLIX#23
Posted: 6/21/19 at 10:33pm
To each his own. I grew up with the books and loved the original series. The story was meh but the character development of Shawna was particularly interesting. Made me cry seeing Linney and Dukakis together again. This series was publicized to contain the same characters but did NOT follow the later books at all and again was reported they were not going to. I liked the ending and the way Anna went. Much better than the silly way Mauoin wrote she died at Burning Man in a man-made rocket.
Was it perfect? No Did I still enjoy it? Absolutely.
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'TALES OF THE CITY' ON NETFLIX#24
Posted: 6/23/19 at 8:38pm

Sorry to join the conversation so late.  My partner didn't remember the first three parts so we had to rewatch them and then binge watched the Netflix series this past weekend.  I was sooo incredibly happy to see these characters again and loved the story, especially the Anna flashback to when she came to SF.  I have read all of the books, with the exception of the last one.  I LOVED seeing Dukakis, Gross and Linney all together again and the man who played Mouse was very easy on the eyes.  I must also say the episodes 8-10 had me crying the most I have ever cried.  All of these books are classics of Gay literature and be revered for what they are...

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'TALES OF THE CITY' ON NETFLIX#25
Posted: 7/18/19 at 6:53pm

It's really worth reading the last book even if PTChazman thinks Maupin killed off Anna Madrigal at Burning Man.  He did not.

 

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