Monday, December 01, 2003

DÖPPELDUMBASS. In this Sunday's New York Post, TV critic Adam Buckman talks about "The Reagans" on Showtime. He castigates CBS for selling off the controversial program, pronounces the miniseries "too tame to have kicked up such a commotion," and "marvel[s]" at "the small minds that raised such a ruckus over it" and "their knee-jerk reaction."

These "small minds" remain unnamed in Buckman's column, but here's a November 5th piece that seems like a pretty relevant example, titled "It's So Pathetically Bad That It's Hysterically Funny":
IT WAS one of the funniest tapes I had ever received from a TV network.

It was a special promo reel sent over early last month for "The Reagans," a miniseries about Ronald and Nancy Reagan -- the very same miniseries that became so embroiled in controversy that CBS finally dumped it yesterday.

I never saw the finished product, but if it were anything like the promo, this four-hour miniseries was about to go down in history as one of the worst made-for-TV movies ever. This tape was so hysterical, I thought it was a joke...

Funny as it all was, it was also seriously offensive. I thought CBS had taken leave of its senses.

Ronald Reagan will always have his detractors, but it seems that right now, at age 92 and suffering from Alzheimer's disease, he is by and large an admired figure, remembered as the man whose infectious enthusiasm restored Americans' confidence in their country following the upheavals of the 1970s - and who also finished off communism...

CBS, however, is looking like a gang of idiots for deciding that now would be the perfect time to air a miniseries attacking this elderly couple beloved by millions.

Maybe CBS got off easy, because I guarantee that, based on its production qualities alone, "The Reagans" would have been one of the most critically lambasted miniseries in many seasons.

No points for guessing that this review of a CBS promo tape of "The Reagans" is by Adam Buckman, and ran in the Post. November 5 Buckman also says that James Brolin's performance as Reagan has "all the emotion of a piece of wood," though November 30 Buckman judges that Brolin's "affable, aloof protrayal of Reagan is right on the mark."

In the newer story, Buckman never acknowledges that he was part of the "bunch of loony, paranoid alarmists" who "made such a big stink" about the show.

To be fair, Buckman never once, in either column, used the word "imminent."

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