So, I know miniseries are kind of lame. There really aren’t many I like (including the Pride and Prejudice miniseries, starring Colin Firth…*gasp*!), mainly because most of them are poorly done, the acting is pretty cheesy, and even if I love the original book, I never feel like miniseries really *gets* it.
My ONE exception is the glorious North and South miniseries. Filmed before I was born (in 1985), there really is no explanation why I love the tale of Orry Main and George Hazard, but that’s OK, because you shouldn’t have to explain love. I first saw the miniseries with my family when it re-aired sometime during the 1990’s (I was obviously old enough to remember), and I fell head over heels. Specifically, I fell in love with Patrick Swayze as Orry Main. *swoon!* I immediately read the books (North and South, Love and War, Heaven and Hell) by John Jakes, and Orry Main soon became one of my favorite literary characters. I also became obsessed with the Civil War and the antebellum South (and I still am), but really, it was Patrick Swayze who did it for me.
A few years ago, my parents found the miniseries on DVD and I’ve had it lying around for ages, waiting for the right time when I can watch the series in its entirety. Now that I’m gainfully unemployed and home by myself for 8 hours at a time, this seems as good a time as ever!
Watching it now, I’m noticing things I overlooked as a 10-year-old, such as the unfortunate casting of Kirstie Alley. It’s also clear that, like in many miniseries, the acting and directing isn’t the best, and it’s painfully obvious it was filmed on a sound stage. However, I’m impressed with Swayze’s acting and portrayal of Orry Main—I wasn’t sure if my youthful attraction was simply based on the fact that he’s a dreamboat.
In fact, watching this makes me want to go back and re-read North and South, which is a surprisingly good read. I’m not usually a fan of historical fiction and historical romance, but this was one of those books that hooked me long before I began to fuss around with “genre.” I fell in love despite my later literary inclinations, and I’m not ashamed of it.
In the meanwhile, visit YouTube and enjoy the theme song because It. Is. Epic. Really, when it comes to the epic love/family/war genre, it doesn’t get any better than this. (I would have embedded the damn video, but YouTube isn’t allowing it…damnit!)