Wednesday, November 30, 2011

TV movies coming their comeback bid

Q'orianka Kilcher and Charlie Rowe star in Syfy's approaching original movie "Neverland," inspired by Peter Pan. The preview screener for "Downton Abbey" arrives shortly, and from the critical perspective, the follow-as much as PBS' Emmy-winning miniseries can't arrive a minute too early.Simply because despite a current small-revival in longform projects -- with an alphabet soup of cable venues not regularly connected together, including TNT, Syfy, A&E, MTV, USA and CMT -- there's been one rather disheartening common thread.Where's it written, exactly, these movies and miniseries should be so consistently lousy?However uncharitable that sounds, watching numerous these productions (and that is employment requirement, not really a recommendation) reflects a "comeback" in volume only. The majority of the movies not just possess a decidedly dated feel but have been removed of flavor -- otherwise outright lobotomized -- for simple consumption.The normally reliable "Hallmark Hall of Fame" -Body of TV's most storied franchises despite an uneven history recently -- just inaugurated its new ABC deal and among its worst efforts in memory, the self-aggrandizing, shateringly sappy "Mitch Albom's Possess a Little Belief."For individuals seeking signs and symptoms of a greater energy, "Faith's" mediocre rankings a minimum of say something moderately reassuring concerning the card-purchasing audience.Of course, individuals who've continued to be active in TV movies throughout its recession -- shops such as the Hallmark Funnel and Lifetime -- rarely challenge their audiences, content revisit an equation intended to be as snuggly like a winter blanket.When it comes to quality, it has been left to Cinemax -- that has the posh of smartly offering a number of high-profile game titles for optimum publicity and honours impact, not rankings -- and PBS' "Masterpiece" to vie for attention, using the pubcaster's classy British dramas getting been especially strong the final couple of seasons.On one side, strictly from the humanitarian/employment perspective, it's tempting not to look a present equine within the mouth. In the end, there is understandable lamentation in lots of quarters -- including that one -- about jobs lost because the made-for-TV movie business evaporated from 200 to 250 game titles annually throughout old three-network "Sunday evening movie" days to possibly several dozen. It's nice to determine stars, authors and deck hands working, even when it's on schlock.Nonetheless, it's tough to know why refreshing a genre connected using the eighties and 1990's means searching so retro. And when it comes to bringing in more youthful audiences -- a higher hurdle even under ideal conditions -- trotting out a parade of these stale concepts will probably be a self-fulfilling prediction. About all that's missing in the current wave is really a trashy update featuring infamous TV-movie fave Amy Fisher, the main one-time "New York Lolita" who -- now a cougar-ant 37 -- lately took part in a high profile boxing match and may most likely make use of the money.Indeed, beyond this month's mind-numbing onslaught of Christmas-designed movies (included in this Syfy's "Snowmageddon," in regards to a killer snow globe), the marquee game titles are retreads, aping items that came large rankings around the major systems age range ago. Good examples are the Albom pic (think "Tuesdays With Morrie") to some&E's Stephen King miniseries "Bag of Bones" and Syfy's Peter Pan-inspired "Neverland," RHI Entertainment's latest bastardization of the beloved classic.On the other hand, individuals productions underscore how significantly the telefilm landscape has moved. Even though the audiences they deliver will certainly be puny in comparison towards the mass benefit of Robert Halmi Sr.'s fantasy epics and King adaptations within their broadcasting heyday, the amounts needs to be adequate judged by their new cable homes' lower standards to enable them to declare victory.The producers who've made it within this sphere certainly deserve some sympathy, and whatever their ambitions, they are ultimately only just like exactly what the systems -- apparently content to rehash the not-so-traditional days -- are prepared to buy.You will find methods to help limited production dollars go farther, in the crapshoot of permitting stars to dabble in passion projects to movies that be used as backdoor aircraft pilots.In either case, when the TV movie's return will add up to greater than a expensive within the pan, this really is virtually no time to party like it's 1995. And talking about parties, a raucous party found in another movie involves mind -- only within this situation, let us not perform the time warp again. Contact John Lowry at

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