Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
SilverStormm

Tales Of The City

Recommended Posts

Love the books (except the last Anna Madrigal one, wasn’t crazy about some of it), love the mini series, excited to hear about the Netflix series! Thanks for this forum.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Yes, it started as a column,  but he wrote 9 books about these characters. Nine fabulous books,  I might add. CAN NOT WAIT for this mini-series.

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post

Absolutely LOVED the books ... plan on re-reading all of them before watching ... also, not for nothing, but my FAVORITE book by him was not actually part of the TotC series but rather a novel called "Maybe the Moon," a fictionalized account of the life of Tamara De Treaux, one of the three actors who actually "played" ET in the movie. She was a friend of Maupin's and gave him her diaries to use as the basis for the book. She passed away in 1990. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I loved the books.   I can't even imagine how cool it must've been to meet these characters through the original newspaper columns.

 

Netflix, though.  Crap.  My download speed isn't fast enough.

Come on, fiber optic technology--CATCH.  UP!!!

  • Like 1
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 5/7/2018 at 2:30 PM, PamelaMaeSnap said:

Absolutely LOVED the books ... plan on re-reading all of them before watching ... also, not for nothing, but my FAVORITE book by him was not actually part of the TotC series but rather a novel called "Maybe the Moon," a fictionalized account of the life of Tamara De Treaux, one of the three actors who actually "played" ET in the movie. She was a friend of Maupin's and gave him her diaries to use as the basis for the book. She passed away in 1990. 

I loved that book too! I never realized it was based on a real person. Now I love it even more and will re-read it right away!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I would say the books started off strong, but the quality ebbed as the series continued and the storylines got more outlandish and unbelievable.  I'm looking at you, Jim Jones.   

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

It also broke my heart to see how cold and unsympathetic Mary Ann became by Sure of You. I didn't read any of the later books after that.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I absolutely did not get a tear in my eye.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I've never read the books, but I watched the previous seasons of the show in advance of the new Netflix episodes.

It’s all over the place tonally. Early on it’s mostly a standard slice-of-life drama about a bunch of 20-somethings in 1976 San Francisco, but by the third season it’s all about crazy child-snatchings that are possibly connected to a character's time as a rebel in Cuba. They also recast half the characters after the first season.

There’s a lot of cringy stuff in there that I’m surprised they did in even 1993, especially one terribly-conceived storyline, which I think is directly from the book, where the show’s one black character turns out to be a white woman in blackface (played by a black actress in S1, and a white actress later on). Olympia Dukakis playing a transwoman is handled better than I’d expect for the time at least.

It mostly reminded me of a queerer Melrose Place, which also started as a down-to-Earth show about young people before going all over the place with crazy twists. Hopefully the continuation will be better than the Melrose Place one (this is not a high bar).

Share this post


Link to post
Quote

It’s all over the place tonally. Early on it’s mostly a standard slice-of-life drama about a bunch of 20-somethings in 1976 San Francisco, but by the third season it’s all about crazy child-snatchings that are possibly connected to a character's time as a rebel in Cuba. They also recast half the characters after the first season.

I think the shifting tone from miniseries to miniseries is due primarily to the books, since they were following the storylines from those.  I think the recasts occured either because the actors who played the roles originally were no longer available (there was a five year gap between the filming of the first and second miniseries), or wanted too much money to return.   

Edited by txhorns79
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
11 hours ago, txhorns79 said:

I think the recasts occured either because the actors who played the roles originally were no longer available

Yeah, I assume this is true of Paul Gross, who's coming back for the new series after being recast for the other sequels.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I didn't realise that the new season was going to be set in the present day, meaning about 35 years have passed since the last series, and that the remaining original actors are now playing much older than they are (except Dukakis, who was always playing younger).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, ApathyMonger said:

I didn't realise that the new season was going to be set in the present day, meaning about 35 years have passed since the last series, and that the remaining original actors are now playing much older than they are (except Dukakis, who was always playing younger).

I think the time frame is supposed to be a bit wibbly-wobbly.

I haven't had time to watch much before work, and I'm honestly unsure if I would call it good or not, but it is DELIGHTFUL.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, ApathyMonger said:

I didn't realise that the new season was going to be set in the present day, meaning about 35 years have passed since the last series, and that the remaining original actors are now playing much older than they are (except Dukakis, who was always playing younger).

I think I had read in one of the reviews the age of all the characters is just something you have to not think too hard about.  I've only watched a bit, but everyone seems to just be playing it as though the characters are the same age (or close to it) as the actor, rather than the age they would be if the 43 years or so had passed since the the time period of the original series. 

I mean, otherwise, all the original characters, excepting Anna, should be in their later 60s or even 70s, and they clearly are not. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, txhorns79 said:

I mean, otherwise, all the original characters, excepting Anna, should be in their later 60s or even 70s, and they clearly are not. 

It depends how young you think they were in the original, which I don't think is ever specifically stated. Paul Gross is 60, and Laura Linney is 55, so them playing mid-60s here isn't unreasonable.

On the other hand, Murray Bartlett (Mouse III) is 48, which doesn't really work at all, age-wise.

Edit: They specifically say Mouse is 54, meaning he was 12 years old in the original miniseries.

Edited by ApathyMonger
  • Like 1
  • Laugh 3

Share this post


Link to post

Did Mary Anne being reunited with Mrs. M make me cry?

You better believe it did.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
23 hours ago, starri said:

Did Mary Anne being reunited with Mrs. M make me cry?

You better believe it did.

 Michael calling Mary Anne Babycakes did it for me.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I’ve only watched the first episode so far but I am on the fence. I love the book series and the other tv series. Laura Linney is one of my favorites so she could do pretty much anything and I’ll watch it. I don’t like that Shawna doesn’t know she adopted bc that is different from the book. (Do we have a book spoiler rule here?) I am liking the new Mouse, and there was even a moment early on where he seemed to be channeling the original Mouse in a mannerism, but now I can’t remember what it is. Ben I haven’t decided about, I wonder if we will get any more of his and Michael’s backstory like in the books. I am not liking Brian’s hair at all...not the gray/silver but the hairdo. I think the casting of Shawna was great (loved Ellen Page in Juno and Inception) but time will tell what I think of what they’ve done with her. Are the twins supposed to be Anna and Edgar but with different names? Jake is not what I pictured, but again, we’ll see. I guess my first reaction is I wanted it to be more like the book and wanted to like it more immediately.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 6/7/2019 at 9:08 AM, txhorns79 said:

I think I had read in one of the reviews the age of all the characters is just something you have to not think too hard about.  I've only watched a bit, but everyone seems to just be playing it as though the characters are the same age (or close to it) as the actor, rather than the age they would be if the 43 years or so had passed since the the time period of the original series. 

I mean, otherwise, all the original characters, excepting Anna, should be in their later 60s or even 70s, and they clearly are not. 

Yeah, I think I figured out that if it was 20 years later from when Maryann left, it should be 2008 or so but then Anna was 56 in 1976 and that would make her 99. And it messed me up when Brian said Shawna was two when Maryann left because they kept saying 20 years and in the books she was five, not two.

Edited by Eureka
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, Eureka said:

Are the twins supposed to be Anna and Edgar but with different names?

Anna and Edgar are mentioned in the second episode as not talking to DeDe at the moment. The twins are mostly just comic relief.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Jen Richards was PHENOMENAL as the younger Anna.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

I binged it.  Some things were very good.  Dede is obviously the person who is living her best life.  Ben was just awful.  Everything he did just rubbed me the wrong way, and I seriously wondered how a relationship between he and Michael could ever work given the fairly big age difference.  I also enjoyed it when the older guys told him off. 

I am further glad never to have attended a wedding where a sex tent was a thing.  

Spoiler

I didn't love the resolution of the mystery.  It felt rushed and fairly cheesey.  And when Mary Ann expressed surprise that Anna could have been hiding something, I just wish there was some kind of reminder that way back in the first series, Mary Ann covered up the death of that private eye and burned his file on Anna in order to protect her.  So it's not like Mary Ann has never been in a situation where Anna was hiding things.

Edited by txhorns79
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I know Jake's story was ultimately about him figuring out who he was after his transition, but I was really disappointed he and Flaco didn't get more of an ending.  They had great chemistry.

11 hours ago, txhorns79 said:

I seriously wondered how a relationship between he and Michael could ever work given the fairly big age difference.

Michael's relationship with Ben is based on that of Maupin (who has always acknowledged that Michael is an aspirational version of himself) and his husband Chris.  I think their age difference might even be a bit bigger than their fictional counterparts'.  The real pair have been together for a long time, so as unusual as it may be, it works.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, starri said:

Michael's relationship with Ben is based on that of Maupin (who has always acknowledged that Michael is an aspirational version of himself) and his husband Chris.  I think their age difference might even be a bit bigger than their fictional counterparts'.  The real pair have been together for a long time, so as unusual as it may be, it works.

You are right, the age difference is greater with those two, but I think it's a celebrity relationship where normal relationship rules don't always apply.  For me, looking at Michael and Ben, it was Ben not getting Michael's pop culture references, pointing out that Michael's finances were such that he was 54 and couldn't afford to live on his own and just the drastically different places they were in their lives. 

Also, there was something about Brian's haircut and general look that made me feel like he could easily have played an Aunt on the The Handmaid's Tale.  I can't quite put my finger on it, but he would have been a very handsome woman. 

  • Like 1
  • Laugh 2

Share this post


Link to post

Okay, I give up.

IMDB says Molly Ringwald was in 6 episodes of Tales, but doesn't say what her role was.  What SIX episodes did she appear in?

I might figure it out if she was in one or two episodes, but SIX?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
7 minutes ago, buckboard said:

Okay, I give up.

IMDB says Molly Ringwald was in 6 episodes of Tales, but doesn't say what her role was.  What SIX episodes did she appear in?

I might figure it out if she was in one or two episodes, but SIX?

I saw that too. I only remember her in the last episode. Maybe her scenes were cut during editing or maybe a contract thing?

p.s. she plays the videographer's mother.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, buckboard said:

Okay, I give up.

IMDB says Molly Ringwald was in 6 episodes of Tales, but doesn't say what her role was.  What SIX episodes did she appear in?

I might figure it out if she was in one or two episodes, but SIX?

IMDb is terrible for TV credits until a while after airing, especially for shows where all the episodes are dropped at once. Usually people see that someone is in a show, and credit them for every episode.

Page, Linney, etc are all still credited on IMDb for the flashback episode they're not in or credited for.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I thought I would love this series, but could barely make it through. Even then, I fast forwarded through several parts. I just did not care about any of these people. And I know this is ridiculous, but it bothered me how unrealistic the outside of the house/yard area looked. It was like a bad set on a soundstage, which I guess it was. The grass looked like a green rug. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I agree, the new series is pretty bad, I don't know if it is the script which he did not write or some of the horrible acting. The story has perked up with the second episode, but the first one was literally painful to endure.  I'm not sure if I will bother to finish this either, and I was a huge fan of the original series and of course the books. Damn it, I am upset. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, atlantaloves said:

I agree, the new series is pretty bad, I don't know if it is the script which he did not write or some of the horrible acting. The story has perked up with the second episode, but the first one was literally painful to endure.  I'm not sure if I will bother to finish this either, and I was a huge fan of the original series and of course the books. Damn it, I am upset. 

I wouldn't say it is bad.  It does feel a lot like they aren't quite sure what they want to say.    Further, there is so much unexplained backstory between Brian, Maryann and Shawna (I know it is explained in the books, but it's not clear what is supposed to be canon from the books and what is not) that I don't know you could make much sense of it if you haven't read the books.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I've been reading (and re-and-re-reading) the books since the early 1980s when I was in my early twenties. When what was to be the final TOTC  book came out (Sure of You) I went to a reading Armistead was giving (and got my copy autographed) and in a Q&A he said that he would like to see Colleen Dewhurst as Anna (this was years before the series was made and, by then Miss Dewhurst had died).

I loved the first series and remember what a big thing it was on PBS at the time. I also thought it was almost perfectly cast (especially Mary Ann, Mouse and Mona). I wish so much I could say the same for this version of what seems like a 'bizzaro'  Barbary Lane.  AND: there a far, far too many just plain awful changes/differences from the books that it get so irritating to watch ... and to sit next to loudly bitching about it on the couch, it would seem.

My favourite episode was, oddly enough, the one that told of Anna's past that took place in '66. The acting (Jen Richards, Luke Kirby and the divine Daniela Vega) was superb as were the writing and directing.

I liked Ellen Page as Shawna and I could still talk with Anna Madrigal all night long.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Mrs. Madrigal selling Barbary Lane made no sense.  If she felt guilty about her behavior in the '60s, there were numerous ways to make reparations to her transgender friends other than selling Barbary Lane.  She didn't seem to take into account how this would affect her tenants, people she has always considered family.  Many had been with her for decades.  But now they're they're forced to go looking for new places to live.  Lots of luck finding something affordable in San Francisco.  Lots of luck finding a family-like community like they had in Barbary Lane.

And then they get 24-hour notice the building is being torn down?  I know that was just a plot thing to bring the story to a culmination, but it was completely unrealistic and never would have happened that way.

And then Anna turns over the deed to her old acquaintance without any mention of whether the current tenants would be allowed to stay there.  

And don't get me started on the blackmail story line.  

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
On 6/10/2019 at 1:59 AM, buckboard said:

Okay, I give up.

IMDB says Molly Ringwald was in 6 episodes of Tales, but doesn't say what her role was.  What SIX episodes did she appear in?

I might figure it out if she was in one or two episodes, but SIX?

She was only in episodes 9 and 10.

I'm almost done but annoyingly had to leave the house when I had 20 minutes left in the finale. I have to say I was glad of the Claire reveal because I loathed her the entire way through (though for all I know everyone forgives and includes her in the last 20 minutes). 

The flashback episode was easily the highlight of the show. Beautifully done. 

Otherwise, I really liked the Jake and Margot story. And DeDe in general. I usually liked Michael and Ben, and the conflict at the dinner party was pretty well done. I didn't care much about Shawna (another laconic stoic Ellen Page character!) until the last handful of episodes. 

The twins were embarrassingly awful. Their scenes made me want to avoid SF like the plague if they're in any way representative of the LGBTQ+-and-allies "scene," though I'm way too old for a scene anyway.

Anyway, I thought it had one great episode and a handful of great moments. In general, though, it was overwritten and just trying too hard.

Edited by gesundheit
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
12 minutes ago, gesundheit said:

I didn't care much about Shawna (another laconic stoic Ellen Page character!) until the last handful of episodes. 

I wanted to tell her three things.  1) Wash your hair, 2) get a haircut and 3) stop wearing that gross hat everywhere.    

20 hours ago, buckboard said:

And then Anna turns over the deed to her old acquaintance without any mention of whether the current tenants would be allowed to stay there.  

This.  For people she regularly referred to as her family, Anna didn't seem to give much thought to what would happen to them when she deeded Barbary Lane to her old acquaintance.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
4 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

I wanted to tell her three things.  1) Wash your hair, 2) get a haircut and 3) stop wearing that gross hat everywhere.    

I could not stop thinking about how horrific that cap must smell.

Also she wore the same thing every day. I don't know, honey, put on a navy t-shirt on Wednesdays or something!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
On 6/13/2019 at 2:40 PM, buckboard said:

Mrs. Madrigal selling Barbary Lane made no sense.

She didn't sell it.  That was the blackmail plot; she was forced to sign it over to the blackmailer.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×