What’s not to love about the arrival of winter? Everything is covered in salt. Finals are eating up your life. And seasonal affective disorder is kicking in just in time for the holidays!
OK, so maybe “love” wasn’t the word I was looking for, but winter isn’t a total bust. Time off for the holidays is definitely welcome. Winter sports are a nice diversion if the conditions and location are right and holiday-themed TV episodes can be fine in moderation.
But typically TV takes a backseat to the film industry this time of year for a mix of generally crappy Christmas movies – “The Santa Clause” not included – and Oscar hopefuls fill up theaters. In recent years, the biopic in particular has been increasingly popular this time of year, with at least one landing an Oscar nomination for best picture every year in the past decade.
While some genuinely good biopics have emerged recently, the genre often fails to capture the minutia of its subjects. This is understandable – complicated people can’t be boiled down to 120 minutes very easily. But who says they have to be?
Television has made significant strides in exploring new territory in recent years, but somehow the television bio-series has been largely ignored. ESPN’s forgettable “The Bronx is Burning” is a pseudo example of this, but was just eight episodes long. And “Rome” and “The Tudors” of HBO and Showtime, respectively, key on real figures, but they’re more historical fiction than biography.
Still, there’s huge potential in the TV bio-series genre, as long as the right subjects become the focus and the right network develops it (read: HBO and no one else). Logistical roadblocks aside, here are my three surefire TV bio-series hits. Feel free to steal these ideas, suits; I want to see these shows.
“The Beatles”: This would be too perfect. No one is willing to tackle a Beatles feature. And for good reason. There’s simply too much to cover, so why not give an ambitious show runner four seasons to lay it out. Each season could highlight a different era of the band and use a unique cast,