Hatfields & McCoys, 9pm tonight, History Channel

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Temis the Vorta, May 28, 2012.

  1. T'Bonz

    T'Bonz Romulan Curmudgeon Administrator

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    I wasn't as happy with the third part. They took more liberties with the actual history and to me, it was jarring. What's sad, is that the actual history was dramatic enough that there was no need to do so.

    The assault on the McCoy cabin wasn't totally accurate. The portrayal of Johnse continued to annoy me. Nancy McCoy Hatfield-Phillips? Inaccurate.

    But overall, it was compelling and interesting and beat the hell out of History Channel's usual offerings anymore. They didn't do a bad job all things considered.

    What a bleak ending...but the real life drama of the families was equally bleak. There were still a few flare-ups in the 1890s, I read, man, people were tough/mean back then. At the end of the piece, I sat there and thought, "Well hell, mankind is just fucking mean and cruel."
     
  2. gh4chiefs

    gh4chiefs Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Could you elaborate on what was inaccurate about it, and recommend a good (i.e. accurate) book on the feud?

    Thanks.
     
  3. Tom

    Tom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Watched all 3 parts and I thought it was a great mini-series. Yes it was dark and grim and reflected well on the dress and hygene of the time, except.. that most of the characters had good teeth, something you would not see in most country folk in the 1880's . :)
     
  4. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So, they aired all 3 episodes already in the US? We have to wait for the following Mondays to see them in Canada.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2012
  5. Peacemaker

    Peacemaker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    All three episodes will air together on The History Channel this weekend. DVR'ing them.
     
  6. Warp Coil

    Warp Coil Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I haven't seen Hatfields & McCoys, as I do not have cable, so I can't comment on the quality. However, the huge ratings success gives me hope for scripted television. So many networks (including History) focus on cheaply-made reality TV. This is a refreshing change of pace. I wonder if History will invest in more scripted content? And will other networks follow suit?
     
  7. Enterprise is Great

    Enterprise is Great Vice Admiral Admiral

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    History’s ‘Hatfields & McCoys’ Breaks More Cable Records

    I'm sure they'll do more historical mini-series after these numbers.
     
  8. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    I think these ratings bode well for History's upcoming Vikings show.
     
  9. gh4chiefs

    gh4chiefs Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't know that will necessarily be true. I think the iconic nature of the most famous feud in American history had a lot to do with why people flocked to this mini-series. It was clearly a subject matter that peopel were interested in and wanted to learn more about.

    I don't know that's necessarily going to be true for all historical dramas. Plus I think this mini-series was helped by having some bonafide star power in the likes of Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton.
     
  10. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, that's my hope. I think people are hungry for some scripted content from them. The ratings show it, that if they produce it, people will watch it.
     
  11. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    True. I just meant that I think this miniseries proves that there's an audience out there for scripted programming on History. Vikings probably won't score nearly the ratings Hatfields & McCoys did, but I think people will still tune in.
     
  12. PamalaLauren

    PamalaLauren Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I liked it. I couldn't sympathize at all with the McCoys. Even reading the actual history it really seemed like a family (the McCoys) feeling slighted by the Hatfields because the Hatfields managed to somehow make out better than the McCoys.

    The families were in conflict right away because of the lines draw due to the civil war (most of the McCoys were Union officiers, while the Hatfields were Confederates). Then it seems the McCoys after the war really struggled, they worked hard but struggled, while the Hatfields didn't really struggle. Then a Hatfield just up and takes a pig and here you have the well off Hatfields stealing from the poor McCoys.

    While the pig incident could have been many things, some website suggest that the pigs were just roaming free and the Hatfields just assumed it was theirs, to have this set off a whole fued is amazing.

    But I honestly think it came down to jealousy. The McCoys worked hard and gained little while they thought the Hatfields didn't.

    Very interesting stuff. And as far as I could tell, although fast paced for the TV setting, the story stuck to the main historical facts.
     
  13. gh4chiefs

    gh4chiefs Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oh I agree. I just think it will depend heavily upon the content and/or cast. I'm a little less optimistic than you that a Vikings mini-series will go over. That doesn't mean I'm against it, I hope it does well also and inspires more of this type of programming.
     
  14. Shakaar

    Shakaar Captain Captain

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    Really? I could not sympathize with the Hatfields AT ALL. They seemed VERY self-centered, quick to anger and superior in this miniseries. I thought Devil Anse was one of the meanest, cruelest people I'd seen in a long time.

    That's not to say the McCoys were saints. Especially involving the killing of Anse's brother Ellison. While I didn't especially like ANYONE in this, I can't think of anyone on the Hatfield side that had any redeeming qualities whatsoever. It wasn't until Anse's peaceful conversion at the end that I could sympathize even slightly.

    Also, while the pig upped the ante somewhat, the feud was already going. At least as portrayed in this miniseries, the McCoys were wronged first when that psycho Jim Vance killed Harmon McCoy.

    While I thought the Hatfield's were mean incarnate, the McCoys almost felt pathetic to me. If you go back and look at the show, Randall McCoy was pretty passive. Yes, he definitely held a grudge, but things seemed to happen TO him and AROUND him to a large part. He almost seemed to stumble his way through things whereas the Hatfields were cold and calculating.

    Overall though, this was an excellent film, but it sure was depressing. My only complaint was that the text at the end telling what happened to everyone moved so fast that I couldn't read it all. By the time I saw the person's photo and recognized who it was, it was already changing to the next person.
     
  15. PamalaLauren

    PamalaLauren Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah the text at the end was pretty fast.

    I think my opinion of the McCoys and Hatfields was more shapped by the reading I did after the fact. The first show really didn't do much to form my opinion, just showed that people really shouldn't drink and get in fights.

    Then I did more research on the fued and in my reading it just felt that the McCoys were angry over the Hatfield's sucess.

    Of course I really think a lot of this could have been avoided if people just didn't drink so much back then. LOL!
     
  16. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    My hunch is that History should get started on a Civil War series, or maybe a Western of some sort, if they can think of a fresh way to address the topic. But any old period of history isn't going to pull these kinds of numbers. Vikings and pirates are just too distant from the mindset of the audience to be as relatable.

    As for who to sympathize with, I didn't find myself taking sides. The whole thing started as a personality conflict between Anse and Randall and then got spun up because of Anse's psychotic uncle. Johnse sure was a dunce, though. He should have taken Rosanna and lit out for Oregon when his dad refused to bless their marriage. Why hang around in that dysfunctional mess?

    My thoughts exactly. Were any of them ever completely sober? :rommie:
     
  17. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Will Hatfields & McCoy's success spur a wave of copycats?

    I like the guy in the comments section who said "Bring back Firefly!" Never say die! :rommie:

    I dunno about the thesis that this miniseries was a "Western" in any sense. It felt more like a Civil War drama to me than anything else. That's certainly related, but distinct.

    Just look at Hell on Wheels, which is more of a Western. It hasn't done big numbers for AMC.

    Of all the Westerns that were passed on by networks this past season, The Frontier still sounds the most interesting to me - a wagon train series with a supernatural element.

    But this one under consideration seems way off the mark:

    A quirky-doctor show set on the frontier is not at all the same thing as series that basically takes the Civil War historical period and extends it into a private hillbilly feud, with lots of angst and mayhem.

    It sounds like an interesting topic - what was psychiatry like back then, phrenology + snake oil? - but the appeal is going to be a lot more similar to the other quirky-genius-doctor/detective shows like The Mentalist and House, maybe with a bit more mayhem.

    I dimly recall there being another series in development about a war between ranchers and farmers. That would be more the idea.

    EDIT: Charlize Theron joins the feeding frenzy.

    A modern day series about two families with an irrational and murderous hatred for each other could actually be pretty fun. But they wouldn't be able to hide out in the mountains with a stash of guns without the ATF, FBI et al paying a visit, so the story would have to be very different. Probably would involve a lot of legal wrangling. Definitely would not have the same type of appeal.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
  18. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd love a Civil War series, Temis. And yeah, I'd agree that this wasn't so much a western but more of a civil war story. They can sometimes be related and sometimes intersect, but civil war stories deal more with specific things. There's lots that could be done within the context of the civil war as far as a series goes.
     
  19. T'Bonz

    T'Bonz Romulan Curmudgeon Administrator

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    Not so sure how accurate the Johnse/romance bit was.

    I've not yet found out why (IRL) he didn't marry her. However, some stuff I've read said that Roseanna went home a few months later when her sisters came to try to get her to return home because she realized he didn't want to marry her.

    When she went to Aunt Betty's, they met up for booty calls though.

    Yet a few months later, he up and married *another* McCoy, her 16-year-old cousin.

    So if one McCoy wasn't ok for pappy, why would another one be? Makes no sense.

    And supposedly, Nancy dumped him because he was fooling around on her.

    Sounds like Johnse was a calculating player, not the lovelorn wuss he was portrayed on TV.

     
  20. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    History is already investing in a Viking series starring Gabriel Byrne; I suspect more will follow if that series (not a miniseries) is a success.

    Still, I think the greater lesson here might be the same one that AMC demonstrated with Broken Trail in 2006: people will watch in droves to see movie stars appear in original, scripted television. The problem, of course, is that it's hard (and expensive) to replicate that success. Worse, since you can't get actors like Robert Duvall or Kevin Costner to make long-term series commitments, that success will always be short term.

    (Interestingly, both programs were Westerns, although that's probably not indicative of anything.)