Hatfields & McCoys, 9pm tonight, History Channel

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

  1. zephramc

    zephramc Commodore Commodore

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    http://appalachianlady.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/johnse-and-roseanna/

    The author of the article linked above claims to be a descendant of Devil Anse Hatfield. If what he/she says is true, Johnse was a real bastard.

    Also on Roseanna's death...

    :(
     
  2. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I was thinking of the character in terms of how he was portrayed in the story, being a dunce. As far as I know, all the characters have been changed more or less from their historical selves just to make for a good story. Johnse the playa wouldn't have worked as well in the story as Johnse the naif. They wrote him that way so he could be contrasted with his hard-nosed, hard-hearted pappy.
     
  3. T'Bonz

    T'Bonz Romulan Curmudgeon Administrator

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    Love the Appalachian Lady blog.

    I have WV ancestry, but the WV part up by Pennsylvania.

    Interestingly enough though, some of the McCoy family comes from the same areas in Washington County, Maryland (Funkstown, and the Antietam area) from which came some of my own ancestors in the mid to late 1700s. This was in the days when there weren't many in that part of Maryland. It would be funny if there was some connection. I don't know if there is or isn't, as my Walker family is a bitch to research and records are scarce for that time and place.

    Perhaps that explains my fascination with the families. :D

    Edit. Well how about that! It looks like I'm very distantly related by marriage (only) to the McCoys.

    The brother and sister of my direct ancestor married two McCoys, sister and brother. These two McCoys were second cousins to Randall McCoy (the head of the McCoy clan). The grandfather of Randall and the McCoys married to my Kemps was Archibald McCoy.

    And this means I'm related distantly to the future Dr. Leonard McCoy, who was supposedly a descendent from the Kentucky McCoys. :p
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2012
  4. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Just watched this tonight from the DVR. A very well done production. I enjoyed it.

    The cabin that Anse Hatfield was living in while hiding out took me back to my childhood. My relatives on my mother's side are genuine hillbillies that still live in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee. I can remember visiting my uncle's hunting cabin in a hidden "holer" very similar to the one seen in the movie.

    I think part of the phenomenal ratings for the miniseries might also have something to do with the lack of almost every other show being on summer hiatus right now.
     
  5. gh4chiefs

    gh4chiefs Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Before they reran the entire mini-series yesterday, they had a 2 hour documentary featuring several historians and authors, narrated by Kevin Costner. After watching that documentary, I had a little more sympathy for the writers/producers in regards to accuracy.

    They had a segment discussing Asa McCoy and his involvement as a Union soldier and there was a discussion on whether or not other members of the McCoy family served the Union cause or not. One historian swore up and down that several McCoy's fought for the Union, and the next historian said just the opposite, the Asa was the only one. So if bona fide historian/authors can't agree on the evidence, I'm not sure how in the hell lay people would ever have a chance at getting it right.
     
  6. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Variety throws some cold water on the Westerns renaissance idea, noting that the demo skews too old.

    Well maybe. Sure, Hatfields & McCoys skewed older but the sheer volume still captured a healthy 18-49 demo. That strategy works fine for CBS. And if premium cable got interested in Westerns, the demo wouldn't matter to them because they don't have ads.

    The most intriguing news is the heavy regional skew, which suggests that the big numbers don't point to an interest in Westerns so much as an interest in shows set in the South (hey, is that the reason The Walking Dead is doing so well? maybe the zombie/sci fi thing is a red herring!)

    Well I live in SF, but so what? People spend money in Knoxville, too.

    This all comes back to what I think the real lesson is, here: do a Civil War series! And to steal from Mel Brooks, this time the Confederacy wins. :rommie:
     
  7. Spot's Meow

    Spot's Meow Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    This doesn't surprise me at all. I even thought that while I was watching - that if I had grown up in the South I would probably find this much more entertaining or interesting. I don't even know why that should be, but I guess it doesn't feel as relevant over here on the west coast. I also thought that maybe their difficult to understand accents/mumblings were perhaps a regional thing. Now, make a period show about the gold rush and I'm all over that! :lol:
     
  8. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    NBC is going ahead with Charlize Theron's modern take on Hatfields & McCoys.
    I wonder if NBC realizes that H&M had a strong regional skew towards the South, which definitely indicates that a southern rural setting was an important part of the appeal? Most likely the updated version will be urban and lose the regional flavor, if not actually set in NYC or LA.

    Also, guerilla-warfare-in-the-woods probably helped lock in the male audience. The proposed series sounds like it could be fun, but on broadcast it'll probably end up as a Revenge-style soap - female skewing. It could still be a success, but not for the same reasons H&M was.

    Yknow what would be cool? Re-hire the main actors from H&M to play their descendants. That's probably the smartest move NBC could make...assuming that any of the actors would sign on.
     
  9. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Modern Hatfields vs McCoys = mafia wars. I get enough mafia on tv for my liking.
     
  10. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Sure enough, miniseries are now the hot new thing.

    However, I truly doubt that H&M was big because of its miniseries-ness. If the story had merited more episodes, people would have watched more episodes.

    The demos skewed older, male and Southern. They weren't watching just because it was a miniseries. They were watching because it's in their region and involved guys getting drunk in the woods and then running around shooting at each other, which is fun to watch. Also, they made angsty speeches about The Meaning of It All, which made the audience feel better about enjoying scenes of murder and mayhem.

    So this caught my eye as being definitely the right topic, regardless of its format:

    That's the kind of "miniseries" that doesn't need to stay a miniseries. Just like the two HBO mini's were about the same war, but with entirely different casts and locations, a Civil War miniseries could tackle one topic/geographic area in one set of 13 episodes and move onto an entirely different topic and characters the next year.

    And keep going with that format - an anthology series. (And that's assuming that 13 episodes will exhaust the subject matter for any one group of characters. I could see it easily being twice as long.)
     
  11. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, I think I agree. I think rather than miniseries, the qualifier should be "drama", as in more drama programming. But you know, at least it's a start in the right direction. If more miniseries do well, then likely they'll want to think about a full-fledged drama series.

    On the topic at hand, CBS had a rather interesting piece on their Sunday Morning program. I wish I could link it, but I can't find it on Youtube.
     
  12. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, I think it being a miniseries may have been a big part of it. People are getting wary of all the shows that get one season and then cancelled leaving them hanging. I can see one of the big appeals of HvM being the fact people knew they would get a conclusion.
     
  13. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No doubt the idea that the cause of violence is simple human nature is always a pleasing one for a certain kind of audience. It doesn't strike me that way, but I suppose it's an issue of personal morals, also known as "taste" in some quarters.

    As to the fundamental accuracy of the miniseries: http://hnn.us/articles/true-story-hatfield-mccoy-feud

    Altina Waller is the current living academic authority on the feud.
     
  14. Paulcpick

    Paulcpick Commander Red Shirt

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    Riiiiight, and it being a major television event about a major historical event, on a channel that is(well, mostly) dedicated to History had little or nothing to do with it?
    Just drunk rednecks with guns shooting at each other. :rolleyes:
     
  15. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    If history is so wildly popular, why doesn't the alleged History Channel spend more time doing it? You have more faith in people than I do, if you think any old historical event would have drawn an audience of that same size, even on a boring topic without action scenes.

    I wouldn't underestimate the allure of action and gunplay in drawing an audience. And I don't think there's anything wrong with that, either. People watch TV to be entertained.
     
  16. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think it's a bit of both, actually. It sure doesn't hurt to have a lot of action, but at the same time, I think people were hungry for something that wasn't wasn't another reality show on the history channel and something actually historical, something that people could relate to, violence or not. In a way, I think they've been underestimating their audience.

    Reality shows are like junk food. Tastes great, less filling. Fun to watch once in awhile, but it shouldn't be a substitute for more substantial programming. My first impression upon seeing the commercials was that it was about time for them to produce something significant like this. Naturally people were curious due to something like this being so scarce on the channel and tuned in, hence the high ratings.
     
  17. gh4chiefs

    gh4chiefs Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think the subject matter accounted for some of the interest too. How many of us have at some point heard of the Hatfields & McCoys, and how many of us who'd heard of it really knew much about it? I'm a bit of a history buff and I'm ashamed to say I didn't really know much about it. I'm guessing I'm not alone.

    I just think people were eager to hear about this subject.
     
  18. Spot's Meow

    Spot's Meow Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Well, I'm thinking maybe it was a regional lesson or something, because I have a Master's in History and I hadn't even heard of the Hatfields and McCoys. I'm sure I'm just anomaly though.
     
  19. Paulcpick

    Paulcpick Commander Red Shirt

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    Fixed.

    This. Even in the farthest reaches of "The South", and most other parts of America, the Hatfield and McCoy feud is used as the baseline to compare arguments and Feuds to.

    Thats very possible, altho, a bit odd, given the almost mythological like status the feud has taken on over the last century plus in many parts of the US
     
  20. gh4chiefs

    gh4chiefs Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Wow, that really shocks me, not ever hearing of the Hatfields & McCoys I mean. And I don't mean as a historical event, I mean just in terms of a mythological American event. (That's not a swipe at you by any means by the way, I'm just really surprised by this.) But then I'm old, so maybe it's not just a regional thing, but a generational thing too. :lol: