12 Years a Slave has me wondering; why is Roots, the mini-series sensation from the 1970's, all but forgotten today instead of being worshipped as the raging campfest that it is?
My God, you have Ed Asner, Robert Reed, Lorne Greene Chuck Conners, Vic Morrow, Sandy Duncan, and even George Hamilton chewing the scenery for the White Team, and not to be outdone The Black Team logs in with Leslie Uggams, Scatman Crothers, Maya Angelou, Cicely Tyson, Ben Vereen, and O.J. Simpson.
Funky period costumes, huge sideburns, preachy dialogue, and lots of whips--it should be on TV constantly.
When I was growing up in the 1990s I feel like it was still the primary touchstone for discussing slavery. I think in general the cultural gatekeepers today spend less and less time discussing the past. Its all about what is new to push and have you spend money on. Discussing a 30 year old TV show isn't good for their bottom line.
OP, how could you not mention hopeless alcoholic Gary Collins as a greasy, toothless, ax-wielding cracker?
R2 Trust me, not a stretch.
Was it a campfest? I didn't see it when it originally ran (I was 7 and it was deemed too mature for me), but I rented it on VHS in the early 90s and have to admit I found it gripping and was in tears and the end of each episode.
I think there are elements of 12 Years a Slave that are rather campy, particularly the unintentionally silly evil white folk played by Michael Fassbender and Sarah Paulsen -- their characters were so "evil" I couldn't take them seriously.
They took great joy in shitting on Alex Haley's research for the book. It was the James Frey scandal of the time.
I think it let many believe that any plot points of the mini-series were false. Who would ever be that mean and heartless to Cicily Tyson?
They ripped Alex Haley's book apart as fiction and it tainted the mini-series.
It also allowed people to doubt how badly slaves were treated by 19th century white people. Nobody believed anyone could be so terrible to Cicely Tyson.