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Re: Surely any review you read would've told you to go for the original series. DomA Send a noteboard - 25/10/2011 01:31:44 PM
Not that the original series is as spectacularly good as nostalgia seems to have rendered it in the memories of the French, but it definitely has its charm, and some fine acting. It really just IS stage acting on television - the five minute long intro scene of the first episode that consists of all the main characters standing grouped together, and the camera moving from one face to the next while the voiceover introduces them is, well, not something you'd see anymore these days. Or even in those days, on American television.

For that matter, I don't think American television in those days would've had topless women, either. ;)

But that can be excused, going topless could have been very dangerous in the kitchen, where Americans still had women spend most of their time in those days, and in church. Of course they usually put on and off their nightgowns at some point, and took quite a lot of baths even in those days, but the waterproof and night-vision cameras were not invented. :P

The old series is remotely better than the new, if one likes old fashioned French stage drama acting style. The weakness remains the same, though: actors can act as if they were in a Racine all they want, it's still a text that belongs with popular melodramas, just one set on an elaborate historical setting.

I don't know if nostalgia plays such a large role. Surely some people re read Les Rois Maudits, but what I see most is new young readers and light occasional readers picking it up and usually loving it. Nothing wrong with that, no more than with loving Dumas, or writers like King or Jordan. The only annoying thing is the inflated literary reputation (which Druon himself encouraged, he had quite the ego) the work enjoy (mostly from its mass of fans, rarely from the French literary milieu, mind you. Druon is usually referred to politely as a modern continuator of 19th century popular novel genre, another way to say he's not brought much to 20th century literature. There's this misconception that his novels alone are what earned him a seat at the Académie, but it's even more his work as as scholar, and no doubt his lobbying, considering his active career there after his election. A great deal of the best French writers were never elected to the ultra-conservative Académie, usually because they innovated too much and were read by the few while alive.)

That said, Tom seemed to work under the misconception this was a classic in its form, when it's one for its enduring popularity. As far as popular literature goes, there's far worse than LRM (just like the worst of American pop lit puts a series like WOT as average, far from the true bottom of the barrel, even in the Fantasy genre).
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Les Rois Maudits (full and final review) - 19/10/2011 08:18:00 PM 7641 Views
I largely second your opinion - 21/10/2011 01:18:22 AM 1409 Views
I ordered the 2005 series and found it unwatchable. - 21/10/2011 01:44:33 AM 1580 Views
Re: I ordered the 2005 series and found it unwatchable. - 22/10/2011 01:30:49 PM 1524 Views
Thank you for the very informative and exhaustive response! - 23/10/2011 04:17:39 AM 1308 Views
Surely any review you read would've told you to go for the original series. - 24/10/2011 10:13:45 PM 1210 Views
Re: Surely any review you read would've told you to go for the original series. - 25/10/2011 01:31:44 PM 1637 Views

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