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Best Mini: It’s ‘The War,’ Without Much of a Fight

Feb 3, 2008  •  Post A Comment

The competition surrendered without a struggle in the battle for best movie, miniseries or special, with Ken Burns’ epic PBS documentary miniseries “The War” declared victorious in a rout.
Few critics felt inspired to comment on the category, with some arguing that the current business climate makes the TV movie largely irrelevant.
“The networks are out of the movie business, as is Showtime, and HBO is doing fewer every year. This category should be dropped,” wrote Tom Jicha of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
“The War” inspired the bulk of the positive commentary, as well as the bulk of the votes.
“Another masterpiece from Ken Burns,” wrote TV Guide’s Matt Roush. “He brought vivid new life to even the most familiar World War II milestones by reliving them through the eyes of ordinary Americans of all types. The result was heartbreaking and a timeless memorial to those who served.”
Critics were mixed on how “The War” stacks up against previous Burns efforts.
David Bianculli of TVWorthWatching.com called it “the kind of show TV was made to present; the best work yet from Ken Burns and company.” Los Angeles Daily News TV critic David Kronke, on the other hand, wrote that “The War” was “not Ken Burns at his best, but still a solid, sobering and enlightening series.”
Coming in a distant second was TNT’s Cold War espionage saga “The Company,” which polarized critics, earning votes for worst miniseries as well.
In the “best” category, the top five was rounded out by “Battlestar Galactica: Razor” from Sci Fi Channel, HBO’s James Gandolfini special “Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq” and “Five Days” from BBC/HBO.
The “honor” of worst place among movies, miniseries and specials had to be split between two equally disliked projects, as NBC’s “Victoria Beckham: Coming to America” and ABC’s “Oprah Winfrey Presents: Mitch Albom’s For One More Day” finished in a dead heat.
“Beckham” reportedly was originally intended to continue to air as a reality series but generated such poor reviews and, more to the point, so little viewer interest that it was mercifully downsized to a one-time-only special.
Not far behind the twin powerhouses in the worst category was Sci Fi’s “Tin Man,” followed by a tie for fourth place among Lifetime’s “The Murder of Princess Diana,” TNT’s good news/bad news effort “The Company,” the Emmy Awards telecast on Fox and “anything by Hallmark.”

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