Monday, February 25, 2013

North and South With Patrick Swazye

I know I'm supposed to review a book on Mondays, but this week I'll be doing a special review on Thursday, so I've postponed my book review until then.

Today I'd like to talk about one of my favorite mini-series of all time, North and South. They've been playing it every Sunday night for the last few weeks and I admit, it drew me again like it always does.

It's about a man from South Carolina who meets a man from Pennsylvania at West Point and they become best friends.  The story follows them and their families through the years of the Civil War and it is so incredibly well done.

Patrick Swazye is Orry Main, the southern gentleman who is struggling with some of the aspects of slavery and honoring his heritage.  James Read is George Hazard, a man from Pennsylvania whose family owns an iron works that employs a lot of Irish immigrants.  He also has a sister who is an abolitionist (played by Kirstie Alley).  It is so interesting how the miniseries explores issues from both sides.  The south did have some valid political points, but I am glad the north prevailed and the union was preserved.  But, oh, what a cost!

The cast of North and South is incredible, with lots of big names, including Jimmy Stewart, Hal Holbrook, Johnny Cash, Robert Guillame, Elizabeth Taylor, Gene Kelly, Genie Francis, David Carradine, Terri Garber, and Forrest Whitaker to name a few.  There are some really strong female characters, which I love.  The history is also articulated so well, it's hard for people who love history not to be drawn in.

I love the lush settings of North and South, the family drama, and the deep enduring friendship between George and Orry.  That seems hard to find on shows done nowadays, especially one where it is so well done.  There's also something about the Civil War era that fascinates me.  Maybe someday I'll write a book about that.

Here's a promo that was done for Book II

Do you have a mini-series you love?  Have you ever seen North and South?


Debra Allen Erfert said...

I watched North And South, but I don't think I ever knew there was a Book II. Wow! I've got to look this up on our HuluPlus. The cast is awesome. Thanks for bringing this to light.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Debra, there's actually a book III, too, and that's what I'm about to watch. Maybe after Castle. I'm so excited for tonight!

I can't wait to hear what you think of Book II. Some of my favorite moments are in those episodes.

Jon Spell said...

I'm from the South, but I'm not a Civil War fan. (No war is civil?) Although, I was a fan of the Dukes of Hazzard, so what does that say?

I was trying to think of favorite mini-series, couldn't come up with one, so I consulted the Internet. Here are a couple I have really enjoyed:

Pride and Prejudice (1995 BBC) Very well done. Colin Firth as Darcy.

IMDB lists Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog as a mini-series. Pretty funny and campy. Love Felicia Day. (Bonus: Nathan Fillion)

(200 mini-series later, guess I don't watch much)

Julie, thank you for giving me Castle to look forward to. It's been a long day already. =)