The Campaign For DA

12.03.2007

Roots


I just completed watching the 1970s mini-series Roots (which took quite a while since I viewed it in 40 minute segments whenever I was on the treadmill.)

For you youngsters in your 30s out there, Roots ran in January of 1977 and the entire nation stopped down to watch. Except me. It's a story of watching generation after generation of a black family from Africa to post Civil War days.

This year while watching the Golden Globes, the cast of the mini-series came out on stage for a 30th anniversary reunion. It dawned on me I had never seen it. So it's stuffed by Netflix queue ever since.

Verdict: Pretty darn good. And observations:

- Anyone who was anyone in the 70s had a role in the series. From a little Todd Bridges to Sandy Duncan to Burl Ives to O.J. Simpson to Robert Reed.
- There was some poor acting every now and then. I could have sworn that John Amos' character would sometimes morph into the the father he played in Good Times.
- The "n word" was thrown around so much that I'm not sure you could show it on regular TV today.
- Chuck Connors and Lloyd Bridges had the most uncomfortable black hating rolls of all. And Conners was great.
- There was no depiction of a plantation with 100s of slaves. Most just showed a nice home with a few acres around it with maybe 10 to 15 slaves.
- While I was watching it, I thought how much history would anger me if I were black man. And then I thought perhaps the series gave rise to some of the gang violence we saw in the 1980s. I mentioned my theory to someone else this weekend who retorted, "Blacks weren't angry before that?" Good point.
- A kind of dumb white guy made an extended appearance at the end. I thought he looked familiar and I was right. It was Brad Davis who I discovered last year in Midnight Express.
- I had more, but can't remember them right now.