I’ve written on here before about my propensity for being years late to iconic TV shows. It’s almost always things that have been strongly recommended to me before, and it’s usually something I know is right up my alley, and I always eventually end up watching whatever it is and wondering why I didn’t watch it sooner. But I still keep doing it!
I love Westerns, but it took me 13 years to get around to watching Deadwood. I love modern Westerns and crime shows, but it took me about 5 years to get around to watching Justified. (It should feel quite flattered compared to Deadwood.)
I also love espionage thrillers and crime dramas but until recently had never gotten around to watching either The Americans or The Wire. You see where this is going. . . .
Deputy US Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant, Deadwood) is unceremoniously banished back to his native Kentucky after his most recent assignment in Miami goes sideways. Let’s just say that Raylan’s quick-draw tendencies probably are a better fit for the 19th century than they are the 21st century. They also say you can’t go home again, but after his dysfunctional, hardscrabble childhood in rural Harlan County, Raylan really doesn’t want to be in Kentucky. Nonetheless, his new boss (Nick Searcy) thinks Raylan may be useful in the task force investigating his one-time coal mining coworker Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), and quite frankly, no other Marshal office wants Raylan. Complications ensue. . . .
Vienna’s Golden Age is the heady years before WWI in which the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was a center for philosophy, science, and art. Its coffeehouses were a gathering place for some of the sharpest minds in Europe, and its opera was internationally famous. But as with any celebrated time period in history, there was also a darker side. Vienna Blood, a recent mystery series, delves into both the good and the bad of early 20th century Vienna while also serving up murders.
But my interest in the story transcends the book. The 1967 film adaptation is one of my favorite movies and is one of the examples I always point to when people claim that a movie can never be as good as the book.
A few months ago, I watched the 1996 miniseries adaptation of the story with my coworker Jen. If the 1967 version is one of the best adaptations I’ve ever seen, the 1996 version is easily one of the absolute worst.
Usually the “From Page to Screen” series is a venue for me to compare and contrast books with their adaptations. But this is my series and my rules, and I’ve decided to bend the rules for this one. So, this month we’re comparing and contrasting two adaptations and exploring why one is considered a masterpiece and the other, well, isn’t. Let’s just call it Screen vs. Screen for this month.