Sunday, December 8, 2013

[ON TV TONIGHT]: Bonnie and Clyde: Can The History, Lifetime & A&E Channels get away with this? (VIDEO)

To even think about watching the History Channel's Bonnie and Clyde, you must first accept two unfortunate truths: yes, they really made this and no, at this point in the production cycle, you can't do anything to stop it.

Based on the true story of Clyde Barrow, a charismatic convicted armed robber who sweeps Bonnie Parker, an impressionable, petite, small-town waitress, off her feet, and the two embark on one one of most infamous bank-robbing sprees in history.

From the original which was in 1967, The History Channel's strategy here is to make it as difficult as possible to avoid watching this version. Airing in two parts across Sunday and Monday nights, Bonnie and Clyde is taking over three networks: History, A&E and Lifetime. The cast includes Emile Hirsch as Clyde and Holliday Granger as Bonnie, and Holly Hunter and William Hurt as the Academy Award-winning actors who are presumably being paid very well to lend some sort of credibility to this glossy project.

By the end of the first half-hour, you begin to have a sense for how this film was put together: the executives of three networks, having met in a neutral location, agreed to the basics but left it to writers Joe Bateer and John Rice to reverse-engineer enough action to fill four hours of primetime. They were woefully unprepared for the task.

Everything in this movie has been done better somewhere else. We have so many good examples of films and TV series that digest the Depression era's crime waves – The Untouchables, the original Bonnie and Clyde, Public Enemies, Boardwalk Empire – that it's impossible not to make comparisons that end poorly for this remake, no matter how pretty the costumes are.

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