PBS gets a bad rap for being boring, stuffy and filled with puppets. But anyone who’s obsessed with Downton Abbey knows that PBS often gets some of the most intriguing television shows ever produced.
Back in the early 90s, they were on the cutting edge with Tales of the City, a six-episode miniseries based on the novel by Armistead Maupin. The stellar cast includes Oscar winner Olympia Dukakis (Moonstruck), Oscar nominee Laura Linney (The Big C), Paul Gross (Slings & Arrows), Billy Campbell (Once and Again), and Thomas Gibson (Dharma & Greg).
The story takes place in free-loving 1970s San Francisco, when naive and innocent Mary Ann Singleton (Linney) realizes things are much different than they are back in Cleveland. When she moves into a house at 28 Barbary Lane, her landlady (Dukakis) welcomes her with a doobie instead of cookies. Soon, Mary Ann befriends other residents, a few of whom are gay, and the dramatic result is a wonderful soap opera filled with drugs and depravity.
Today, the 20th anniversary edition is out on DVD with bonus audio commentaries from Maupin and many of the actors, as well as more than 30 minutes behind-the-scenes footage, including rehearsals.
It’s a great way to experience the groundbreaking series again, or discover it anew.
Because like Mary Ann, we all remember our first times.
Tales of the City: 20th Anniversary Edition
$49.99 at www.AcornOnline.com