Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Netflix Developing New Installment of 'Tales of the City'

Chloe Webb, Laura Linney and Marcus D'Amico

I've shamefully never read any of the Armistead Maupin books. And I only saw the famed 1993 miniseries in recent years, eschewing the Showtime sequel because it recast the adorable Mouse (as well as Mona and Brian). But word that Netflix is developing a new installment of "Tales of the City" with Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis on board -- with a script penned by Michael "The Hours" Cummingham -- certainly has piqued my interest.

Thomas Gibson and my pal Kevin Sessums

The original cast was filled with handsome men, including Marcus D'Amico (Mouse), Billy Campbell (Dr. Jon Philip Fielding) and Thomas Gibson (Beauchamp Day). I remember when "Will & Grace" and "Dharma & Greg" came along, I was so bummed that Gibson hadn't been cast as Will instead of the other way around. (In retrospect, the less-handsome Eric McCormack made for a better uptight queen.)

Billy Campbell and the original Mouse

I had just moved to Washington when the first installment premiered on PBS and everyone was talking about it later that night at Trumpets (just up the street from JR's), only I hadn't known it was on. This was pre-Internet and being new to town, my subscription to Entertainment Weekly and TV Guide hadn't started yet -- and I didn't have friends to tell me about it. Although I felt a bit out of it, all was not lost. I met my (first) Latin lover that night at the bar, SeƱor Rafael! I'm not sure who they will get to fill the lead male roles. But with "Looking" off the air and Shonda Rhimes threatening to bring Russell T. Davies's heinous "Cucumber" and "Banana" to the U.S., this reboot can't come along soon enough.

Mouse 2.0: Paul Hopkins

Billy Campbell has another Mouse in the house (what was my problem with this recasting?!)


Book Worm said...

Kenneth, If you've not read's still not too late. Each book takes about a day and 1/2 to read (it's hard to put down once you start). The print is big, and the stories are great summer reading. Yes, you'll get better literature in something by Zola... but the Tales of the City Books are fun. At least read the first owe it to yourself, and you'll probably enjoy it. I've read the entire series several times (AND Zola too).

WillnSYV said...

Mouse 2.0 wasn't as likeable. And had nothing to do with character growth.

JimmyD said...

The comment about Russell T Davies was uncalled for. The series is interesting... and ORIGINAL. The thing everyone bitches that they want... but only eat up sequels and remakes.
I'm looking forward to this continuation... but I don't feel the need to shit on other shows to show my excitement.
It is too bad you never read the books. There's still time.

Kenneth M. Walsh said...

@JimmyD: To each his own, but I stand by my comments. "Looking" wasn't a sequel or a remake and I loved it.

Anonymous said...

The first miniseries is the best, but the first of the Showtime sequels is also quite good. The second Showtime/third miniseries (and final so far) was shorter, which accelerated the plots and I found it challenging to get through - even with the amazing cast. I had the same thoughts initially about Mouse 2.0, but I Armistead Maupin has explained that "Despite the rumors, it is not true that Marcus D'Amico wasn't invited back because of issues surrounding his sexuality. The production team met with Marcus and he expressed "ambivalence" about returning to the role of Mouse. The director felt it was important to find someone who would enthusiastically embrace the role."

paintbrush said...

The books are terrific as well as the series. Too bad it's going to Netflix. I know everyone subscribes but my cable bill costs plenty. Then there's Acorn, Hulu, Amazon, etc. No, enough.

Bill Carter said...

The first "Tales of the City" book is quite wonderful. The second, still fun, but not as good. And, although what followed had its moments, they go downhill from there. In one of them, for instance, Maupin has his characters literally spend much of the book wandering around in the woods.

For me, the final straw was when Maupin revived the series in 2007, after a gap of 18 years, with "Michael Tolliver Lives." I went into it with high hopes, but I can't recall ever being as disappointed with a novel. The book was so smug and self-satisfied that I threw it out, rather than lend it to a friend who asked to borrow it, because I disliked it so very much.

I see that's a minority opinion here, but to each etc.

Anyhow, I loved the first book, and the first TV series is a real treat. And look at that cast! Besides the can-do-no-wrong Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis, the supporting roles are played by everybody from Lance Loud to Ian McKellen to Parker Posey to Janeane Garofalo. Bob Mackie's in it! And Rod Steiger and Nina Foch!

I give it five stars.

Unknown said...

Tales gets depressing and loses the fun factor after the second book. If you skipped the TV miniseries sequels then you missed Billy Campbell's and the new Mouse's full-frontals. (I didn't like either Mouse, but the second one was cuter, but not as good an actor.)

JimmyD said...

Since 'Looking' was billed as the gay answer 'Girls'...
And this new series set in Hell's Kitchen has said they were inspired by 'Cucumber' and looking at gay men over 40.
You don't have to like it. You also don't have to shit on it.
I recall how upset you got when people shit all over 'Looking.'
(A show I really enjoyed as well.)

Blobby said...

2nd rate Mona. 2nd rate Mouse. I couldn't get into the second installment at all.