Tag Archives: West Africa

New History Channel ‘Roots’ (2016) Miniseries Is Not A Patch On The 1977 Original.

by Anura Guruge

The NEW 2016 History Channel ‘Roots’.


The OLD 1977 ‘Roots’.


Wow. Wow. Wow. The new 2016 miniseries is NOTHING like the 1977 original. As different as chalk and cheese.

When I had seen the commercials for ‘Roots‘ on the History Channel I had no idea that it was to be a new miniseries. I just assumed that they were going to reshow the old one — possibly remastered. I had seen the original in 1977, in Britain, and had become hooked. I also watched the 1979The Next Generation‘. Though I was somewhat au fait with the controversies that surrounded Alex Haley’s book, I still thought it told a good story. I wanted the kids to see it. Hence why I recorded the new one.

Right from the start it did not look right. I kept on thinking I can’t remember it being like this. Then Deanna worked out that it could not have been the original.

The original was not as ‘edgy’ as the new one. The new one, visually and dramatically, is too harsh. In an effort to be clever and cute they have overshot. There is nothing appealing about it. Just too brash. I am also convinced that it is anachronistic. What is portrayed as bustling West African city in ‘1750’ just does NOT look right. Looks too European. Ditto for the costumes.

Great shame. Nothing wrong with the original. The History Channel just wasted a lot of money. They would have been better off just showing the original. I guess I will just have to buy the original, on DVD, from Amazon.

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by Anura Guruge