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TANNER ON TANNER (the sequel to TANNER '88)


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#1 of 4 Michael Reuben

Michael Reuben

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Posted September 29 2004 - 05:01 AM

Next Tuesday, Oct. 5, the Sundance Channel begins airing the 2004 sequel to Tanner '88, one of HBO's earliest items of original programming. Gary Trudeau writes, Robert Altman directs, and Michael Murphy and Cynthia Nixon star. As with the original series, numerous cameos by real people are promised.

Four episodes are scheduled, and each one should repeat multiple times during the week (which is a good thing, because the first one airs opposite the vice-presidential debate).

Altman and Trudeau first thought of doing the sequel when they got together to film new introductions for the Sundance Channel's rebroadcast of the original series. (Hilarious stuff, BTW.) From what I've read, Cynthia Nixon's character plays a much bigger role in the sequel than in the original series. Young Alex Tanner has grown up to be a documentary filmmaker, and the sequel is supposed to focus on her work-in-progress about the political process.

M.
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#2 of 4 Michael Reuben

Michael Reuben

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Posted October 08 2004 - 01:42 AM

So I guess no one else is watching this?

The first episode, "Dinner at Elaine's", was much more about show business than politics, and you could tell from the cameos, including Martin Scorsese, Steve Buscemi and a surprise appearance by a big name who is heard before being seen and whose voice should be instantly recognizable.

Jack Tanner comes to visit his daughter Alex in New York City while she's struggling to finish her film about his 1988 campaign for a festival screening. The scenes in Aex's apartment/production office are the kind of barely controlled chaos, with multiple conversations happening at once, that only Altman seems to be able to manage successfully. The episode ends at the screening, where (as is usually the case in a Tanner story) things don't go as planned.

In the second episode, which premieres Tues., Oct. 10, the Tanners attend the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

M.
COMPLETE list of my disc reviews.       HTF Rules / 200920102011 Film Lists

#3 of 4 Jesse Blacklow

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Posted October 08 2004 - 02:46 AM

My folks are real excited about this series. I didn't catch it last night, but from what I've read, it's more about the media of politics than politics itself this time around. In an election year like this one, it seems highly appropriate that they focus on the media frenzy that seems to overwhelm the issues. I'll definitely be catching the rerun of the first episode and watching it on Sunday.
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#4 of 4 Matthew Watson

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Posted October 08 2004 - 10:01 AM

I'm very much looking forward to this... on dvd (mid to late November release, I believe). Haven't had cable for almost a year. Sundance Channel is one of three or so reasons I miss having it.

I watched Tanner '88 back in, er, '88. Very excited about the sequel.