Part 3. As George grows to manhood, he exhibits traits of both parents. Like Tom Lea, he loves cockfighting and carousing; an accomplished trainer of gamecocks, he earns the nickname "Chicken George."
Olympus Athens at Geeks of Doom:
Olympus Athens at Geeks of Doom:
"There was slightly less violence this night, but George’s need for his father’s approval hurt so much. This family loves fierce and they keep getting ripped apart. I can’t take it. I will stay with them until the end of their story, and I will hurt far longer than that.Robert Lloyd, LA Times: 'Roots' is still fresh and shocking 40 years later:
"Regé-Jean Page is going to be a gigantic star with his looks and chops. The relationship between George and Kizzy felt like true mother and son (as the mother of a son – I felt what she did). My particular favorite this episode was Mingo. George may have been seeking his real father’s approval, but he actually earned his surrogate father’s approval through Mingo, all the more sweet because of his massive trust issues.
"Another fantastic night. And by fantastic, I mean heart-wrenching, soul-searing, punch you in the gut despair."
"Roots" premiered on ABC in January 1977, just a few months after Alex Haley published the historical novel upon which it was based -- a phenomenon on the back of a phenomenon.Watch online: Episode 3
Now remade for the flat-screen generations by History, the new version will surely reap the benefits of 40 extra years of technological innovation and historical research. (The accuracy of Haley's own research has been questioned, and in settling a lawsuit, he admitted plagiarizing material from Harold Courlander's novel "The African." But this doesn't lessen the cultural impact of the series, and there is much to admire in the original, as antiquated as it can now seem.)
Broadcast over eight consecutive nights, it was the very definition of a television event. An estimated 100 million people watched its final episode; it was nominated for 37 Emmys and won nine. Executive producer David L. Wolper Jr., who bought the film rights while Haley's bestseller was still being written, had a career encompassing Jacques Cousteau documentaries, "Welcome Back, Kotter" and the opening ceremonies of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games. Screenwriter William Blinn had written the hit TV movie "Brian's Song"; later, he would create "Starsky & Hutch" and co-write the Prince film "Purple Rain."
It was grand, but it was also appealingly familiar, cast with actors well-known from TV and film, , including "Good Times" dad John Amos, Leslie Uggams, Richard Roundtree, Scatman Crothers, Roxie Roker from "The Jeffersons," Louis Gossett Jr., Ben Vereen, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Raymond St. Jacques and Moses Gunn.
Though it may alienate younger viewers that "Roots" most of the time looks like what it is -- 1970s television -- that is no failing, and in many ways a plus. The boxier screen of the time made TV a medium of close-ups and two-shots, more congenial to conversation and argument than spectacle and action. It had an intimate, confidential air. Whatever is stiff or silly about "Roots" -- its opening credits look ridiculously like the cover of a romance novel -- also makes it feel more lifelike, more authentic. In its most awkward moments, it has the energy and honesty of community theater.