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Behind the Candelabra

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Liberace is a celebrity that has mostly missed my generation.  I was too young to know much about him when he died, and he's the kind of pop culture ephemera that gets forgotten quickly after he's no longer perfroming, particularly if you're not in the slice of America that goes to Vegas shows consistently.

Then comes this HBO production.  I learned a lot about Librace, I had a lot of sympathy for Scott Thorson, it was well-executed, etc. etc.   Michael Douglas and Matt Damon are pretty good, though they are such big stars that I found myself continually thinking of them as their actors instead of their characters.

I find the form quite interesting here.  This is a made-for-TV movie is every sense of the word.  It was, most obviously, made to be shown on television and not the big screen, but the tell-all biopic is well-understood ground for the TV movies of yore.  It has stars that everybody knows, and a pop culture connection that gives it just enough recognition.  I'm guessing this is just a strange one-off example of a form that is well past its height, but I'd be quite pleased if HBO did some more like this, and the other channels followed suit.  HBO did it with episodic story arc shows, pioneering with The Sopranos, The Wire, and Deadwood before the other channels brought out Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and the like.  Perhaps this is another pioneering effort.  I welcome it.

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