Saturday, May 30, 2015

"Texas Rising"

Texas Rising is a TV miniseries on History (The History Channel). It is scheduled for five episodes, 10 hours. As the title indicates it is about the formation of what was to become the country of Texas then the state. It starts in the smoldering aftermath of the Alamo battle. 

Having lived in Texas for the past 30 or so years I was looking forward to this program. I watched the first two parts. All I can say is wow and not in a good way. As an entertainment vehicle it is pretty bad. It is fraught with stilted dialogue delivered badly. Bill Paxton, an actual Texan from Ft. Worth, plays Sam Houston but not very well. Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays "Deaf" Smith who somehow manages to always turn to the one talking so he can read lips and even hear when it fits the scene. There are a ton of stereotypical characters, some real historical characters and some invented. The bad acting apparently was very contagious and ran rampant among the cast. 

While parts of the scenery were beautiful, many of them were also unbelievable. The battle grounds looked unreal and staged. There were several artsy shots with mist, smoke, fire and sunlight used diffuse what the camera saw. 

The outdoor scenery also is not accurate. There are no mountains in the area around Goliad  and Victoria but there are some pretty big rocky ones in the show. I have been in that part of Texas and I immediately noticed it didn't look right on screen. I did some research and found that the series was filmed in Durango, Mexico. 

The second episode ends after the Goliad Massacre but before the Battle of San Jacinto. There are still three more two hour episodes airing on Mondays. The first two episodes are being repeated often on History so it will be easy to start at the beginning. I wouldn't bother.

So, this project started with a bad script, made it worse with bad acting, filmed in a location that does not match the real area and played very loose with the historical facts and characters. There is nothing to recommend it. I would have expected History to at least try to get the history correct. 

So the BillyJim47 rating for this ironically titled big mess is a solid "D".
View at your own risk.


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