I finally saw the miniseries

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Steve in WI

Active Member
Sep 17, 2017
38
167
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#1
So I've read the book at least half a dozen times, saw the new movie in the theater four times, but never saw the miniseries until a couple weeks ago. I watched it alone and then watched it again with my wife. My random thoughts:

No offense at all to anyone who loves it, but how was this considered scary? I get the constraints of a made-for-TV movie and why the violence was minimized, but I didn't even find Tim Curry's Pennywise to be scary. (And I didn't see why his performance is considered to be so iconic, either).

The acting ranged from solid to bad. I thought young Bill, Beverly, and Ben were the best...in fact, I would rank Emily Perkins's Beverly very close to Sophia Lillis's performance in the new movie. The adults...well, I guess John Ritter and the actor who played Mike were okay. I couldn't get past Bill's stupid ponytail and poor Beverly had the most cringe-inducing line with "why is It so mean?"

Given that they changed adult Richie into a comedian, maybe they could have actually made him funny either as a child or an adult? This to me was one of the biggest contrasts with the new movie.

All that said, I didn't think it was terrible. Cutting down the source material into a little more than 3 hours of content that had to be suitable for network TV pretty much guaranteed that it wouldn't be great, and there were scenes that I did like. But I can guarantee I'll watch the new movie and upcoming sequel about ten times as often as I'll go back to the miniseries.
 

grin willard

Grin. Boasting a profile u could cut cheese with.
Feb 21, 2017
1,062
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#3
...well, I guess John Ritter and the actor who played Mike were okay.
I watched It (the miniseries) recently too, and I really liked Ritter in it. But after he's died it's hard for me to be objective. I tend to like anything he did. He was a very tough loss. Tim Curry's Pennywise scares the bejesus out of me! Even now. And as many here can attest, I like clowns! This time around it bothered me that 'it' chose Pennywise as a manifestation, when it could have chosen anything. Like The Tardis chose to be a police box. :) 'It' could have chosen a puppy! It's like it wants to have to work for it. Sorry if all the it's get confusing. There seems no way around it.
 

Doc Creed

Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2015
14,794
65,509
United States
#4
It was distracting having Richard Thomas play Big Bill. I kept thinking of him as older John Boy with a ponytail. Although he looked nothing like I pictured as Bill he did a great job, the stutter was very realistic, I thought. The miniseries is dated but Tim Curry is reason enough to watch it again. The part I hated most? Nope, not the ending special effects but...
when Beverly and Ben are outside the hospital and Beverly (back to Ben) shakes and cries, "Why is it so mean?" :culpability:
 

Steve in WI

Active Member
Sep 17, 2017
38
167
33
#5
I guess what it boils down to for me is that Curry’s Pennywise is creepy at times, but I never feel like he’s portraying a supernatural evil. The scene with Georgie is a case in point. In the new movie, I think Skaarsgard does an awesome job of portraying Pennywise as something inhuman pretending to be human; in the miniseries it feels like Curry is a man in a clown suit standing in a sewer talking to a kid.

And of course that’s creepy in and of itself; it just doesn’t measure up to the scope of Pennywise from the book for me.
 

Paddy C

All Hail The KING...
Sep 18, 2017
1,037
5,558
51
Drogheda, Ireland
#6
Haven't watched the mini-series in years but just remember being delighted that another SK epic had been adapted.
Of it's time it stood up well and was a decent version of the story.
Maybe not that scary but Tim's Pennywise did have his moments.
In fairness, the latest incarnation is nigh on incomparable to the original filmed version but, as stated, IT the mini-series was good at the time imho.
 

AnnaMarie

Well-Known Member
Feb 16, 2012
6,974
28,795
Other
#7
I’m with you Steve in WI

I have never really understood why Curry’s Pennywise is so iconic. I didn’t hate it, but I just didn’t think it was all that and a bag of potato chips.

The ponytail looks silly.

But, all in all, I did enjoy the original. New one is better. Skaarsgard is better.
 
Dec 6, 2017
13
40
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#8
I think the new version is strong - no cheap scares (red herrings where the sudden hand on someone's shoulder is just a friend's rather than the monster's - you know the kind) and very enjoyable. I'm looking forward to the next part. But I would say I prefer the 1990 mini-series - the kids seem genuinely scared in it, as they should be. In the new one, everyone seems to take facing a monster in their stride most of the time. Without that emotion and depth of character there is nothing memorable except the funny lines and the scares.
 

Paddy C

All Hail The KING...
Sep 18, 2017
1,037
5,558
51
Drogheda, Ireland
#9
I think the new version is strong - no cheap scares (red herrings where the sudden hand on someone's shoulder is just a friend's rather than the monster's - you know the kind) and very enjoyable. I'm looking forward to the next part. But I would say I prefer the 1990 mini-series - the kids seem genuinely scared in it, as they should be. In the new one, everyone seems to take facing a monster in their stride most of the time. Without that emotion and depth of character there is nothing memorable except the funny lines and the scares.
Welcome to the SKMB :encouragement:

The fact that the mini-series was based on the original source material i.e. the kids storyline was set in the 50s may go some way towards explaining how the new movie version differed.
I was a teenager in the 80s and, at that stage, was well acquainted with the idea of monsters and the like and wouldn't have blinked an eye if one crossed my path. At least I don't think I would have.
 

BillFan2003

Bill and Georgie Fan
Sep 17, 2017
888
2,679
34
#13
Everyone is entitled to have their own opinions.

I personally enjoy the both of them. I will admit overall I prefer the new one. I like the way the story was told best with having the adult and kids portions seperate. I still have a soft spot for Tim Curry's Pennywise. Grant it, I think that Skarsgard did a wonderful job. But I thought he was most effective when he was actually there, and the use of CGI was either not there, or very minimal. That could just be me prefering the in camera special effects of the 80s and 90s.
 
Dec 27, 2017
11
51
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#14
I like this version better. It has a lot more heart than the film. The characters all have meaning and purpose and their respective solo scenes are much more personal than those of the movie...we don't know why the movie scares are supposed to be specifically scaring their intended victims. We also see why Pennywise can't quite kill *these* kids, every time, there's a reason that is presented based on the kids respective faiths.

Once the Movie is finished doing it's thing with part 2, I sure would like to see a total reboot, call it "Derry, Maine" or something and have it be a series on HBO or something. Let the kids flourish and shine but also show pennywise being scary, gory and successful to keep the ante up on high. Let the confrontation really build, gathering up the courage etc.
 

BillFan2003

Bill and Georgie Fan
Sep 17, 2017
888
2,679
34
#15
I like this version better. It has a lot more heart than the film. The characters all have meaning and purpose and their respective solo scenes are much more personal than those of the movie...we don't know why the movie scares are supposed to be specifically scaring their intended victims. We also see why Pennywise can't quite kill *these* kids, every time, there's a reason that is presented based on the kids respective faiths.

Once the Movie is finished doing it's thing with part 2, I sure would like to see a total reboot, call it "Derry, Maine" or something and have it be a series on HBO or something. Let the kids flourish and shine but also show pennywise being scary, gory and successful to keep the ante up on high. Let the confrontation really build, gathering up the courage etc.
There is nothing wrong with prefering the mini-series. We all have our own opinions, no one is right or wrong. I wouldn't be surprised if hollywood finds a way to keep IT alive after the movie is done, I just hope its not horrible if they do anything.
 

Zone D Dad

Well-Known Member
Apr 17, 2017
358
1,785
Chicago Suburbs
#16
I much prefer the 2017 film (having just finally seen It). This may have something to do with my age at the time of the original mini-series release. I was in my early 20s then and remember being disappointed by the original. If I had seen It as a kid, I'm sure my perspective would be a lot different (see Tobe Hooper's 'Salems Lot, which is like my all-time favorite mini-series), but I didn't find it scary and I hated the whole idea of TV actors being cast as some of my favorite SK characters. That's how they did things back then. I guess I should be happy we didn't get Richard Chamberlain and Meredith Baxter-Birney anyway.
 
#17
I judged the first mini-series unfairly, i.e. not on its own merits and by what I wanted from the book. As a result I didn't really like it that much back in the day. Later, when I watched it again I was more more forgiving. It is still entertaining and does capture some things from the book amazingly well. Some Losers are better portrayed in the mini-series than they are in the film. Ben, for example, is nice in the new film but can't hold a candle to the performance of young Ben in the mini-series. The mini-series managed to give us Haystack.

We won't be able to compare the adult performances until we see the second film of course, but I think the actors in the mini-series did fine. Their parts just weren't as meaty or as well-written as those of the kids. The kids are always a hard act to follow. We are going to see this in the second film too.
 

Sunlight Gardener

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2013
369
1,216
#18
I loved the mini series. Aside from Tim Curry, who was fantastic, ya know what I like best? Every one of the adult actors in it came across on screen like they were really great friends and loved each other. I came to find out that there is a good reason for that. If you ever have access to the DVD, listen to all of them do the audio commentary together. They really did truly love one another it is apparent that they had an absolute ball being together shooting the movie. The commentary sounds like one big family reunion with lots and lots of laughing.
 
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