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IT'S HAPPENING: Atlas Shrugged Television Series

Posted by sdesapio 4 years, 4 months ago to Entertainment
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At the start of the year, Atlas Shrugged Producer John Aglialoro hinted at the potential for an Atlas Shrugged mini-series ( http://www.galtsgulchonline.com/posts... ). Last week, John made a trip to Hollywood and met with... some very interested MAJOR players.

How does a full blown television series sound!?

Yep. It's really happening. We can't say too much just yet, but suffice it to say, John's meetings in Hollywood were VERY productive and the groups we're talking to are incredibly enthusiastic and ready to move mountains to make it happen. We should hopefully have something official to announce within the next few weeks so stay tuned.

As the project progresses, we're going to be reaching out to you for your opinion from time to time.

This would be one of those times.

Keep in mind, certain people who are not active in the Gulch, but very interested in your opinion, will be reading your comments on this post.

Got it? Good. Here we go...

Should the Atlas Shrugged television series be a period piece set in the 1950s or should it take place, as Ayn Rand alluded to, "the day after tomorrow?"


P.S. Because it worked so well for us with the trilogy, of course we have every intention of changing the entire cast every episode. No. No, we won't.


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  • 14
    Posted by mikeydog 4 years, 4 months ago
    Looking forward to this series. I hope they Netflix it for ad-free binge watching.

    Should the Atlas Shrugged television series be a period piece set in the 1950s or should it take place, as Ayn Rand alluded to, "the day after tomorrow?"

    Definitely "the day after tomorrow". It will be much more interesting to many more people if it takes place today (or starting with the 2008-09 financial crises and government interventions) to in the near future. In fact, show some background of how the housing bubble-collapse was caused by government intervention in the housing market (FMAC, FNMA, Banking Regs, etc). Continue through Government trying to solve the problems they created with ever more intrusive and larger government, and how all that failed. And of course, the unconstitutional measure of forcing people to buy an insurance product against their will. More viewers will engage if they can relate to the story and the characters. 1950s won't do that.
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    • Posted by jpellone 4 years, 4 months ago
      Like your thinking Mikey with "the day after tomorrow" but rather than start the series 2008-2009, just have flashbacks to all of the things that helped destroy the country.
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    • Posted by term2 4 years, 4 months ago
      Trouble with neflix binge watching is that its only available when they cant get any more money out of the project. Its just not economically feasible to make a bunch of episodes that take months and millions to make only to have people binge watch in a week or two for $8.99 a month. I love Netflix and loved JERICHO, BREAKING BAD, and many others.They started a revolution- now I dont watch series on TV. I wait till its on Netflix
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      • Posted by jneilschulman 4 years, 4 months ago
        Netflix has produced two seasons of "House of Cards" as a high-quality series. so it can be done there. Amazon Studios is also producing quality series with "The Man in the High Castle" based on the Philip K. Dick novel showing a first-rate pilot.

        A quality Atlas Shrugged series can be done within reasonable budget targets if the right people are at the helm.
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        • Posted by term2 4 years, 4 months ago
          We already know the story tho
          Maybe they could concentrate on rebuilding after the crash, which is where as left off
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          • Posted by jneilschulman 4 years, 3 months ago
            Scott Desapio hasn't told us whether they're talking about a set-episode miniseries or an ongoing open-ended series. Either way, I'd want to see the story told in the novel told again with a consistent cast and lots of sequences from the novel that was not included in the trilogy. I want Dagny on the train with the Brakeman whistling the Halley Fifth Concerto. I want the scene with a young Dagny and the Oak tree and the friendship between young Slug and Frisco. I want action scenes in the novel not told to us but shown to us -- Ragnar's pirate operations should be given full treatment -- at least as full as Captain Phillips. And Project X -- the corruption of the military the way Hitler and Stalin used and maltreated their soldiers ... and that's crucial, despite the pandering to the Fox News neocons, because that's exactly what's happening to the American military as the U.S. abandons republican principles in favor of imperial mega-intervention. Do the producers have the cojones to be Objectivists instead of tools of the Republican and Tea Party groups they've been marketing to? Only time will tell.
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  • 14
    Posted by Eudaimonia 4 years, 4 months ago
    Yes!
    What great news to start the weekend!

    Let us know how we can get the word out.

    "Should the Atlas Shrugged television series be a period piece or should it take place, as Ayn Rand alluded to, 'the day after tomorrow?'"

    My standard reply to these type of questions follows:
    Why not both?
    A period piece set in "the day after tomorrow": look at how well the "steam-punk" genre performs.
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    • 10
      Posted by 4 years, 4 months ago
      OH MY GOD YES.
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      • Posted by khalling 4 years, 4 months ago
        I can see it going both ways. The problem I have with setting it in the 50s is that americans fondly (well most) remeber the period of the 50s as being a prosperous and technologically advanced time. There is an irish/british (?) show where a police detective somehow gets transported back to the 70s, a time known for not being prosperous (and they do an excellent job of getting that across), lots of unemployed-think 70s norman lear tv shows . So I do kind of groove with the a period time just not the 50s. don't forget to make the gulch one of those offshore sea stead deals or maybe even under the sea. I'm not big on the space station stuff :P
        Db says keep it as close to the actual story as possible with entertainment value has to trump philosophical content without negating the philosophy.
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  • 12
    Posted by  $  BYJR 4 years, 4 months ago
    1. Strongly suggest you keep it as "the day after tomorrow". Not only is that in keeping with Miss Rand's idea, but it also gives you lots of lattitude for portraying details in technology, politics, and general American culture.

    2. Since you joked about the cast changes, I am going to comment, even though you did not ask a question about it. Please, please, PLEASE, I am begging you on selfish, individualistic knees, do NOT change the cast. Lock those actors in by contract for the duration of the ENTIRE mini-series. Oh... by "the cast", I mean whatever cast you hire at the onset of the mini-series. I am not suggesting you specifically use the cast of any of the 3 trilogy movies.
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    • Posted by jpellone 4 years, 4 months ago
      Good luck finding enough good conservative actors/actresses to fill the cast. I don't think too many liberal ones will want to star in a series that makes them all look bad. LMAO
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      • Posted by mdk2608 4 years, 3 months ago
        I believe we can find good actors to fill in. Many today are in the closet not wanting to express their conservative view now. That may change once Obama leaves office. What I would hate to see is a good person filling a role only to find out later that they are bashing the concepts on some TV talk show. That would ruin everything we have put together.
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      • Posted by  $  BYJR 4 years, 4 months ago
        My sister says the same thing as she is an actress herself -- but her view is from the other side -- "good luck trying to get hired by liberal hollywood execs", etc.

        She played Karen Andre in a local southern California production of Night of Jan 16th, and even in this liberal environment, managed to get rave reviews.

        Her problem is the reverse. So maybe there are more like her out there. It's a big country. All those wannabees who cannot get hired by liberal Hollywood, may flock to ASTMS.
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  • Posted by  $  Maritimus 4 years, 4 months ago
    Dear Scott,

    This is great news.

    It seems to me that you should want to appeal to the largest possible audience. You also should want to make the story feel as real today as possible.

    My understanding of the viewership age distributions suggests that you would want something that does not generate interest based on nostalgia but something that will make the anticipated collapse feel real. Huge numbers of people were not yet born in 1950s. Consider Dagny running an airline if that is what it takes. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with making it a 1950s story. But, PLEASE, hire absolutely that best screenplay writer that you can get interested in the project and pay them what their worth is. The whole project does not have to be narrowly time specific. It's the fundamental story of people's characters and actions (or inactions) in a social turmoil not too far from ours presently. It's the first class visual story telling and first class personality portrayals that will sell the whole story (and DVD, oops! - Blu-ray disks.) After all, the book still sells very well.

    Look at the success of Downton Abbey. First class writing plus first class acting plus first class cinematography successful TV series make. Meticulous scenery composition and costumes as a bonus. A Universal affiliate in England produced it, I think. Perhaps Universal could get interested and let you learn from their success.

    The moochers and the looters do not need to be caricatures. There are plenty of politicians and others on TV recordings to use as models.

    Just my opinions. I will commit right now to purchase all the seasons you produce, in Blu-ray.

    With best wishes, sincerely
    Maritimus
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  • Posted by  $  guinness222 4 years, 4 months ago
    a very VOCAl YES to "the day after tomorrow". We are all fascinated with the ultimate "what if?"
    Re: changing the cast NO, NO , NO! There is definately potential for a series PROVIDED you can gain audience "bonding" with actors/actresses, look at Sean Connery he WAS James Bond! Leonard Nemoy was "Spock" , and Shatner was Capt'n Kirk. (only on TV for three years originally.
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    • Posted by  $  winterwind 4 years, 4 months ago
      he already said they wouldn't - don't sweat it! and sometime sactors make characters their own - have you seen the pilot of Star Trek? Majel Barrett was Number One, a very Spock-like character.
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    • Posted by  $  BYJR 4 years, 4 months ago
      I agree, I agree, I agree. CONSISTENCY. And having a long-term beloved character due to an individual actor pulling it off. Isn't individual achievement what we are all about?

      You can add the cast of Firefly - especially Nathan Filian -- so that list.
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  • Posted by tjansen 4 years, 4 months ago
    Wow, this is an excellent idea. As the topic is, unfortunately, so spot on to today's world, I'd stick with 'the day after tomorrow.' I sure wouldn't want it to be set up to be just another movie of 'la-la' from the 50's - that would be a total waste and insult to Rand.
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  • Posted by  $  MarjoriePeters 4 years, 4 months ago
    What wonderful news! Now you will be able to explain the philosophy more completely and to develop the characters in more depth and color.

    I think it should be set in the day after tomorrow. That would underline the parallels to today's America. It also might better appeal to younger audiences. And please don't change the cast!
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  • Posted by freedomforall 4 years, 4 months ago
    History of how the problems of today were created must play a part, and I think the series should use current events to drive home how ignoring the results from past actions CAUSES the problems instead of SOLVING them.
    If you want to attract a young audience in hopes of re-educating them, you must use a modern or future setting. While steampunk may be growing in popularity today, it could easily be a short lived fad. Assuming that the goal is a series that can be watched again in 15 years or 30 years, I think steampunk is an unnecessary risk.
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    • Posted by jerryconn 4 years, 4 months ago
      I agree. Need to illustrate the genesis of today's condition. To do that it should start in the 50's and sort of fast forward through the decades to "The Day After Tomorrow" to give the younger audience a basis for what happened to get us to where we are today
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  • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 4 months ago
    Setting it in the future would require more alteration of the story line. I would like to see it set in the 50's as an alternate universe premise.
    The idea of it becoming a TV series is so wonderful that I'm afraid I'm a little choked up.
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    • Posted by plusaf 4 years, 4 months ago
      Herb, I've been reading posts down to this one and thinking about the original question, too... Your comment sparked one of the only replies that I think I could make... and it's complicated. I hope it doesn't get lost here in the middle of the thread, since adding it as a new comment would push it to the bottom... whatever... here goes.

      First, I don't think anyone here would disagree that a series-length TV type of show wouldn't be better to encompass the power and breadth of the AS message. A lot had to be excised to even fit into three two-hour movies.

      One problem I foresee is that today's 'mentality' and demographics make a decision or strategy of 'where and when to place the epic' very challenging.

      Put it in the '50s when steam engines ran regularly and there's lots of color and nostalgia.. most of which would be lost on 'today's kids.'

      Place it in the future and the entire tone of AS would have to be dramatically changed, and that brings its own hazards and challenges, too.

      But your suggestion plus amhunt's, too, sparked this idea for me...

      Place the Serial Version of AS in the present or near future. Then use the currently common and fairly popular Time Travel trick to Look Back in History to show How We Got Here and how AR's 'predictions' have come true in spades.

      Current-day examples abound, from expanding government, ineffective programs and horrible 'leadership.'

      The seeds of these weeds might be demonstrated in a story line that shows how they started, grew and took over the otherwise fertile fields we lived in and on.

      I doubt that the flavor of AS could be carried faithfully along such a story line, but part of me is trying to figure out how the Messages we so desperately want to be understood by today's movers and shakers (and near-future ones, too) can be introduced to their minds before they're totally corrupted.

      Like the way I've been trying to pollute my grandson's mind, steeped in his liberal family's values...

      I challenge him with Socratic questions to push him to look at "Well, How/Why Does THAT happen?" and to NOT take the First Answer that pops up.

      I maintain that, if an AS series/program can possibly be Effective, we need to decide what Change We're Trying To Effect! For me, it's a Return To Critical Thinking... seeing the reality of actions and consequences and Especially Unintended Consequences.

      We have an opportunity, here, to deliver a possibly world-changing legacy which could literally end up benefitting billions of people.

      Please, let's not fuck it up.



      And, of course, I fancy myself as a wonderful editor and screenwriter, so I'd love to be part of a review team that tries to make at least the dialogue sound like words that human beings might say in real life. I still can't forgive that failure I remember from one of Eddie Willer's lines in AS1... that was my reaction to just a small part of his speech... "Humans Don't Talk That Way... Who Wrote that and Who let it stay in the script?!"

      .... in my dreams.
      Cheers, all...
      Alan Falk
      plusaf.
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      • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 4 months ago
        Thanks for your excellent reply. In my long and varied career, I was editor of a comic book co. that did mainly biographies. Writing a comic book actually a graphic novel is very much akin to a screenplay in that description and voice must be described panel by panel. In any case, if I can offer any help, such as story boarding I'd be glad to do so.
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        • Posted by plusaf 4 years, 4 months ago
          And as I thought more about the 'question' last night, I realized that I might not have mentioned or focused enough on the part of the question...

          Making AS for TV or Netflix or whatever... What is the Goal or Objective of doing so???

          Monument to AR?
          Educate Millennials or their kids?
          Change the World's Thinking?
          Make a bundle of profit?
          Promulgate free-market capitalist ideas?
          Point out societal and economic failures today?
          Show what the roots of those failures were?


          "If you don't know where you want to go with this, you probably won't get there... "
          (--- somebody smart, I guess...)
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      • Posted by plusaf 4 years, 3 months ago
        I sent that concept to sdesapio and he didn't like it.
        I suspect the die has been cast (no pun intended).

        I also asked the questions similar to the ones in reply to your post, below... What's The Goal?

        I just wish more folks here would read and reply with their opinions on that OTHER post, just above...
        But maybe THAT says something, too.
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    • Posted by  $  amhunt 4 years, 4 months ago
      Alternate universe -- now that is an intriguing idea. Perhaps a "John Galt" in our universe discovering a window into the AS universe. There are many possibilities here . I would love to see "our" Galt figure out how to make a doorway to the AS Gulch just as our society collapses. Lots of possibilities here too.
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      • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 4 months ago
        If the series is well written then, all of the goals listed will come into play. Whether a mini-series or an ongoing series, if its numbers are good, and I think they will be, it will not only make money, but will become a referral for those few freedom oriented pols out there. A TV series can be more powerful than anything short of the presidency.
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    • Posted by  $  BYJR 4 years, 4 months ago
      Thanks Herb. However, I don't think that placing it in the NEAR future would alter the story line. In fact, I think that that is what the original novel did in the first place. The irony is that because of all the insanity and Peter-Keating/James Taggart nonsense going on out there, we as a culture and population have not advanced all that much since Miss Rand's novel was published. Computers and robotics are the only main advances that depart from the "world" is Atlas Shrugged. Here it is 60+ years later and we are still using fossil fuel combustion. Space travel in volume never happened. And the medical industry still hasn't cured even cancer.

      So placing the story in the near future counting from 2015 will not be all that much of a stretch.

      So I probably also do not agree with Plusaf's comment (thank you): "Place it in the future and the entire tone of AS would have to be dramatically changed, and that brings its own hazards and challenges, too."

      Remember, it's the NEAR future, not 100 years from now. We still have no equivalent of Reardon Metal even. (Too much mediocrity, I guess...) Plus of course no one has invented John Galt's energy generator. I follow Physics, and they're not even close. (sigh)

      So I don't think keeping the story in the "near future" would be a problem. But I do think that placing it in the 1950s would make it a "period piece", which for today's youth is sooooooooo boring. If you want to reach the current and future generations, you can't go back.

      BTW, I am also ecstatic about ASTMS. And I'd live to ask John Williams if we could buy his soundtrack cut to the opening of "The Towering Inferno", to use as the opening of each ASTMS's episode. (I used to blast that in my car while going down the West Side Highway in NYC early in the morning while thinking of myself as a possible Hank Reardon of the Software Industry in New York.) If you've ever heard that cut, you'll know what I mean.
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  • Posted by Gatorman 4 years, 4 months ago
    I think it is a great idea but would like to see limited to the day after tomorrow to be more relevant to today's youth, etc. I would certainly put it on my number one list to watch.
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  • Posted by  $  warehousesteve 4 years, 4 months ago
    I try to spend some time here every day from work. Right now that is my only connection to the internet. I "found" Ayn Rand in the late '60s and was overjoyed. I would look forward to a series on TV. I believe that there is a message for all to see. I do like the current time or "the day after tomorrow".
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  • Posted by DanShu 4 years, 4 months ago
    I didn't even read AS until I was 61. When I read the first few page's and realized it was about Railroads I thought "What the Hell" is this. Then I realized Ayn Rand wrote it back then so no wonder. I ended up loving the book. I think if they make it now they should do it present day. I loved her concept of looters and producers. A lot of people now would be able to relate to that. Hope they make it.
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  • Posted by Lugano 4 years, 4 months ago
    Awesome! Definitely "the day after tomorrow." Timeless piece of work and no need to even consider whether its messages are relevant today (or in the future). Hope it comes off well. Really hope so. The work deserves this kind of format. It's really the best option. 45 minute "digestables" are what the public in large need to take it in.
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    • Posted by  $  amhunt 4 years, 4 months ago
      I prefer the longer format such as that used for the current "Sherlock Holmes" series. But you may well be right about the "45 minute 'digestibles'" for most people.
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  • Posted by dwillrich 4 years, 4 months ago
    Those are wonderful news! Atlas Shrugged intricate novel details are way more suited for a TV Series. The movies were good (don't get me wrong), but the constant change of actors were a drawback for new audiences and the time constraints of a feature film lenght had reduced the story details to a shallow copy of the book's masterpiece writing.
    My greatest concern is to have a outstanding independent major player behind it, like HBO or Netflix (I'm cheering for Netflix).
    Regarding the question, I agree with Eudaimonia: a period piece set in "the day after tomorrow" with a "dieselpunk" look would be awesome!
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  • Posted by jefnjoy 4 years, 4 months ago
    It should be a period piece because today, nothing has a niche comparable to railroads in the 50's...and I wouldn't want to have to make Dagny a CEO in some other industry. It would change too much of the story.
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  • Posted by Manywalks 4 years, 4 months ago
    Excellent news!!! At first I liked setting it in the 50's, but after thinking about it more I believe the greater impact would be "the day after tomorrow" with flashbacks to the 50's and how it was all predicted. May be easier to produce and DC is providing more material every day. If it is tied together maybe the low information crowd will come to realize that Ayn Rand was right and it's all coming true. Regrettable, but true. She was a genius!!!
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  • Posted by Skyking17 4 years, 4 months ago
    Because of the current state of the economy and our government "Atlas Shrugged" is relevant to the present DAY! I would suggest the setting be Wisconsin or Minnesota where Unions have destroyed the "Right to Work" although Scott Walker has created some relief in Wisconsin, Minnesota still is stuck with the Union power. My vote? Present Day provides enough evidence that Ayn Rand knew what she was talking about and could file 1,000 scripts for a TV show!
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  • Posted by tjansen 4 years, 4 months ago
    Add on: You know what I like most about getting the Atlas emails... is the quote in the beginning.. it somehow is solid and thought provoking.. something to keep in mind while developing the idea for a series? Also, an ongoing series would be nice. So many political series out right now but I notice most who watch them, take them for entertainment value only and don't see any relevance - really?! I think the potential is here with Atlas to entertain, educate and be a steward to the younger generation who, I'm sorry,are clueless, make tons of money and put the others to rest.
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  • Posted by pgentempo25 4 years, 4 months ago
    When fantasizing about an Atlas Shrugged production, it was clear to me that this needed to be a mini-series. Maybe 20 parts. I would assert that the setting for this should be a period piece set in the 1950's. Why? In large part because it would clearly represent the cause and effect relationship between what was 'happening' then and the world we have now. Atlas Shrugged has become a prophecy. Let's have a look back into that era to illustrate how yesterday's 'good intentions' led to today's depravity.
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    • Posted by term2 4 years, 4 months ago
      People can see where our country is going I think at this point. There is Venezuela and Russia if you want to see into the future. What we dont know is how it can be repaired once our society collapses. JERICHO on Netflix was the closest thing to a discussion of that- you might like to check it out if you havent already.
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      • Posted by pgentempo25 4 years, 4 months ago
        Thanks for the suggestion on JERICHO. I've been considering watching that show for a while. Now I will! As far as people understanding Venezuela or Russia, most don't observe or understand it. Something closer to home might get there attention; one may hope...
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        • Posted by term2 4 years, 4 months ago
          Its about nuclear apocalypse, but if you substitute destruction of the US dollar, its right on. I think it went on for only two seasons because people didnt want to think about life after a catastrophic event. Too bad, because its going to happen here (currency destruction), and the more we are prepared to recover from it, the better.
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  • Posted by twf124 4 years, 4 months ago
    It would be great to be able spend more time on AS -10 one hour episodes would be a great starting point.
    Maybe better actors and production - more like Part I. I'm sure Rand would say "You get what you pay for"!
    If they can make a TV series from "The Man in the High Castle" surely a truly great book like AS can work. (Not dissing High Castle - it's just not nearly as popular as AS).

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  • Posted by delic 4 years, 4 months ago
    Sounds delightful! My vote is for, 'the day after tomorrow.' More wiggle room and less chance for resounding bellows of, "THIS IS OFFENSIVE AND RACIST." Thanks for all the hard work!
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