Saturday, December 14, 2013

Is Based-On Real Life Television Becoming a Joke?

I confess I watched that farce on TV this week called Bonnie & Clyde. I also confess I watched the first airing of that Reign on the CW. For those who may not know, who saved yourself from cringing in front of the TV, Reign is supposed to be about Mary, Queen of Scots.

I just want to ask an honest question here... When you are making a movie (or even writing a book!) about a real-life person who lived, breathed, laughed, loved on this earth, isn't it a tad disrespectful to make no attempt to get it "right"?

If you're going to portray a real person, honor their memory by sticking to the facts. If you do embellish, make it clear what you made changes to. This is why I prefer books in the long run. They have Author's Notes. TV..tells you NADA.

Long story short, Reign has girls running around in bare arms aka prom dresses. I won't even begin to list the historical inaccuracies. People, you are talking about a former queen! Bare arms back then? Noooo.

Bonnie & Clyde..wth? While I won't say Bonnie Parker was a saint--obviously she had a weakness for bad men and sex--was she a psycho or criminal mastermind? Nooooo... and if I didn't already know the networks were run by men, I would know so now. Obviously they don't have a high opinion of women. We're apparently evil psychotic seductresses who sway men into evil doings.


It was an absolute farce. After watching it and after I finally got my jaw to close, I went online to dig up the real truth. I used two different websites to dig up what I could.

True: Bonnie loved to write poetry.
Unclear: How they met. Most articles say it was a friend's house. Her husband at the time, according to the FBI history, was a murderer doing time. So...I'd say the movie got this wrong.
Did Bonnie slip Clyde a gun to get him out of jail? Yes, she did.
True: Clyde did have a friend lob off some toes to get out jail.
Was Clyde sexually assaulted in prison? Yes, BUT he beat the man to death. I can't find anywhere anything about him going back and shooting him in the crotch, though it's a nice touch.
False: They did not send photos to a woman news reporter. Undeveloped film was found in their room during a heist/ambush.

True and Interesting: Blanche was a part of the game for a time.
The car wreck: There was actually a third person--W.D. Jones-- in the car with them when they wrecked and Bonnie got burned. It appears W.D. Jones had pretty big role in their "career" but a small one in the movie. He was also there during that hotel shoot out--in real life, not the movie, in which Buck got shot in the head.
The ending of the movie I suppose it could be possible, but I doubt it. One website says they were betrayed by a friend; one says they just drove into an ambush. Nobody claims Clyde drove into it on purpose to get rid of his psycho girlfriend.

I could sit here all night and point out inconsistencies, but that's not my #1 quibble. I get some liberties will be taken as it's based on a real story, though I wish they'd just took the facts and made it entertaining for us. What ticks me off is how they portrayed Bonnie as some psychotic killer when everything points to her being a horny woman with a weakness for bad boys and most eyewitnesses claim they rarely saw her with a gun, let alone shooting anyone. And oh--poor Clyde, taken in and duped and seduced and led astray by a woman. 

Do TV networks think we're all succubuses?

Needless to say, when I read some of the comments on the movie's FB page, I was appalled by how many people were taking the movie as truth and now declaring Bonnie Parker was "mad-dog" and psychotic.

Anyway, just how many liberties do you think should be taken when using real-life people in books and movies? How much should one bend the truth and when does bending becoming outright breaking?

And if you're not going to tell the REAL story, why use REAL names?

Has anyone watched any "historical" television lately? Tell us what it was and how accurate it was. How'd you feel about it?

That ends my rant for the day.

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