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This miniseries feels like it should work, but for one reason or another, it never quite delivers....
Acorn Media / 702 Minutes / 2003-2004 / Unrated / Street Date: August 14, 2012
This updated version of The Forsyte Saga should work - it has the production design, the feel, the dramatic expanse - but after about an hour, it becomes difficult to slog through. It could be the script, or perhaps just a lack of specific spark, but this miniseries begins to default to soap opera cliche pretty quickly, leaving its narrative loveplay seeming empty and unconvincing.
Don't get me wrong - a telefilm about a rich dude in the late 1800s who unapologetically leaves his wife for another woman (GASP!) and tries to adjust thing appropriately is bound to have histrionic tendencies - but The Forsyte Saga just isn't all that much fun to get through. It plants a hook enough that you want to see where the characters we've been introduced to end up, but before the first disc is finished, it feels more like a chore than a thrill.
But Acorn Media knows their demographic, and for those who view their British melodramas as a veritable crack rock, The Forsyte Saga Collection has definite appeal. Again, the elements of its production are lush and good-looking, so if your prime directive with viewing habits is to find a nice, pretty place to visit on your HDTV, than there's merit to this TV-on-DVD release. Though don't be surprised if the thorn falls off its rose earlier than you'd prefer.