Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Sentimental Tale for the Holidays

My wife and I got the first DVD from the TV series made in 1979 called "Backstairs at the White House", based on the book by Lillian Rogers Park see her NY Times obit [note, not one of the Times' permalinks, but a query to their archives --Nov 12, 1997]. She was the daughter of a black maid at the White House, starting 1912, who herself later came to work at the White House.

It's affecting because the makers of the series didn't know of Obama, but we do. (It sort of follows a Wil Haygood piece in the Post, focused on a butler, still living.) Not great TV, too much exposition and too many two-dimensional characters, but it's history. And it's rare that we see that on the screen.

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