... who once lived their supposedly real lives in front of the cameras.
Is this something we want to watch now, or do we feel sorry for actors who are stuck with roles like this? Why not watch the original show, "An American Family," which aired in 1973?
HBO's "Cinema Verite" makes me feel the way I felt about the movie "Frost/Nixon." The original is still available. What's the point of actors imitating them? Presumably, there can be some different angles on what was really happening, but, most likely, we'll just be more aware of the phoniness of acting than we usually are.
Meanwhile, speaking of HBO, I'm struggling through the 5 episodes of the mini-series "Mildred Pierce." (I'm not watching alone, but I'm saying "I'm struggling," because I'm the one with the will to watch, and Meade mainly has this thing of hanging out with me when I'm watching one of my shows, which is something I also do for him sometimes (read: sports).)
Now, "Mildred Pierce," isn't the recreation of something that happened in reality, but it is the recreation of an old and (for some people) very familiar movie. Kate Winslet is playing Joan Crawford. Now, it's not the same as watching Faye Dunaway play Joan Crawford in "Mommie Dearest," because both Joan and Kate were playing this fictional entity Mildred, but, come on. It was Joan Crawford. Winslet has the challenge of getting us to not think about Crawford.
Now, Kate's doing a fine job of not being Joan Crawford, but... the real thing here is melodrama, and Joan was more truly melodramatic, which means that Kate, by trying to be more authentically human, gives us a less genuine melodrama.