Tales of the City trailer

With his Before trilogy, Richard Linklater proved himself king of making movies that take place years apart and feature the same characters aging in real time. But that’s not the only ongoing fictional story to use that approach.

A new Netflix show called Tales of the City will continue a television story which began as a 1993 adaptation of author Armistead Maupin‘s nine-novel series. Actresses Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis starred in that original TV miniseries and reprised their roles in follow-up shows in 1998 and 2001; now they’re back again in this next edition, picking up with Linney’s character returning to 28 Barbary Lane and reuniting with her family twenty years after leaving them behind.

Tales of the City Trailer

I’ve never heard of this story until right now, but it’s a fascinating idea and clearly Linney and Dukakis have an interest in further exploring these characters that they’ve been playing off and on for more than a quarter century. (Paul Gross, who only appeared in the ’93 Tales of the City but not the two follow-up shows, is also reprising his original role in this Netflix continuation.)

For anyone who’s curious, here’s the trailer for the 1993 miniseries:

It looks like the show’s production team did a pretty great job recreating the house at 28 Barbary Lane where most of the series appears to be set. For those who haven’t seen the original shows, this cast may be enough to convince them to check this out: I’m always down for more Laura Linney (yes, even after a questionable second season of Ozark), Ellen Page can be great if she’s given the right material, and people like Victor Garber (Alias, Titanic), Molly Ringwald (Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club), and Charlie Barnett from Russian Doll are also part of this ensemble.

Here’s the official synopsis of the limited series:

Inspired by the books of Armistead Maupin, the new Netflix Limited Series Tales of the City begins a new chapter in the beloved story. Mary Ann (Laura Linney) returns to present-day San Francisco and is reunited with her adopted daughter Shawna (Ellen Page) and ex-husband Brian (Paul Gross), twenty years after leaving them behind to pursue her career. Fleeing the midlife crisis that her picture-perfect Connecticut life created, Mary Ann is quickly drawn back into the orbit of Anna Madrigal (Olympia Dukakis), her chosen family and a new generation of queer young residents living at 28 Barbary Lane.

Tales of the City arrives on Netflix on June 7, 2019.

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