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The Bumpy Road to Sccess
on April 29, 2012
Mini-series are generally meant to stretch over several weeks and move the viewer along in a carefully orchestrated sequence of events that cover an unfolding drama. Miss one episode and you've lost the narrative. That is why I usually wait to view such productions when they are released in DVD format. There is nothing like following the fascinating roller-coaster life of Mildred Pierce at your own pace without the fear of missing a key turning point. Mildred is one of those eponymous female characters who can do everything a man can do but better. Her defining moment comes when she and her husband break up and she is left to fend for herself and her two daughters at the onset of the Great Depression. As a housewife she has always been dependent on him to be the breadwinner. Now she has to remake herself in a hurry or starve. This six-part series covers her negative and positive experiences as she re-invents herself into a successful businesswoman, with some help from a few admiring male friends. She quickly learns to keep her own counsels and take risks that amount to using her charm to get men to work for her while remaining independent. Along the way she will experience sorrow, betrayal, heartache and doubt. This series, though a bit racy in places, does a wonderful job in capturing the changing culture of southern California society over four decades, as children abandon the dreams of their parents to pursue their own. In the end, 'Mildred Pierce' underscores a very important truth that success usually comes for those who stay the course and don't get distracted or consumed by problems along the way. Once again, Kate Winslet is ideally suited to play the resourceful, talented Mildred to a tee.