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‘Television Event’ Review: Thirty-Seven Years After ‘The Day After,’ a Documentary Looks Back at the ‘Citizen Nuke’ of TV-Movies

‘Television Event’ Review: Thirty-Seven Years After ‘The Day After,’ a Documentary Looks Back at the ‘Citizen Nuke’ of TV-Movies

In the age of streaming, the phrase “TV-movie” has been rendered all but meaningless. It now encompasses everything from a Disney Channel musical like “Zombies 2” to “My Dinner with Hervé” to “Mank.” But 30 or 40 years ago, the phrase “TV-movie” meant something specific — a two-hour drama made for one of the big three networks (who were the only game in town), and it also meant a “movie” that had a certain cheesy overexplicit cardboard quality. Not to be a snob about it, but a TV-movie wasn’t cinema; it was…TV. (This was back when pointing that out wasn’t insulting an art form.)

To be sure, there were a small number of great TV-movies, like “Brian’s Song” or Spielberg’s “Duel” or the Sally Field tour de force “Sybil.” But most of the time the form was decidedly declassé. And on Nov. 20, 1983, when ABC aired “The Day After,” its

See full article on Variety