FX

Trust And The Lost Tapes's Patty Hearst Episode

J. Paul Getty III and Patty Hearst were kidnapped within a year of each other. Sarah D. Bunting kidnapped Toby Ball again to discuss FX's event series on the former, and the Smithsonian Channel's take on the latter.

FX splashed out on some expensive talent to tell the story of the infamously cheap J. Paul Getty's negotiations for the return of his kidnapped hippie grandson -- whom he and many others thought had engineered the situation to get himself some spending money. The network's really put itself on the map with prestige-crime series in the last couple of years, but when the action moves to 1970s Rome, does it have itself another water-cooler show? Toby Ball and I plan to keep watching, but even if we weren't having fun, Donald Sutherland is having the time of his life gnawing the scenery, and it's nice to see Brendan Fraser again.

It's also nice to see The Lost Tapes again; I liked the show when it debuted on Smithsonian Channel a couple years back, and its refreshingly stripped-down take on big cases and turning points -- no whorey talking-heads or goofy re-enactments, just contemporaneous footage and reports -- is perfect for a case like the Patty Hearst kidnapping. By not taking a position on how involved Hearst really was in ongoing events, The Lost Tapes made us question our own received wisdom on the case, and what "brainwashing" is really supposed to mean, anyway. And yes, I have a grand unifying theory about DB Cooper, because it's a day ending in Y -- and an all-new The Blotter Presents.

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