'Burton and Taylor' vs. 'Liz & Dick': A Scientific Evaluation of How the BBC TV Movie Is Better Than LiLo's Lifetime Version

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Do you remember Bizarro, the mirror-image Superman who was bad in all the places where Supes was good? BBC America's new "Burton and Taylor" (airing this fall and starring Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West) looks to be setting itself up as the Bizarro "Liz & Dick" (the 2012 Lifetime movie starring Lindsay Lohan and Grant Bowler) — only it's good in all the places where the Lifetime version was bad.

[Related: LiLo vs. Helena Bonham Carter: Who's the Better Liz Taylor?]

In the interest of fairness, however, we would like to present to you an unbiased, head-to-head comparison of the two versions of the classic couple's escapades. They will be measured under laboratory conditions, and our judgments will be purely based on math.

 

Class

"Burton and Taylor" is about the period when the couple prepared to star in a Broadway revival of the Noel Coward play "Private Lives."

"Liz & Dick" is about them on the sets of "Cleopatra," "The V.I.P.s," and, if it had existed, probably an episode of "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo." Also, there's no double entendre in the BBCa title.

Advantage: "Burton and Taylor"

 

Networks

The BBC has been in operation for 91 years, and it's been broadcasting television signals since 1936. It's responsible for classic and influential shows like "Monty Python's Flying Circus," "The Office," "Upstairs Downstairs," and enough period dramas to keep "Masterpiece Theater" in business for centuries.

Lifetime movies include "Baby for Sale," "My Stepson, My Lover," and "Co-ed Call Girl," starring Tori Spelling.

Advantage: "Burton and Taylor"

 

Writing

"Liz & Dick" was written by the Emmy-nominated Christopher Monger (who wrote "Temple Grandin").

The chief credit of the writer of "Burton and Taylor" is that he once worked as a "dustman on the streets." Which probably means something in England but doesn't hold a lot of weight in Hollywood.

Advantage: "Liz & Dick"

 

Awards

Helena Bonham Carter: two Oscar nominations, two Emmy nominations, one SAG win, one BAFTA (the British version of the Oscars) win.

Dominic West: one BAFTA win, one SAG win.

Lindsay Lohan: one Razzie win, one Teen Choice win, two MTV Movie wins.

If you factor in Lohan's Blockbuster awards and Kids' Choice awards (in the US and Australia), they actually kind of balance out. Numbers-wise, anyway.

Advantage: "Burton and Taylor"

 

Liz vs. Taylor

Both actresses playing the eponymous dame have pretty extensive filmographies, so we will let their work speak for itself.

"Freaky Friday" vs. "Planet of the Apes"

Classic body-switching comedies. Lohan swaps bodies with her mom; Bonham Carter swaps bodies with a monkey.

Advantage: "Liz & Dick"

"Herbie Fully Loaded" vs. the Harry Potter series

Two heavy-hitter franchises. Both feature self-driving cars, but only one has made almost $8 billion worldwide.

Advantage: "Burton and Taylor"

"Mean Girls" vs. "Fight Club"

One is a movie about catty brawls between immature and petulant children, and the other is "Mean Girls." Bonham Carter wins because in the movie, she looks the way Lohan does today — only it's intentional.

Advantage: "Burton and Taylor"

"Machete" vs. "The King's Speech"

 

The Duchess of York takes on "a nun with a gun." If this were Pam Anderson and Tommy Lee instead of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Lohan would totally take this one.

Advantage: "Burton and Taylor"

"The Canyons" vs. "The Lone Ranger"

The last film in both actresses' respective filmographies (though Lohan's "Canyons" won't be out until next month). "The Canyons" cost $250,000 to make; "The Lone Ranger" cost nearly $250 million. They're both almost certainly bombs, but one is going to bomb about $249,750,000 harder.

Advantage: "Liz & Dick"

 

Dick vs. Burton

"Liz & Dick"'s Dick, Grant Bowler, has had a solid TV career, with recurring roles on "Ugly Betty" and "True Blood," and is currently holding it down as Chief Lawkeeper Joshua Nolan on "Defiance."

Frankly, though, he could be Walter Cronkite, Lucille Ball, and Oprah all rolled into one, and he still wouldn't be able to hold a candle to Dominic West as Detective James McNulty on what was arguably the best TV drama of all time, "The Wire."

Advantage: "Taylor and Burton"

 

Conclusion

 

After running both projects through the Television Quality Matrix, "Burton and Taylor" wins 7 to 3. We would like to reiterate that this is 100 percent science, but your comments will be fed into our TVQM supercomputer (the office's shared Kindle) and will affect future computations.

Watch the full trailer for "Burton and Taylor":