With respect to the acting, I would say that it was very much '70s-style. If you think about it, since it is a period piece, it's difficult to come up with authentic dialog for people in the 18th - 19th centuries. And since the story was so complex with so many different characters, it's apparent that shortcuts had to be made. But at the time, the draw was enhanced by touting the appearance of what was considered an "all star cast" - basically a large chunk of the most popular television stars of shows from the '50s - '70s. It's possible that if this had been a movie rather than a made-for-television production, the dialog and acting might have been upped quite a few notches. If anything, I think Roots II probably had a bit better and more natural dialog and acting. However the historical context of Roots was ground-breaking in any event and even 30 years later, has yet to be matched for a (historical fiction) television series dealing with the subject of slavery.
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