|View single post by CleburneFan|
|Posted: Fri Jun 1st, 2012 02:07 am||
|Having seen the three two-hour segments of "The Hatfields and McCoys" twice on H-2, I can say that I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't yet seen it. It will run again this weekend or you can buy the DVD at the History Channel store.
After all the hype, I had fully expected to be disappointed, but as it turned out the show was better than what I expected. The only irritation was all the ads except the funny Geico ad with the caveman human resources manager dealing with two male employees named Hatfield and McCoy!
Some superlatives were the excellent acting, the exquisite photgraphy, the mountain scenery, the period and regional costumes and, of course, the way the story was told.
Some commentators feared that the characters would be made to look like ridiculous, corny redneck hillbillies, but instead the treatment was surprisingly sensitive. The very harsh conditions of life in the Kentucky and West Virginia mountains in the Tug River region stood out to me.
Each character was very well cast. Kevin Costner as the aggressive, determined Devil Anse Hatfield and Bill Paxton as "Old Ranall" McCoy, a pious Bible-quoting patriarch, are very convincing in their roles. They show very well how deep-seated animosity can tear oneself and one's life apart. The series demonstrates the exorbitant price of being "right" at all costs.
Each person in this drama has his or her own reaction to the interfamily and inner-family violence, some seeming to relish the hatred and others being dragged into it unwillingly. Almost everyone becomes a victim to a greater or lesser extent, even children...even a dog.
A lesson in the story of this infamous feud is that hatred feeds on itself, growing deeper and more heated with every fresh atrocity. Hatred escalates ever more intensely like a monster. No doubt the Civil War was an effective training ground for the feud that would follow.
As a musical note, the powerful, heavy Bluegrass song in the previews is "Bartholomew" by the San Diego band Silent Comedy. This song appears no where in the actual series. Instead, much of the background music is on a soundtrack CD or download and is soft, relaxing Bluegrass. Kevin Costner was one of the producers of the album. My favorite song on the CD quickly became "I Will Lay You Down" which is played in the series when bereft Cotton Top realizes his father has just died.
The History Channel must be very pleased with the reception this series has received. More people watched it that any other non-sports event on cable except for "High School Musical." Fourteen million viewers tuned in the first night, an impressive record!