10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
American Mini Series At It's Finest.,
This review is from: Hatfields & McCoys [DVD]  (DVD)
This is a wonderful series and on par with some of the best of the current crop of American Series of the last decade.
Although its subject matter is different is, in its own field, akin to the wonder Mad Men, The Wire and Carnivale. (Sic)Carnivale: Complete HBO Season 1  [DVD]Carnivale: Complete HBO Season 2 [DVD]
Whilst the former may be familiar I compare it with Carnivale simply because it takes it time in telling a wonderful tale of American Folklore.
Based on a true story The McCoys and the Hatfields were two families in America's South.
Kentucky way. A simple act of desertion of the Confederate Army by one and the subsequent imprisonment and ruin of the other by the Union forces sets in motion a distrust and hatred of the two families.
Simple acts and distrust are magnified and you can really appreciate the slow burn of hatred and distrust the families have for each other.
The feud lasted over 30 years and is a byword for a long feud that serves no purpose and blights and destroys all those who come into contact or are members of the family.
In the United Kingdom we have the series on Channel five along with the advert breaks so I really recommend you buy this on DVD and your enjoyment of this cinematic series will be increased tenfold.
Better maybe to divide it up in to the 3 original segments to give your self time to digest this wonderful story telling.
Now why is a miniseries that takes it time better than a short film?
Well to illustrate.
A Hatfield boy sees a handsome blonde McCoy girl.
We see them glance and the attraction is mutual.
He takes her to seehis illicit still for 'hooch' whisky (sic) he has made and tells her of his plans to marry and have children in a house he has built. We see the act of courtship of young love. The plays and feints, the shy glances and counters he has a reputation of saying the same lines to lots of girls.
The girl misses he ride home by seconds- she spends the night at her boyfriend's shack. Reluctantly, for Costner knows this will pruduce nothing but badwill and trouble, she is given a roof and a bed for the night among the Hatfield girls for decency, but the boy sneaks in during the night and the inevitable happens.
She is disowned by her family travels to her lovers home but but the Patriarch, Costner, refuses permission for her to be married and thus legitamise her role in society. She will be regarded as a whore thus further insulting the McCoys. She gets pregnant is told to 'go back to her own kind by Costner's wife and does.
The lover is lost, seeks slace in a whorehouse- gets drunk and is abducted in his drunken state by his lovers jealous cousin. She sleeps with him and lets slip her cousin s pregnant with is child.
The boy runs to meet her.
The boy is captured when he finds she is with his child- now this action takes over 30 minutes of well performed and well told acting- had it been a movie it would have taken 4 minutes tops.
BUT the point is we really enjoy the journey getting there this is simply television at its finest.
We as the viewer can see the twists and turns of fate, the good and the bad in each character and how agonizingly the sense of right is surrendered for something called family and honour.
We view the action from the fence and can see both sides.
It's like watching a train crash in slow motion we are powerless to interfere but absolutely mesmerized at watching the action slowly but so satisfyingly unfold.
Kevin Coster and Bill Paxton as the clan leaders are simply magnificent and the supporting cast are truly excellent.
The characters look like they come from that part of the world and that time. Beards deformities and faults aboud. (the only thing American's cannot fake is bad teeth!)
If you read other reviews they will go into the fine detail of cast members, their previous achievements and shows and the fact there is a sprinkling of fine British actors to boot as well. (now I wonder, were the Brits included for their teeth!) I jest of course.
Read the other reviews and you too may be convinced to buy this fine excellent series.
If you do then I envy you the satisfaction of watching a mini-series, at the top of its game, with outstanding acting, is well told and unfolds with such a magnificent storyline.