Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hatfields & McCoys - TV Review

The History Channel's miniseries about the most famous family feud in US history was already a ratings hit, scoring the best ratings for any basic-cable non-sporting event ever, with over 13 million viewers.

And it helps that it's a great show.  This addictive six-hour event features Kevin Costner as Hatfield patriarch William "Devil Anse" and Bill Paxton as McCoy patriarch Randolph.  The two started as friends, fighting side by side for the Confederacy during the Civil War, but Devil deserts and heads home.  Devil's timber business is able to then flourish, but Randolph stays until the war ends, and his family suffers for it.  Also in there, Devil's uncle murders Randolph's brother Asa, who fought on the Union side.

Bad blood boils and boils, until each side keeps killing the others, trying to "get even."  But it can never really get even.

Throw in there a real Romeo & Juliet subplot, when Devil's son Johnse falls in love with Randolph's daughter Roseanna.

Supporting standouts include on the Hatfield side, Matt Barr (Hellcats) as Johnse, Tom Berenger as Uncle Jim, and Powers Boothe as Devil's brother Wall, and on the McCoy side, Lindsey Pulsipher (True Blood) as Roseanna, Jena Malone as her scheming cousin Nancy, and Mare Winningham as longsuffering matriarch Sally.

I love that Costner nutured this project to fruition. He can star in Westerns for the rest of his life and be successful.  Wouldn't surprise me if he received Emmy attention.

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