Director: Brad Ingelsby
Writer: Brad Ingelsby
Staring: Kate Winslet, Julianna Nicholson, Jean Smart
Streaming: HBO MAX
Release Date: 2021

Mare Of Easttown is a bear to watch, but in the best way possible. Kate Winslet playing the constantly embattled and deeply hardened lead cop Mare Sheehan is fantastic. The entire cast surrounding Winslet adds to the levels within Mare Of Easttown, both on the deeply depressing and much needed comedy spectrum. Julianna Nicholson, Jean Smart and Guy Pierce are all recognizable faces that elevate this crime drama to its highest of heights.

Okay, before diving too deep, let’s just get the basics out there. Mare Of Easttown centers around a murder in a small town in Pennsylvania and the crime itself begins shining light on the residents and the towns pasts.

What makes this show, like most other HBO programs, stand out is the writing. The Mare Of Easttown is crisp and to the point and often it lets the communication happen in the quiet moments. For example, in episode two, the first thing we see is Mare settling down with a cup of coffee from a local gas station in her car. Later we are introduced to Detective Colin Zabel (Evan Peters), and in his first scene we are introduced to him with a to-go thermos containing hot coffee. Two different types of coffee drinkers. Two different types of people.

In a later scene in that episode, Zabel gets Mare a cup of coffee from the gas station as a way to appease her and get on her good side. It is a sign of him trying to adapt to her ways and her town as the outsider. All of this was done with no words. Just through small actions in the screenplay.

Writing is not always dialogue. It is everything around it.

In terms of writing, and dialogue specifically, the best lines are saved for Helen Fahey, the mother of Mare. The sharp-witted and wonderfully overzealous sarcastic matriarchal loudmouth is played by Jean Smart. What a casting. The last two things I have seen Smart in are this and Watchmen. Just batting 1.000 with HBO.

Mare Of Easttown needs the comedic timing of Helen Ffahey throughout hey because the remainder of the story is dark. Very, very dark. There is murder, drugs, incest, abuse and deception around every block in Easttown. A distrust in the system is like a grounded into the town and acts likes a rusted screw sticking out of a falling dock. You can try and save and rebuilt everything, as Mare does, but in the end, it takes stepping on that one rusty sharp point to send you tumbling into the cold depths of reality.

HBO still puts out bangers, and Winsley is still a phenomenal actress.

STANKO RATING: A- (4.5/5 Stars)


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