Hatfields & McCoys

Mini-Series Review
Hatfields & McCoys
Released May 2012
History Channel Mini-Series

It’s been a good 6 months since I posted (and I’ve seen a lot of movies and read a few books in that time). I’ve neglected this side project because I’ve been utterly distracted by being pregnant. But I had to revive the project for a recent viewing that blew me away.

The Hatfields and the McCoys. A mini-series. That odd forum found somewhere between movie and tv show. TV mini-series are often mediocre, but they have the potential to be extraordinary. Mostly this is because the director has the opportunity to do more because of the time allotted. It’s not constrained to a  2 hour movie timeframe so you have more time to develop characters. Yet, it’s not a tv show so you don’t have to stretch out a story longer than necessary for the sake of renewal and ratings.

I really enjoyed this mini-series. It aired on the history channel so I felt it had more credibility even though obviously they took some artistic liberties. I’ve never been a big Kevin Costner fan but I really liked him in this role and overall I thought the acting was great. As a Southerner, I am often annoyed by fake Southern accents. Yet, the dialect and accents found in this movie were quite accurate to me. The Civil War references, the late 1800s class struggle and life…all seemed pretty well researched as well. I was completely sucked into the feud and the lives of the characters and not distracted by blaring inaccuracies.

The series explored questions of justice, loyalty, family, class, faith, and general right and wrong. Neither family was really enduring. It was hard to root for a side. Both families had characters to love and characters to despise. It was truly a tumultuous battle.

I related a lot to the issue of family loyalty. In the South, family loyalty is still a big deal even today. Blood is thicker than any other tie and there’s a tendency to side with family above all other relationships, including marriage. I don’t know if this is healthy but I get the culture and the torn-ness that comes with choosing whats right versus what’s expected.

All in all, very enjoyable.

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