TV Tuesday, May 29 – Hatfields & McCoys

I’m a history nerd. Show me anything remotely related to something historical and you’ve got my attention. I’ve also been a little peeved that The History Channel has decided that “history” means shows like Swamp People, Ax Men, Ice Road Truckers, Top Shot, and even Full Metal Jousting. That’s not history to me, even if there are vague references to history in the shows. Incidentally, I really don’t get it with Ax Men and Ice Road Truckers especially so, if you do, please leave a comment and explain it to me.

But all that’s a blog post for another day.

Today we’re talking about The History Channel‘s 3 part miniseries that began yesterday called Hatfields & McCoys.

Did you watch it? I did. Are you going to watch tonight’s episode and Wednesday’s? I am.

The first part was, admittedly, a bit slow in places – like the beginning where they were setting up the reasons for the legendary feud. Once Johnse Hatfield and Roseanna McCoy got together, things started to get very interesting. Is it strange that I found the patriarchs of the family; Devil Anse Hatfield and Randall McCoy, to be a bit dull in comparison to their children? I feel like it should be, considering Devil Anse is played by Kevin Costner and Randall is played by Bill Paxton. Then again, maybe they aren’t quite as likable because it’s so easy to see that it’s their stubborness that brings the feud down on their children.

Costner and Paxton are doing well, so far, in their roles but I’m afraid they’re being outshone by the supporting cast like Ronan Vibert (as the ridiculously creepy Perry Cline), Sarah Parish (Levicy Hatfield), Mare Winningham (Sally McCoy), Powers Boothe (“Wall” Hatfield), and Noel Fisher (“Cotton Top” Mounts).

One of the most interesting things about the series so far was the way the difference between the two families was first shown through the reception Devil Anse and Randall got from their wives; Levicy all but tore her own dress off while Sally only promised to do her duty as a wife. That was one of the first and clearest ways the lines were drawn.

I’m far from an expert on the details of America’s most famous feud but, since this is the channel that refused to air the miniseries on the Kennedy family because of historical inaccuracies, I have to think that this miniseries is fairly true to fact. Either way, I’m glad The History Channel is finally doing something historical and something that’s really, really good.

So, what did you think?


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