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Mare of Easttown distinguishes itself by telling a story richly defined by place

  • The Kate Winslet-led HBO drama "mines its topography as intentionally as it casually drops in Eagles logos, hoagies, and references to Wawa," says Sophie Gilbert. She adds: "Crime dramas are frequently informed by their setting. Some of the superlative crime dramas of the past few years have shrewdly used their locale for dramatic impact: Think the relentlessly crashing waves of Broadchurch, or the oppressive midwestern humidity of Sharp Objects, or the moody, primitive mountains of Top of the Lake. But Mare of Easttown is something else, a drama that, in exploring the bonds between its characters and the nature of its crimes, tells a story richly defined by place. On a Peeping Tom call early in the first episode, Mare tells a woman that she typically investigates 'the burglaries and the overdoses and all the other really bad crap that’s been going on around here'—hallmarks of an exurban area where the opioid crisis has left its mark. Murder is uncommon, but violence is predictable, a fact of life that the show explores with understated specificity...Brad Ingelsby, who created the series and wrote all seven episodes, grew up near Delaware County, and Mare has a sense for the aesthetic details—crocheted blankets, screened-in porches, piney dive bars—that enhance the show’s verisimilitude without being distracting. More crucial, though, is the show’s choice to render a community without judgment. For a work about a neglected corner of America, there’s none of the sneering critique of Hillbilly Elegy or the ludicrous rivalries of Ozark. Instead, Mare of Easttown is just a subtle, textured portrait of a place where some people are suffering, and a woman is doing her imperfect and insufficient best to help them." ALSO: A lot of people and work went into ensuring Kate Winslet's Eastern Pennsylvanian “Delco” accent was accurate.

    TOPICS: Mare of Easttown, HBO, Kate Winslet