Memorial Day night featured the premiere of History Channel’s new Kevin Costner-spawned mini-series. The six-hour event made to air across three primetime slots showed off that it was much more than a rehash of the network’s take on the United States’ most notorious family feud, but rather an Emmy-worthy offering from an outlet not known for putting forth such efforts.
Kevin Costner was stellar as ‘Devil’ Anse Hatfield. While the first few minutes of the show felt like the basic cable effort that it was, Costner kept things interesting by causing reason to stay tuned. His character’s leap from war hero to deserter to murderer all within the first half-hour was pulled off in a brilliant way as opposed to taking the easy way out and playing Devil as an evil, unrelatable figure.
In a sense, the actor brought some much needed authenticity to the program that helped breed watchability. A slew of award nominations may be in Costner’s future now as it would appear that his glistening portrayal coupled with his veteran status is just the type of mixture that Hollywood loves to honor.
It is with that in mind that we must also acknowledge Bill Paxton’s Randall McCoy. Paxton may not have a producing credit on this mini-series like his co-star, but he certainly showed up on the screen by making a somewhat dull persona into an interesting character steeped in religious values and resentment.
He really pulled this one off, and we completely expect him to get recognition from his peers come award season. This of course would not be new for Paxton as he was nominated for a Golden Globe in the category of Best Actor in a Mini-Series or TV Movie back in 1999 when he played John Paul Vann in A Bright Shining Lie.
Going forward with any sort of recap may prove pointless as the point of this post is to get people to appreciate (and hopefully watch) this History Channel series. Reviews going into Monday were really good, and (as already suggested) Hatfields & McCoys seems certain to receive a lot of recognition from award shows within the next year.
That said, if you have not started watching go ahead and program your DVR to pick up the replay for part one as well as the next two parts like I did. You probably will not hate yourself for doing that. Just make sure you give the series a few minutes because the Civil War-based fighting at the beginning sets a poor foundation for the series’ tone in my opinion. It was necessary though as you will appreciate it later when the main characters are fully built.