A look at a seemingly placid New England town that is actually wrought with illicit affairs, crime and tragedy, all told through the lens of Olive, whose wicked wit and harsh demeanor mask a warm but troubled heart and staunch moral center. The story spans 25 years and focuses on Olive's relationships with her husband, Henry, the good-hearted and kindly town pharmacist; their son, Christopher, who resents his mother's approach to parenting; and other members of their community. —HBO
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This is an extra-ordinary piece of television. Where so many mini-series are constantly driven by a thread that drives it forward with momentum, this doesn't have that same urgency, which allows it to explore its themes in a way I don't think many TV series or mini-series have done. It's so wonderfully crafted, in all aspects. But really, it's the writing and performances where its true power soars. The acting is magnificent, McDormand might've just outdone her work in Fargo. A truly soulful, aching, incredibly heartfelt performance. We see Olive and her various flaws, and yet we can't help but sympathize with her and like her despite everything she does. The mark of a true revelation. Kind of hard to describe in words, but the acclaim is justified.
- Nov 8, 2014
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