Just finished the show over the weekend. First I have salute the men/women that went all out to help each other during this disaster.
Secondly, HBO has done it again.
"Chernobyl" has to be the best TV mini-series I've seen in years. You don't need to subvert expectations or have twists/turns *cough* GoT fans that criticized S8 haters *cough* but this is how you do it - - great writing, great direction, brilliant dialogues, impeccable acting (faultless I tell ya..), unbelievably legit casting, music score that drives each episode and I'm pretty sure, VFX (which I hardly can spot the use of).
Most know the plot or rather the true story of the nuclear plant disaster. We already know the ending from the beginning, yet the mini-series was able to deliver the story with such poise and quality that HBO is known for. I remember finding out about the story when I was a kid, but I haven't jogged my memory about the exact details.
The show opens with an 'epilogue' - which I had no idea, only later on the realization hit me and as the episodes went on it weighed on me even more as to why Legasov did what he did (I thought maybe he sacrificed too many 'biorobots').
Here's my highlights of each episode:Episode 1
"1:23:45" - The entire episode was edge-of-your-seat stuff. The explosion of the reactor and the direct aftermath. The stellar use of the Geiger counter sound and how it rapidly increases with the Roentgen, really piles on the stress. You just hate Dyatlov, and everything he does to undermine the seriousness of the incident. The final episode you hate him 10x more. The production quality is nothing short of extraordinary.Episode 2
"Please Remain Calm" - This episode brings Jared Harris' character Legasov and Stellan Skarsgård's Shcherbina together. What started out super cold, the final episode brings them together, that reduces Scherbina's character to a pitiful state. The evacuation begins, this episode shows more of the city and yet again, they went all out to bring together the details (the costumes, the vehicles, the extras) that seem authentic to the tee.Episode 3
"Open Wide, O Earth" - Tunnel excavation under adverse conditions led by Glukhov -- caution, nekkid men everywhere! The hospital scenes were just plain depressing. So much suffering. Episode 4
"The Happiness of All Mankind" - Oh boy, this episode. Really tough. The shooting of stray animals, well actually some even pets
The scene with the pupps... sigh...
Khomyuk's research finally uncovers what really happened. It is all state secret, and cover-ups, just to show the superiority of the Soviet Union at the potential cost of lives even after the disaster occurred. Someone had to reveal it all.. this episode really built up for the final revelation.
"Eternal Memory" / "Vichnaya Pamyat" - Phew. This episode was a real tear jerker. The testimony, the flashback... the most touching and tear jerking scene in this episode:
» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «
The show ends with images from the actual incident, the actual characters, legitimizing the entire series even more as one of the best mini-series ever made.
I must say, the series EXCEEDED my expectations. If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor and watch it.
10/10 for me.
I think the show will rake in a lot of awards/nomination. And pleasssse, give Jared Harris an Emmy at least.