Created by Brad Ingelsby and starring Kate Winslet, Mare of Easttown is HBO’s newest enthralling crime drama. The seven-episode miniseries is unassuming at first, but builds up to a jaw dropping turn. With all the elements of a great mystery, led by a talented force, the series has everything needed to grip audiences and become our next television obsession.
Mare Sheehan (Winslet) is a troubled lead detective in her small Pennsylvania town. Once the town superstar, her personal life has since fallen apart; struggling to raise both her teen daughter and young grandson. To make matters worse, she’s felt added pressure professionally due to an unsolved case that looms over her.
It’s been one-year since a young girl disappeared, with Mare and the entire police department unable to make any headway in their investigation. The missing girl’s mother has continued to fight for answers, calling the department out publicly for not having done their due diligence.
Sadly the community is shaken once again, as another young woman is found murdered. Could the cases be connected? Or is it just an unfortunate coincidence for the town? What is certain, the case will push Mare to her limits, all while she attempts to mend her own life.
The first episode, as expected, spends the majority of the time laying the groundwork for the series. We’re given some great, fleshed out characters, with background presented through natural exposition. As mysteries go, it’s difficult to divulge into these minor details and character emphasis, without giving away some of the more substantial pieces to the puzzle. It’s obvious that creator Ingelsby has methodically placed breadcrumbs, revealing them in the optimal way to keep viewers hooked.
As we get acquainted to the town, its people, and specifically Mare and her history, there’s a distressing mystery winding up. It’s not until episodes-end that the show makes it apparent that it will be taking us on an unpredictable and shocking ride.
Winslet for her part, demands the screen and it’s clear she’s prepping to give one of her best performances. There’s a somberness to her character, an imperfection, that we often only see from male leads in this subgenre. So it’s a great switch with an incredible talent like Winslet. She’s also surrounded by an impressive supporting cast, including Jean Smart, Guy Pearce, Evan Peters (entering in the next episode), and Cailee Spaeny.
It’s easy to brush the series off as another formulaic crime drama, but from a first impression, it seems it may offer more than what we’ve come to expect. And you’ll certainly become invested in its story immediately from the start. New episodes of Mare of Easttown premiere every Sunday on HBO and HBO Max.