Hatfields & McCoys (2013)
How can you argue with the success that the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s miniseries had during its initial run on the History Channel back in 2013? Hell, it was one of the most watched non-sporting events in American TV history. It’s also hard to argue with the great attention to detail from the production team and director here, as well as the many fine performances put in both by the supporting players and the two famous leads of Kevin Coster, who played Devil-Anse Hatfield, and Bill Paxton, who played Randall McCoy. What then is my infernal gripe here? Well, it’s just that as well done and polished (although that hardly seems like an appropriate description of this down and dirty affair) as this all was, the story, in the end, is just a bunch of backwoods yokels who took to shooting at each other for about twenty or so years. There are no heroes to root for in this story, only an ever increasing list of victims to take note of. Now as a character study you don’t need heroes per se, but to ask me to devote this many hours of my life to something it’s nice to have at least something to hold onto here, and there just wasn’t. I am from Southern Illinois, near Williamson county, and we have our own Hatfield and McCoy like story known as ‘The Bloody Vendetta’ that saw a couple local families trading bullets for a number of years, before the state government finally stepped in and just started hanging everybody involved. We also have the infamous Herrin Massacre from 1922, which I sat through a three hour busride tour lecture of. As a lover of history (especially my own local history) I was interested enough in this story to watch every single hour of this mini-series and enjoy most of it. My wife, who cares nothing about history, but who usually can tolerate anything with a decent story, looked like she was ready to shoot ME by the end of our having finished watching this one though, so be forewarned.