Hatfields & McCoys," starring Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton.While all the big budget blockbusters duked it out at the cineplex for your Memorial Day dollars, some of the best entertainment to ever hit the screen, either big or small, was found in the comfort and privacy of your own home for free, if you have cable, on Monday, May 28. That would be the History Channel's "
That's right: This was on Discovery's History Channel, the same people that bring you series like "Hairy Bikers," "Swamp People," "Pawn Stars" and "Big Shrimpin'." But they have spared no expense to produce and promote this series, and it rivals anything you'd see on HBO or Showtime. It might just be the best mini-series of this genre since "Lonesome Dove."
You don't even have to be a big Western fan, because this six-hour "epic" is riveting. Almost everyone's heard of the furious rivalry between the Hatfields and the McCoys, but did you know that it practically started a civil war between the states of Kentucky and West Virginia? The action starts at the end of the battle, and continues for several decades, and it feels like a very realistic portrayal of love, hate, vengeance, loyalty, life, and death.
While there's plenty of murderin' and takin' the law into your own hands, there's also a Romeo and Juliet story that is none too sweet. The ignorance, the tenacity, the passion, and the crudity of the times is overwhelming.
Kevin Costner, as head of the Hatfields, and Bill Paxton, as pappy of the McCoys, are at there best, and are backed up by Tom Berenger, Powers Boothe, and Mare Winningham, among other seasoned character actors. Most of the dialogue is sparing, but packs a wallop.
The mini-series premiered on Monday, May 28, at 9pm, then continues on May 29 and 30 at the same time. If you want even more information, you can find a documentary on the notorious clash on the History Channel called "America's Feud: Hatfields & McCoys," which premiered Friday, May 25. This mini-series is a must see. It ain't a pretty part of American history, but it's a fascinating one.