Monday, June 04, 2012

Hatfields And McCoys - Bad Neighbors

I watched the History Channel "Hatfields and McCoys" mini-series along with 14M plus other viewers and mostly enjoyed it.  But then I love Westerns and actors Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton, so I was partial to begin with.  But the dramatic drive of the story was ultimately less interesting than the impressive production.  I feel for the writer(s) on this series, because they were faced with making drama out of what was essentially a running series of tit-for-tat murders between two strikingly unsympathetic families.  Both the Hatfields and the McCoys were, if you believe this telling, a gaggle of dull-witted, gun/knife/hatchet toting inebriates who repeatedly got liquored up in proximity of one another and then did stupid, murderous things.  Again and again and again.  Clearly these folks has never heard the classic definition of insanity, as in, doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result.   

Oddly enough, what I kind of liked is how the story demonstrates that history is often messy, without good guys or bad guys.  Ultimately I think the mini-series suggests that Randall McCoy's (Paxton's character) unbending, self-righteous religious fanatic-turned-drunk helped fan the flames of the feud more than Costner's Hatfield, but there was clearly plenty of blame to go around.  These guys decided not to get along (the decision fueled by multiple murders), and that, as they say, was that. 

Ultimately, I hope this show's massive success leads to more frontier based adventures.  But maybe something that's a little more uplifting...  


1 comment:

John Goins said...

What I liked about it was how it showed that it was the fact that they lived on the borders on two states (Hatfields in West Virginia, McCoys in Kentucky)that kept the law from being able to put an end to the feud.