Mare of Easttown It begins with several street plans of a gloomy and depressed city and ends with the plan of the corridor of a house because we are born being expelled abroad and we spend the rest of our lives looking for something, a place or a person, to welcome us. The street is about to be occupied by Detective Mare Sheeran (Kate Winslet) and the hallway has just been abandoned by her. Mare of Easttown It begins with a woman heading like a zombie towards her future and ends with an emboldened woman heading towards her past. The seven extraordinary chapters of this HBO miniseries are condensed in the first sentence that Mare pronounces when knocking on a door: “Mrs. Carroll. I’m out cold shitting ”. The phrase sums up the impressive story of the Mare family blown into a thousand pieces by the tragedy. But also, Mare investigates the case of a murdered girl and a missing girl. That police plot is summed up in one of the last sentences: “Couldn’t you just let it be for once?”
The last question is interesting. It causes digressions that often lead to this monstrosity: “Is it better to enforce the law or be a good person?” Which is answered with another: are there laws that, when applied, make one a bad person? In a decent democracy, I mean. That is why the series is uncomfortable. That is why Kate Winslet composes a character to remember, a woman between stupor, determination and a deep exhaustion of life that she almost always expresses by looking at her interlocutor and then at the horizon, jaded while sucking on an electronic cigarette, as if saying “what host you have ”or“ what the hell I’m all about ”. She is saved by the truth, her search, whoever falls, and is saved by an important treatment that we sometimes underestimate: speaking. All this while he devises and executes a repulsive action to the point of dizziness from which, however, as her boss, we pardon her to our surprise (perhaps because the shot backfired). Another story is broadcast on Netflix, The innocent, in which a character asks this question: “What is better, do justice or make no one suffer?”
Easttown, that small city where everyone knows each other and young people have children very early, that city that at times seems full of teenage mothers, has all the ingredients to build in it not only a great thriller but also an exceptional human portrait of something akin to disenchantment. Many of his characters believe that they have already had their moment of glory, their 15 minutes of fame; in Mare’s case the moment she became Lady Hawk for scoring a decisive basket at a local sporting milestone. It’s the story as the screenwriter Guillermo Zapata has written, of “a group of women who try to make up silently and painfully what a group of men and a shitty environment destroy.”
There is a string of secondary in a state of grace (Julianne Nicholson, Jean Smart) and several moments of the best comedy (“it scandalizes anyone who has a moralistic and frivolous concept of fun. You do not laugh, but you enjoy the contact of something beautiful and subtle made with ugly and waste materials ”, wrote Sergio del Molino) in which there are at least two moments in which to release several laughs, especially one that takes place at the wake. That’s right: in the wake of a dark series, full of murdered or missing girls, starring characters devastated by grief or reluctance, it turns out that you laugh out loud. It is a matter of talent, interpretations and scriptwriters, but it is above all life; That is life, especially life capable of becoming art: laughing when you should be crying, crying when you should be laughing.
What is life, the best of life? Mare and her mother’s relationship; that wonderful, caustic and terrible relationship between them that raises an ovation when almost at the end the mother, Helen, tells her: “I am always on your side”, and what is concluded for other characters in the series: losing a mother , or a parent, is losing the only person in your life who is always on your side. In the same way that losing a child, unless you have another, is not always being able to take someone’s side again. And this is the series.
You can follow EL PAÍS TELEVISIÓN on Twitter or sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.