What sets ‘Mare of Easttown’ apart from your average crime drama is how visceral and unpredictable it is. Set in small-town Pennsylvania, it follows local detective Mare Sheehan (Kate Winslet) as she investigates the murder of a teen mom. The show has crossed its halfway mark, and here’s why we think you should watch it if you aren’t already.
The show keeps it real
The best books, shows, movies that stay with you are the ones that have characters who are flawed, relatable and real. Every character you meet in Easttown will remind you of someone you know. Whether it’s debates on the best sandwiches (Philly steak vs hoagies); small-town community life where everyone knows everyone (or thinks they do); dysfunctional families trying to exist without the cracks showing; long-kept secrets tumbling out of the closet or an investigation where a reluctant Mare has to team up with “Hero Detective” Colin Zabel (Evan Peters) – everything on this show is revelatory. Every character has a unique voice, and the show manages to combine dark undertones with much-needed humour. Mare’s mother Helen (Jean Smart) hiding her ice cream in a bag of frozen veggies; Mare irreverently questioning the religious Deacon Mark Burton (James McArdle) on his relationship with Christ; anything that Zabel says and does.
It’s a well-done whodunit
We’re huge fans of Agatha Christie and we reckon the Queen of Crime would be highly pleased with this whodunit. What starts out as a seemingly simple homicide case with the usual suspects has now evolved into a complex mess in which anyone could have done it. As Mare and Zabel dive down the investigative rabbit hole in the murder of Erin McMenamin (Cailey Spaeny), they discover that some of the nicest and seemingly innocuous people in town have a dark side to them. While the Internet is going crazy trying to figure out who the killer is (and of course, we have our own theories), the show has managed to stay steps ahead, throwing out unexpected curveballs and plot twists that seem to debunk most theories.
Full marks across the board
Any show that has Winslet’s name attached to it comes with a certain amount of expectations, and we’re happy to report this one blows them all out of the water. Mare Sheehan is one of the most hard-to-like characters on this show. She’s weary, cantankerous, unscrupulous, pessimistic, emotionally unavailable, and quite honestly, the last person we’d want to befriend. She’s a terrible mother, a difficult daughter, cold and almost indifferent towards her romantic partners, and her most consistent and dependable relationship is with her vape pen. Yet you end up liking her. Also, Winslet deserves an award simply for perfecting that strong Delaware County accent. Evan Peters, a staple in most Ryan Murphy projects and best known for playing Quicksilver in the ‘X-Men’ movies is a revelation. Preppy, optimistic and downright adorable, he’s the perfect foil to Mare. However, as the episodes progress, we learn there’s much more than meets the eye when it comes to Zabel. We’ll be very surprised if Peters doesn’t score an Emmy or Golden Globe nod for his brilliant rendition of a philosophical drunk in that bar scene.
Creator: Brad Ingelsby
Director: Craig Zobel
Cast: Kate Winslet, Guy Pearce, Julianne Nicholson, Jean Smart, Evan Peters, Angourie Rice
Streaming on: Disney+ Hotstar