I noticed the Chernobyl miniseries simply because I heard that Jared Harris is going to star there. I absolutely love his performances since I first saw him playing a crazy interdimensional terrorist in Fringe.
As someone born in the Soviet Union, I didn’t expect much except maybe a good laugh at how they’re going to portrait the past of my people. Despite the show being made by HBO, I had my doubts. The butchering of GoT certainly did not make them any more trustworthy.
I was completely blown away by authenticity of Chernobyl. Of course it was adapted for an anglophone, but they kept the aesthetics as close to what I remember (the ugly ghosts of the Soviet culture have never gone from our land) as possible.
It also made me read up on the catastrophe and discover a lot of interesting stories and facts I didn’t know about April 26th of 1986.
Jared Harris is as good as always. But unlike Stellan Skarsgård he just did a great job which was expected of him.
When I saw Scherbina, the tough Soviet appartchik, I thought I had seen this face somewhere. Indeed, a quick search showed that he was the man from von Trier’s Nymphomaniac. I was aghast. How is that even possible to be two absolutely different people on screen? Stellan Skarsgård is a genius.
What is also funny is how the Russian czar reacted to the series. I’m not sure if he personally watched the miniseries or his cronies just wanted to exploit his love for the red hell on Earth for brownnose points. Every major Russian media (which are all state-owned) reported how inaccurate, misunderstanding were the creators. Some said that the show is anti-soviet, although the heroes of Chernobyl are showed as what they were — saviors of humanity. Some idiots even called it a propaganda piece aimed at Rosatom state corporation (as if it had any competition in building nuclear power plants mostly in states that abuse human rights). Their completely invalid arguments were destroyed further by the historical references in the final episode.
Still, I do not agree that it’s better than The Wire, which is indeed the greatest TV show ever created. Yet, you’d be a fool to miss Johan Renck’s Chernobyl.