10 November 2017 | mmagliaro
Acting, dialog, scenery, plot great. Music - horrible
What a superb series. I have watched other movies, TV shows, and documentaries about the slave era of the US, but this one outshines the others in some critical ways. Both sides, the slaves and the slave owners, are portrayed as very flawed, often fighting among themselves for what they want. An escaping band of slaves isn't artificially shown to be "just a bunch of black folks running for freedom". No. Instead of such simplistic 1-dimensional impressions, they are shown to be sometimes desperate, sometimes loving, sometimes greedy. They are bound together by a common goal, but that doesn't necessarily mean they even like each other and that is a magnificent and realistic attribute to portray. Similarly, the slave owners and slave catchers are not just simply "bad guys". They are shown to be flawed, sometimes doubting what they are doing, often clashing with each other over how much evil they are willing to dish out just to show that they are "the boss".
The actors are all top-notch, even though, honestly, I had never heard of a single one of them before watching this series.
My only big quibble with the series is the background music. It appears like an out-of-place overly-loud bomb going off on top of all the dramatic scenes, calling way too much attention to itself instead of underscoring the action. In an instant, we are transported from the 1850s south to the sound of an angry urban ghetto. I suppose the developers of the show thought they were drawing parallels between 19th century slavery and 21st century racism, or maybe they thought they could appeal to younger viewers. But either way, the sound track just doesn't work. It's so bad we have to turn the sound down during all the loud sequences and essentially wait to "get back to the story". So instead of the dramatic action scenes being great climaxes, they end up being interruptions.
I am really sorry to see that this series wasn't picked up for a 3rd season by WGN. The producer is trying to find another sponsor. I hope they find one. This is great television that is worth continuing.