Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this post. The opinions I share are my own.
When it comes to prestige television dramas, no one does it better than HBO.
From “Game of Thrones” to “Succession,” “Euphoria,” “Barry” and everything in between, the cable network never rebuilds, it simply reloads. That is certainly true about the channel’s limited series, and its latest hit “Mare of Easttown,” only further proved just how far ahead HBO is of its competition.
In just seven episodes, “Mare of Easttown” tells a story more complex, thrilling and powerful than anything else seen on television this year. Emmy and Academy Award-winner Kate Winslet stars as Mare, a respected small-town Pennsylvania detective investigating a local murder while also balancing her own personal life, which is rapidly falling apart around her.
Winslet is a captivating force onscreen throughout the series, as her rough exterior cracks and she begins to let both the characters and the audience in to know the real Mare. Her Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Limited Or Anthology Series is well-deserved, and she’s poised to be the only real contender against Anya Taylor-Joy for “The Queen’s Gambit.” My money’s on Mare.
Winslet is joined by a host of talented co-stars, including Julianne Nicholson, Jean Smart and Evan Peters, all of whom earned Emmy nominations for their outstanding work in “Mare.” It’s truly incredible what Peters is capable of when freed from Ryan Murphy’s “Horror Story”-verse, and the result is set to be his first Emmy victory.
Beyond the slow-burn mystery of the show itself, the home release of “Mare of Easttown” comes with a handful of bonus features to enhance the series. Let’s take a look!
Special Features on Blu-ray Disc
- Invitation to the Set – In case you need to entice someone to give the show a chance, this two-minute featurette is all you’ll need. The cast and crew set up the story and characters and what’s to come in the series, which will leave anyone ready to press play.
- Mare of Easttown: A Closer Look – Behind the stone-cold front Winslet puts up as Mare, there’s a broken and damaged woman inside. This three-minute character study breaks down those walls as Winslet discusses how she brought Mare to life, and how the murder investigations and person tragedies shaped the character.
- Welcome to Easttown – Set the scene with this three-minute featurette that explores the fictional people of Easttown and the location itself, before diving into the practical methods and art used to bring the location to life onscreen.
- Making Mare of Easttown – This nine-minute feature is the most extensive piece of the bonus content, diving quickly but deeply into the entire series. Be sure to watch it after finishing the show, as it touches on all the twists and turns, the iconic Pennsylvania accents, and more.
Zach Goins is a member of the North Carolina Film Critics Association based in Raleigh, N.C. Zach co-founded Inside The Film Room in 2018 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the website and co-host of the podcast. Zach also serves as a film critic for CLTure.org.