Emmys 2019: 'Chernobyl's superb packaging of history into a thrilling tale make it a frontrunner
There are elements of suspense and horror that are thoroughly fascinating. At the end of the day, the series is also a history lesson which is seamlessly packaged with an ample dose of entertainment
'Chernobyl' was a runaway hit for HBO. The series centers around the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of April 1986 and the unprecedented cleanup efforts that followed.
The gripping true-life drama has a 96% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes with the critical consensus reading: "Chernobyl rivets with a creeping dread that never dissipates, dramatizing a national tragedy with sterling craft and intelligent dissection of institutional rot".
On IMDb, over 300,000 users gave the show an average rating of 9.5 stars out of 10, making it the second-highest rated TV show on the platform.
Such was the impact the series had that even Russia doffed its hat. Vladimir Medinsky, the Russian culture minister, whose father was one of the Chernobyl liquidators, called the series "Masterfully made" and "filmed with great respect for ordinary people".
'Chernobyl' is no way an easy show to watch. It's gory, intriguing, gripping and brutally unsettling. A docudrama, created, written and executive produced by Craig Mazin, the series is an ensemble drama with a talented cast that showcases the horrible truth of the Chernobyl power plant disaster.
With incredible performances and visuals all around, we'd be very surprised if this five-part historical miniseries doesn't take home the win.
There has been ample material on 'Chernobyl' before, but Mazin's recount is more relatable. It was made for a global audience and despite the many years that have passed, it has successfully shown that the consequences of the accident still linger on.
To a millennial, the element of drama is very much present and the series offers so much more than a gritty series of episodes. There are elements of suspense and horror that are thoroughly fascinating.
At the end of the day, the series is also a history lesson which is seamlessly packaged with an ample dose of entertainment. 'Chernobyl' is more than just a mere retelling of the event — it is the full package: combining a level of awareness to the mix. The show is quite the reality check to the dangers of nuclear power.
'Chernobyl' may even be likened to Ava DuVernay's docudrama 'When They See Us.' It is based on the events of the 1989 Central Park jogger case and explores the lives and families of the five male suspects who were prosecuted on charges related to the rape and assault of a woman in Central Park, New York City.
This series, again, was more than just a narration of the already-known story. 'When They See Us' was about DuVernay giving the five a chance to get their narratives out to the world.
'Chernobyl' is also a sign of the direction that television's dramatic ambition and depth are heading. It would be disappointing if the drama doesn't walk away with an award.
According to a report by Deadline, the disaster drama swept up 19 Emmy nominations including a nod in the limited series category, making it the third most-nominated show after 'Game of Thrones' and 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel'.