10 Reasons To Watch HBO Chernobyl
Wait, did this actually happen? Yes. Yes, it did. We’re counting down the top 10 reasons to watch HBO’s newest show “Chernobyl”. This show takes a dramatic look at the events of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of April 1986. Have you seen the mini-series yet? Let us know in the comments!
This unbelievable true story is not to be missed. Today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Reasons to Watch HBO’s historical drama; “Chernobyl”.
For this list, we’re discussing why this HBO miniseries needs to be your next binge-watch.
10It’s a Fascinating True Story
Before beginning development on this historical drama, writer/creator Craig Mazin was only vaguely familiar with the Chernobyl disaster. He knew that Chernobyl was a nuclear power plant where an earth-shattering accident occurred in 1986, resulting in the Ukraine city of Pripyat being abandoned.
Beyond the basics, though, Mazin had no idea why Chernobyl exploded, who was involved, and how this catastrophe went from bad to worse. Mazin isn’t alone, as a lot of people generally don’t know much about Chernobyl outside of the fact that it blew up. Mazin became increasingly intrigued as he did more research into the topic, planting the seeds for a miniseries that’s dramatically compelling and educational. For anyone interested in learning about Chernobyl, this is the perfect place to start.
9It Provides Harrowing Insight
Given what we know now about Chernobyl, you’d think that the citizens of Pripyat would’ve been evacuated immediately. On the contrary, the managers of the plant and Soviet bureaucrats initially did everything in their power to cover up the disaster. At first, they refused to even acknowledge that a disaster had occurred.
Nobody thought a nuclear reactor was even capable of exploding, leading the high-ups to believe that they could sweep this accident under the rug without causing a panic. The public ultimately paid the price for this secrecy, going about their days without knowing they were being exposed to radiation. This miniseries provides jaw-dropping insight into how these colossal mistakes were made and why so many failed to recognize a clear and present danger.
8It’s Disturbingly Relevant
The Chernobyl disaster might’ve happened over 30 years ago, but its effects are felt even to this day. Pripyat remains an uninhabitable ghost city, and survivors still live with the side effects brought on by radiation fallout. Not to mention the similar incident that happened in Fukushima, Japan earlier this decade. What’s more, the incident at Chernobyl mirrors humanity’s effect on the earth today.
Climate change and global warming remain among the most heavily discussed issues of modern times. While some organizations, such as UN Environmental, have made a call to action, others continue to argue that the environment isn’t in trouble. This was especially apparent after the U.S. withdrew from the Paris Agreement in 2017. Like Chernobyl, however, the problems plaguing our planet won’t go away simply because we ignore their existence.
7It Addresses Serious Issues Around Truth & Power
Even if you took the environment and nuclear power out of the equation, this miniseries would still be quite timely. Mazin stated on the “Chernobyl” podcast that this story is “more relevant now than it was when [he] started writing it,” which was notably before the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
It’s no secret that the phrase, “fake news,” has been tossed around a fair deal as of late and certain politicians have been accused of suppressing facts. Through this miniseries, Mazin set out to explore “how we’re struggling with the global war on the truth right now.” The series has received widespread praise for this approach with The Atlantic’s Sophie Gilbert calling it a “grim disquisition on the toll of devaluing the truth.”
6It’s Universally Acclaimed
The positive reviews don’t end with The Atlantic. As so far “Chernobyl” is currently sitting on a ‘Certified Fresh’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, whereas Metacritic currently has the show earning high scores from both critic and user reviews.
“Chernobyl” earned even greater user praise on IMDb whereas of writing – it has become the website’s highest-rated show, skyrocketing past the likes of “Breaking Bad,” “Band of Brothers,” and both “Planet Earth” series. Verne Gay from Newsday gave the series an especially enthusiastic review of 4 out of 4 stars, hailing it as “a remarkable testament in its own right to human folly and human courage and the triumph of truth over lies.”
5It’s Reminiscent of Classic Disaster Movies
Disaster movies were all the rage in the 1970s and “Chernobyl” calls several of them to mind. The film this miniseries perhaps has the most in common with is 1979’s “The China Syndrome.” This Academy Award-nominated thriller centers on a fictional power plant that’s been covering up safety hazards and the journalists determined to expose the truth.
The film couldn’t have been more relevant, as only two weeks after its release, Three Mile Island endured an actual nuclear accident, the most catastrophic ever recorded until Chernobyl. “The China Syndrome” and “Chernobyl” are both cautionary tales that put less emphasis on bombastic action and more on the flaws of humanity, the consequences of concealing the facts, and the ethical dilemmas that stem from man-made disasters.
4It Pulls No Punches
“Chernobyl” is based on one of the most infamous tragedies in human history and the showrunners never sugarcoat anything. There are moments in this miniseries that’ll have your stomach churning and your skin crawling if you’re even the tiniest bit squeamish. That being said, the miniseries isn’t an exploitative exercise in trying to shock the audience.
Much of the dread comes less from what we do see and more from what we don’t see. There’s a scene in the first episode where a group of people observes Chernobyl from afar, blissfully unaware that they’re standing face to face with certain death. We don’t see what happens to all of these onlookers, but just thinking about it is enough to overwhelm us with fear and paranoia.
3It Has a Stellar Cast
Rather than seeking out household names, “Chernobyl” is largely comprised of lesser-known character actors. Of course, the show isn’t without a few familiar faces. Jared Harris from “Mad Man” is deeply empathetic as Valery Legasov, an inorganic chemist desperately trying to open the Soviet Union’s eyes to the disaster at hand.
Stellan Skarsgård turns in a multilayered performance as Boris Shcherbina, a politician who initially clashes with Legasov, but comes to realize that this is no time to let his ego get in the way.
Emily Watson is particularly strong as Ulana Khomyu, a fictional composite character who’s always the most levelheaded person in the room. These performers couldn’t feel more natural in their respective roles, never failing to capture the gravitas of their situation.
2It’s Astonishingly Directed & Crafted
Through the skillful lens of director Johan Renck, “Chernobyl” makes the audience feel as if they’re back in 1986, witnessing the disaster unfold firsthand. The productions values are so authentic that the audience is almost convinced that the miniseries was entirely filmed on location. Obviously, that wouldn’t have been possible since Chernobyl and Pripyat don’t exactly look as it did 33 years ago.
Nevertheless, this series meticulously recreates Pripyat, as well as the misfortune that plagued the city. The decommissioned Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant was used as a shooting location given its similar appearance to Chernobyl. The artists behind the scenes were resolute when it came to realism, creating the most accurate portrait of Chernobyl possible.
1It’s a Reason to Keep Your HBO Subscription
According to a Second Measure report, HBO Now saw a significant surge of signups corresponding with the premiere of “Game of Thrones” Season 8. While that may sound like good news for the network, a Forbes study found that many might cancel their HBO subscriptions after the final “Game of Thrones” episode.
Although we don’t have any exact numbers, vast amounts of Twitter users have claimed to cancel their HBO service, especially after a highly controversial finale. Before you jump ship, though, we guarantee that “Chernobyl” is well worth the $14.99. Thought-provoking, haunting, and staggeringly cinematic, “Chernobyl” defines the high-quality entertainment HBO has always strived to deliver. Along with “Angels in America” and “John Adams,” it’s bound to go down as one of HBO’s best miniseries and a major television milestone.
Have You watched The series yet? Do let us know in comments below.