The summer of 2019 has proven to be yet another triumph for well-produced television, raking in the plaudits that excellent content truly deserves. But, even in such a landscape, a recent miniseries has stood head-and-shoulders above the rest and proven to be one of the finest productions of the past decade.
Based on the nuclear disaster that occurred at its eponymous power plant in 1986, HBO’s Chernobyl is a historical drama which has brought the industry to a practical standstill, flaunting the kind of knack for accuracy and detail that its contemporary specimens of the genre don’t often do.
Created by Craig Mazin and starring an ensemble thronged with heavyweights like Jared Harris and Stellan Skarsgard, the series debuted on 6th May and ran for six hour-long episodes that relayed the tales of those in the city of Pripyat at the time of the disaster. These include harrowing anecdotes and visuals of the emergency workers that beheld the sight in its aftermath.
But more than just its ability to empathize with those who suffered from the incident, the series has also received almost universal critical acclaim for its grim portrayal of the lackadaisical attitude from those in power which, often enough, brings about such tragedy in the first place and, even when the repercussions seem blatantly dire, aggravates circumstances through subsequent nonchalance.
For such reasons, the miniseries holds a 95% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 9.6 on IMDB, making it higher-rated than television classics such as Breaking Bad, Sherlock, and The Sopranos.
Since release, Chernobyl has also usurped almost every miniseries ratings record in the book, even surpassing HBO’s flagship Game of Thrones this past week for the largest viewership figures ever witnessed on the network’s streaming platforms, capturing a massive 52% of all subscribers, compared to the 46% GoT received in its heyday.
Indian viewers can currently stream Chernobyl and other HBO Originals on Hotstar.