HBO’s Chernobyl miniseries makes you wonder how costly a truth can be when lying leads to deaths of hundreds.
Social Title: From the Edge Of Your Seat To Soul Searching: The Discomfort Of The Chernobyl Series
The burden of lies vs the cost of truth; HBO’s Chernobyl is trip down the memory lane to the worst man-made disaster.
What makes HBO’s Chernobyl the highest rated show on IMDb?
“The truth doesn’t care about our needs or wants. It doesn’t care about government, ideologies, our religion. It will lie in wait for all time. “ The gift of Chernobyl, which was based on pillars of lie and attempts to withhold the truth, came all crashing down for the world to witness how fatal humans are for this planet. Our quest to survive has allowed us to buy into the lies which keep us protected. We will survive, we always have and we will adapt to what awaits us; with this one single thought humanity has marched to a point of no return. This is what HBO’s latest miniseries Chernobyl is all about. One of the highest rated shows on IMDb, the Chernobyl series has defeated the likes of Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and House of Cards to be the best TV show ever. But what makes it so special and stand apart to a point that HBO’s latest show became a worldwide success, getting praises from audience and critics?
The secret lies in the storytelling
The secret of Chernobyl’s high IMDb ranking lies in the near-perfect storytelling of the show. The show starts with the suicide of Valery Legasov, who happens to be one of the three major characters of the show, as a cat goes about its business. As the scene cuts, we are introduced to the explosion but we can only see it through a window of the kitchen. The storytelling focuses more on the disaster and its consequences rather than on political opinion. This was always the intention of Craig Mazin who is the creator of the show. The story takes you across the journey of the aftermath of the disaster, without ever letting you off the hook. You will be constantly glued to the screen and always anxious about what’s about to happen.
From the edge of your seats to soul searching, the screenplay makes you uncomfortable
While the sound of the clock ticking in the Dunkirk kept you on the edge of your seat, the sound of roentgen meter throughout the fourth episode will keep you hanging to your der life. There is another scene in the second episode of Chernobyl 2019 where a battalion goes to kill animals around Pripyat which showcases the grim nature of the entire disaster. The soul-scratching visuals alongside Shephard tone background score make way for some of the most intense scenes in TV history. Hildur Ingveldardóttir Guðnadóttir deserves all the credit for making the show more intriguing with her compositions of the background score. The reason why it’s so impactful is that all the music used in HBO’s show was recorded from an actual nuclear plant.
A cast which makes you believe that you are living this reality with them
The immense success of the Chernobyl series partially rests on its stellar cast, who managed to convince us that we are in the Soviet Union without having to incorporate the fake Russian accent. Characters like Legasov, Boris, Ulana, and Dyatlov have been perfectly executed by the actors playing those parts. Even minor characters like Army soldiers killing the domestic animals were played by actors with minute detailing. If you happen to binge watch this show on HBO, not for a moment would you think of it to be a show and people on screen as actors.
It’s just not about history but also resonates with the present
The one thing which has budged many experts about this show is the creative liberty that the creators took in shaping the story, especially in the final episode of the show titled Vichnaya Pamyat. Despite all its diversion from actual facts, the show is being hailed by critics all across the globe, because of one important factor. The show isn’t focused on the series of the incident that led to disaster rather how the authorities acted after the accident. This holds true for the current political atmosphere.
Craig Mazin in an interview said that he wrote the show leading up to the American Presidential Election of 2016 and keeping global warming in mind. He says that truth won’t change even if we continue to deny it or believe in the lie which makes us feel safe and confident. One day or another, the truth will come looking for us and that day it would be too late for us to do anything. He went onto say that we believe that we have enough time to do something about the environment but the truth is that our window of opportunity is shrinking but we cover it with a lie that it doesn’t matter, we will survive and adapt.
This very fact that the show speaks of the current political and social atmosphere is what makes the show stand apart from its competitors like House of Cards, Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones.
The show doesn’t make you root for any character, rather it makes you root for the truth to come out. It makes you wonder about your own government and society. You want Nuclear reactors to be fixed and with it, you want to know the whole truth, nothing more and nothing less. The show expects you to do that, it expects you to wake about things happening around you, without ever taking sides. Maybe this is what makes the Chernobyl series of 2019 so great because it involves you, the audience to be an active participant in the story.