September 9, 2012 4 Comments

Piquing my interest from its promotion, this series seems a good bet. Additionally, it’s something my dad would enjoy. That hype may have been justified but I felt empty at credits rolling.

Hatfields and McCoys (2012) Mini Series TV Review

In the horrors of war, Randall McCoy (Bill Paxton) and Captain Anse ‘Devil’ Hatfield (Kevin Costner) were friends. They fought side by side towards the latter part of the Civil War and save an entire company of men. On their last mission, they find safety only because Anse stays behind and barely escapes with his life. Tired of being responsible for their lives, Anse calls it quits that same night and rides off to Randall’s shouts of his desertion. His return home finds his wife, Levincy (Sarah Parish) happy that her husband is home. In his absence she raises their small children on her own on their land in West Virginia. Taking up his work again, Anse gets his logging business up and running and before the war is over, he makes a comfortable living. Then Randall returns home.

‘HATFIELDS AND MCCOYS’ (2012). Reviewing the history channel miniseries. All review text is © Rissi JC and RissiWrites.com

Not quite right since his return, his wife Sally (Mare Winningham) worries about her husband’s ability to re-adjust to life on their Kentucky farm. Furious at the rumors that it’s Anse’s uncle, Jim Vance (Tom Berenger) who murders his brother, Randall sets his mind on revenge. Anse’s attempts to set their differences right go array when his eldest, impulsive son, Johnse (Matt Barr) falls for Randall’s girl, Roseanna (Lindsay Pulsipher). Then, later, his own brother is murdered by three of Randall’s sons. A bitter feud is born between the two families.

It takes a lot for me to really like a historical mini series. Partly this is because despite my best intentions, I’m not the most avid history aficionado and partly because it takes skill to make some history seem interesting. This History channel series is one that is a bit too slow-moving and “dry,” though I do understand its need to be less about action and more about emotion. With no knowledge about this historically, subconsciously I did know it’s inspired by real events though I also assume this takes liberties. One of the things that cannot be argued against is the phenomenal cast this boasts. In addition to the aforementioned, there is Powers Boothe, Noel Fisher, Nick Dunning and Jena Malone. Casting directors pulled together a great bunch of talent; just looking at that cast listing impresses if nothing else does.

RELATED | On Netflix: The Most ‘Wanted’ in Australia
‘HATFIELDS AND MCCOYS’ (2012) #FWarchives Click To Tweet

Authenticity as far as costumes and sets go seem to be something set and costume designers strive for including its period exact landscapes. This is one area in which this does impress. The costuming always seemed right and suited its characters well while the landscapes and structures were befitting of the scene set-ups and creates the right frame of mind for the audience, almost transplanting us into the gritty world of the Hatfields and McCoys. Unfortunately, I didn’t find this series compelling enough to say it is something everyone should see even once. It is interesting in many of the nuances and the production quality is memorable but there is something lacking in its premise. History or not, there is no point to it.

Clocking in at a long four-and-a-half hours, divided into three parts, the span of the series is over ten years long. During which, the feud continues. There are so many McCoys and Hatfields it leaves us with a dazed look wondering who everyone is though the character development aside from Anse and Randall is virtually non-existent. Breaking  records and ratings, the production qualities don’t rescue this. Sure there’s a Romeo and Juliet story playing out and there’s sorrow but very little of it makes us “feel” anything but wonder at the pointless bad blood between the families’ that – quite literally, kept these characters living.

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

You can find Hatfields and McCoys digitally on Amazon Video

Content: The script has lots of profanities and crude remarks to say nothing of the violent killing. Though I saw this edited, it sometimes seems nearly every other word was muted; they use commonplace profanities like h*ll, sh*t, da*n including GD and perhaps some stronger swear words. There’s implied extra-marital sex a handful of times – once results in pregnancy. A far out shot shows a couple jumping into the river naked. There’s some crudities with the language. Dozens of people die – some children, other’s without trials. There’s hangings, shootings and stabbings. Lots of blood results from this. One man is scalped. This series is NR but would warrant at least a PG13.

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

All posts


  • Rachel Hipps September 9, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    i saw a preview for this play in the theaters a while ago, i think… and was honestly unimpressed. but maybe i'll have to give it a try. :)

    xo. rachel

  • Alycia (Crowley Party) September 9, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    okay… no I want to check it out! haha thanks for sharing :)!

  • Miss Jack Lewis Baillot September 10, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    I wanted to see this but missed it, now I can't find it anywhere. That's usually how life goes for me.


  • Rissi September 10, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    Rachel – yeah, this is an underwhelming series in my opinion but the costume and production aspect of it is definitely impressive. The acting is also brilliant so it does have its strong points.

    So glad you are back, girl! Keep in touch!

    Alycia – cool! Enjoy when you see it.

    I wanted to thank you for all your lovely comments, Alycia. I so appreciate them. :-)

    Miss Jack – really!? My local video store picked it up as did the "chain" rental store, Family Video. Have you checked Red Box? I'd think they would have nabbed it also. Hope you can find it. When you really want to see/find something, that does seem to happen, doesn't it!? :-/

    Thanks so much for all your comments – I enjoy all of them!

  • Leave a Reply

    (Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

    Bonjour and Welcome!

    Welcome | thank you for visiting and reading. if you like, you are invited to join our conversations and follow along – join us.  You’re most welcome.
    Read more about Finding Wonderland

    ps: please excuse the “disorder.” you can read more about Finding Wonderland’s changes, new follow options and why archive posts are a mess in my “Disorder + Feedback” post!

    Finding Wonderland Elsewhere!

    Finding Wonderland in your Inbox!

    Subscribe! Have Finding Wonderland's new content sent to your inbox; sign up for our once (or twice) monthly round up of new content. If you'd like to have this newsletter sent to your inbox, you can enter your email address here. Please note, this does require a sign-up confirmation via email, and that email may be sent to a junk or spam folder.

    RSS Feed

    Enter your email address:

    Shop our Etsy Store



    Some of the links on this blog are affiliate links, which means that if you click on a product link, I may receive (a small) compensation. This compensation comes at no additional cost to you.

    Rissi JC (RissiWrites.com) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

    All written content (unless noted) is © Copyright Rissi JC and Finding Wonderland (RissiWrites.com).


    %d bloggers like this: