If you’re looking for your next tv binge, and at this point you can practically binge the whole show, it may be time to restart a subscription to HBO. Their new miniseries, Chernobyl, has only five episodes in its full run, and its finale airs this Monday June 3, 2019. For those left unconvinced, the show is currently among IMDb’s top ten highest rated television shows of all time, outranking the likes of Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad, for now at least. Vox News notes that it is not uncommon for streaming platforms to push out a plethora of new shows before May 31 as that is the final day to qualify for the Emmy Awards in the fall.
The name Chernobyl is probably not totally unfamiliar with history or science buffs, and the series itself is a dramatization of the very real tragedy that took place there. The 1986 nuclear disaster was so devastating not necessarily because of the unexpected explosion of the power plant, but due to the public message put out by people in positions of authority that the problem wasn’t that bad. The thing the show gets so right is that it doesn’t have to exaggerate the gravity of the situation and so almost plays more as a documentary than a fictional television show.
Another element of the show that is being praised is its metaphoric storytelling, in that by looking at this past event where people in power were so insistent that things couldn’t possibly be as bad as they were, so many more people ended up suffering the consequences. In this way, the show becomes less about an East versus West dynamic and more about questioning those in authority.
The show also boasts a stellar roster. Among the top billed are Jared Harris (The Terror, The Crown), Stellan Skarsgård (Mamma Mia!, The Avengers), and Jessie Buckley (The Last Post, War And Peace). There is also Emily Watson (The Book Thief, Genius) and Paul Ritter (Cold Feet, Electric Dreams).
The final episode airs at 6pm PST on Monday on all HBO platforms.