Casual Vacancy (2015 HBO
B+ Sound: B+ Extras: C+ Episodes: C
Rowling's first step out of the Harry Potter universe and into
a darker more adult realm with The Casual Vacancy. As seen on
HBO as a three part miniseries, the show sports an all star cast
including Rory Kinnear, Michael Gambon, Julia McKenzie, Abigail
Lawrie, Richard Glover, and Rufus Jones and is directed by Jonny
Campbell, who did a few episodes of Dr. Who Confidential.
Casual Vacancy centers on Pagford, a seemingly idyllic English
village with a cobbled market square and ancient abbey. Behind the
pretty facade, however, is a town at war: rich at war with poor,
teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their
husbands, teachers at war with their pupils. The story begins with
the death of beloved Parish Councillor Barry Fairbrother, leaving a
seat on the council vacant. Those running for a place soon find
their darkest secrets revealed on the Parish Council online forum,
ruining their campaign and leaving the election in turmoil.
show is a lot darker than I expected coming from Rowling and, to be
honest, most of the characters are pretty unlikeable. Every person
has a secret in this small town and they all have an agenda to get
back on top. Some of the visual motifs and cinematography are nicely
done, but all in all I felt the show is a little too sour to reach an
audience that isn't impressed with British television.
in 1080p High Definition, the show looks fantastic on Blu-ray disc.
Presented in a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and coupled with a
crystal clear, lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 surround track,
the presentation will not disappoint.
on the disc include:
Introduction to The Casual Vacancy
The Casual Vacancy
Casting The Casual Vacancy
in all, I kind of felt that this show was a little lackluster for
both HBO and Rowling. A lot of it feels like they were just trying
to make a tense drama and show the darkness of seemingly normal
lives. If you read and liked the book, which I haven't read, you may
enjoy this series, I felt it was more of a one time watch.
James Harland Lockhart V